Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Lessons from the Southeast Queens Streets - Play Your Natural Position in Life

By Kamau Austin - Sometimes you can have ALL the heart, commitment, and talent in the world but are playing the wrong position in life.  And this is especially the case in new fields of endeavor. 

When you play the wrong position you'll never reach your FULL Potential. But all isn't lost...

...Especially if we learn from our mistakes.  When we get into a new endeavor it is important to know the rules of the Game.  Now we may think we know the rules of the game by using our simple observation.

However since we are in a new endeavor we may really not know all the rules to the game. One of the best ways to know the rules of the game is to reach out to get a successful consultant, coach, or trainer in a field of endeavor to help us (these are sometimes called mentors).

They know the rules of the game much more than we do.  Obviously, you want to reach out to people with a lot more expertise than you have to coach, train, or consult with you.

Sometimes just learning to play the proper position can mean ALL the difference in our success in a new endeavor. It is important to understand our weaknesses and play to our strengths in life or in any endeavor.

To give you an example I was very driven to want to be a professional basketball player when I was going up.  I would workout running in the morning, doing strength building exercises, and play 3 to 5 hours of basketball a day.

My favorite basketball icons were people like Connie Hawkins, Dr. J, Larry Kenon, David Thompson, and forwards like that in the NBA (I know I'm dating myself).  I tried to pattern my game like these NBA greats. This would have been fine I guess except these were guys who were at least 6'6" and up and I was only 5'10". If I were 6'7" or taller maybe this would have been feasible - but I was not!

In hindsight I put a lot of my efforts into jumping high, boxing out, and backing people under the basket to shoot like a much taller and larger player.  As you can image I wasn't very successful. But what did I know as a 14 year old who had just become enthralled with the game of basketball?  I really needed a savvy insider of the game of basketball to school me.

Plus I started playing basketball in 8th grade. Most of the really good players were playing basketball in 3rd grade so a coach would have been essential to help me fast track my development and perhaps catch up to people who started earlier.  

Moreover, I noticed guys my height who put more focus on dribbling the basketball, shooting from the outside, and driving to the basket and passing the ball off went much further in the sport.  I also notice where I was playing street ball the guys my height who got into college basketball were on organized teams playing and being coached.
Mack Jackson - Pic Wikipedia

Obviously if I had a coach he would have pointed out to me my focus needs to be on playing guard (a position for the shortest but quickest guys on the court) and not forward for guys much taller and stronger. But I also would have had to be coachable to accept the direction of a coach and be willing to change my game.

For instance Mark Jackson, of NBA ball handling, assist, coaching and TV commentating fame played in the same park as me.  He was a bit younger and used to bug me to play with the older guys.

I wouldn't do it all the time because he was so little then I was concerned because I thought he might get hurt.  I was a good friend of Mark's Older brother Kevin, who used to play on my basketball teams back in the day in Jamaica/Southeast Queens.

But he we went to the right schools, got good coaches, and his family were supportive of his goals.  He went on to play big time college basketball (helping one of the greatest St. Johns teams of all times).   And eventually he made the pros and became one of the all time assist leaders.

He grew size wise and always played the right position in the sport and other aspects of his life.  Me and his mom worked in the same bank for a while and we often talked about Mark's accomplishments.

To be honest being in a team sport that was unpredictable probably wasn't my strongest suit. However, at least having a coach or a mentor would have changed my direction -  I'm sure and I would have enjoyed a better result of my efforts.  When you're starting a new endeavor make sure you reach out for help from people who have expertise in this new field. 

In short, Learn the rules of the game and also play a position that well suits you. BTW I help people who are want to make more money with an online business that's my strong suit and natural position. If you need coaching in this regard contact me by visiting my site Search Engine Plan

By Kamau Austin, Publisher of the Southeast Queens Scoop

About the Southeast Queens Scoop - is the premier website and only publication offering daily news and updates on the events, culture, issues, and is dedicated to the business and economic development in this largely black historic community.  Subscribe to the weekly newsletter to get the latest updates on events, news, job and career postings, and resources Click Here

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