The following advice comes from former high school, college, and professional star Danielle Viglione, who is now helping others follow in her footsteps at the Sacramento Skills Academy.
It is so simple yet can have a major impact on any player’s (and/or coach’s) career. I am going to read this to my own team this afternoon!
I’m sure you all have dreams in basketball. When I was a girl about your age all I had was a ball and a dream. I think about all the countless hours I spent in a gym or on an outdoor court by myself when no one else was watching.
I broke Cheryl Miller’s record for points in a season my junior year in high school. That same year I broke the national record for three pointers made in a game with 14 and I scored over 3000 points in my high school career in just 3 years.
I was the California player of the year two years in a row and went on to play at the University of Texas where I started breaking records my freshman year.
I still hold the Texas single game scoring record of 48 points and also received countless scholar-athlete awards because I put an emphasis on school. I started my professional career playing for the Sacramento Monarchs and then spent 10 years playing overseas in Israel, Turkey, and Italy.
But the thousands of hours of relentless training, the hours with no one in the stands, no one to cheer me on but my own ambition and desire – that is what made me successful. I was great when I didn’t have to be!
I was giving 100% when no one was watching. The toughest competition in my life is that which I set up for myself when no one else was watching. You need to do the job that doesn’t have to be done and do it better than it needs to be done.
Be great when you don’t have to be great!