This time of the year also has me reminiscing on my basketball career. I’ve had the honor to play on some of the biggest stages possible (outside of playing in the NBA). A high school state championship in Pennsylvania, playing in the US NCAA Final Four, and representing the Philippines in FIBA World Cup in Spain. The number of pressure-filled scenarios that I encountered are nearly impossible to count. But the beauty of the game of basketball -- all that tension and responsibility -- is shared by all five players on the court.
And it’s that fact that allows my deep respect for individual sport athletes. To be a boxer who has to pick himself up off the canvas, with limited time to gather his/her bearings to get ready for the next round. Or a golfer who just sent one in the rough on the 18th hole. Even a tennis player struggling to find answers to his opponents‘ over-powering serve. Outside of a pointer from your corner man in between rounds, a tip from the caddie, or a quick glance to your coach before the next serve all adjustments fall on the shoulders of the athlete. All these instances call for an amount of mental toughness, which I believe, sets them apart from “team sport” athletes.
Having never worked in the corporate world, I’m not sure what’s more relatable to any non-athletes reading this piece, whether it’s the “team” aspect or the “individual” approach. If it’s the first; on those rough days, feel grateful to have co-workers on your side striving for the same goal. And if it’s the latter, just know that you are wired to push through and overcome any situation.