About 4 Years ago Moses had the privilege of training with 10 year NBA veteran Samaki Walker. For him it was what’s supposed to happen when you are 8 years old and training to be in the NBA, but for me it was kind of surreal. After about a month or two of training with him I felt comfortable enough to ask him some for some sage advice about the basketball world and what he told me those many years ago led me on a search that has forever changed our basketball lives.
Our conversation went a little something like this:
Me: Samaki what is the difference between the great players and the good players in the NBA.
Samaki: What do you mean?
Me: I mean at the NBA level every guy was the star of his college team or high school team or Euroleague team, but only a few become the best of the best. What would you say is the difference?
Samaki looked at me and without any hesitation he said:
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Of course being the “Any edge is a good for my kid” kind of dad. I thought “Hey! Let me look for mental toughness training. That will give us an edge on top of the physical part.” I looked high and low and couldn’t find anything that really spoke to helping kids with mental toughness. I mean, when the biggest challenge of your day is losing in Overwatch or getting fewer likes on instagram than you would like, how do you develop true mental toughness?
I read sports psychology book after sports psychology book and looked up every article I could find, but I couldn’t find anything for young basketball players. So… I kind of forgot about it and just stuck to the physical training and then IT happened!
MY KID STOPPED PERFORMING IN GAMES!
In practice he would be a monster and then on game day he would clam up. I tried it all, rewards for performance, money, angry talks on the way home, happy talks on the way home. NOTHING WAS WORKING! It was then that my conversation with Samaki’s came back to me.
The difference is mental toughness!
I dug out all of the books that I had read before and started using their knowledge and suggestions. However, I couldn’t use them exactly as they were written because they were written for grown men and women. So I altered them a little and like magic my kid came back! He was scoring at will and easily. He was BACK! I then added more from the books and articles and he became even more relaxed and comfortable during on game day! It was awesome!
I saw other dad’s struggling with the same thing and not trying to be one to give out all of our secrets I quietly thought. Man, if he only knew X,Y, and Z! I kept my secrets to myself for a little while, but my conscious got the best of me and GAME READY was born.
I created GAME READY for those parents that have kids that are awesome during practice but struggle during games. It’s kind of my way of making it available for anyone who wants it without giving everyone our secret sauce.
If you are reading this you are one of the few that are going to get the secret information that I would have killed for when our kid was struggling. So buckle up and take notes. Your life and your young athletes life is about to change for the better.
What is the Hoopchalk Basketball Podcast?
The Hoopchalk Basketball Podcast is the best Youth Basketball podcast for young AAU basketball players and their families. Our motto is – NO MORE GUESS WORK! Our mission is to help young basketball players and their families successfully navigate the ever-changing world of youth basketball. In this podcast we will unlock all of the locked doors that have become road blocks for youth basketball players. We will also help those who dream, but have no idea how to move towards their basketball dreams. Figuring it out alone is a pretty daunting task. I was in your shoes.
My son Moses and I invite you to learn from our wins and our losses. We hope it will help someone else in their journey toward their dreams. In this podcast, we will cover everything about youth basketball – from what to look for when joining a team, to college recruiting, to social media, and even how to develop the mental toughness that will allow your young athlete to soar in games. “There I was with this kid who wanted to follow his dream of playing pro basketball and, as a non-basketball parent, I had no idea how to make it happen.
When I asked others, I constantly heard things like – ‘You just have to be good and people will find you.’ I knew that waiting for the phone to ring couldn’t be the key to success. So I started digging and I found out that, like every career, there is an actual path that you MUST take to even have a chance. I am excited to share my findings with you. Let’s work together to make this happen for our little and not-so-little ballers!” – Troy Horne See you inside episode 19! Troy and Moses Horne hoopchalk.com