NEW CASTLE — “If you think you are working hard, you can work harder. If you think you are doing enough, there is more that you can do. No one really ever exhausts his full potential.” — Former Princeton basketball coach Pete Carril
So, young athletes, how hard are you working on your sports now that school is out?
Here are a few stars you might have heard of. May their examples inspire you today.
Magic Johnson — Dick Vitale (than coach at University of Detroit) thought he would surprise and impress Magic Johnson by showing up at 6:30 a.m. at his Michigan home one winter. The temperature was below freezing and the wind was whipping. More than a few inches of snow covered the ground. Vitale knocked on the door. Magic’s mom answered and told him that her son had already left. “He goes to the outdoor court every morning and shoots before the bus comes.”
Chris Paul — Started his off-season workouts at 4:21 a.m. when he was with the Hornets.
Larry Bird — "I used to shoot a lot of free throws,” said the former Celtics great. “I wouldn't leave until I made a hundred in a row."
Derrick Rose — The Bulls’ superstar shoots 700 jumpers a day in the off-season.
Kobe Bryant — Shaquille O’Neal remembers how hard Kobe Bryant worked at practice. “He was the first one there, last one to leave ... every drill at game speed, even drills on his own. He always carried a compact DVD player and watched video while walking down the hall or while getting taped.”
LeBron James — He has his own personal shooting coach and paid his way to Beijing, China, during the 2008 Olympics so he could work on his shooting for an hour in the afternoon after Team USA practiced. He spent last summer with Hakeem Olajuwon working on his low-post game. Think it’s paying off in the NBA Finals?
Michael Jordan — Even when he was playing minor league baseball, he was the first one to the ballpark and the last one to leave. His hitting instructor at the end of the day would say we’re done. Then Michael would respond: “Can we do a little more?”
How about you? Can you do just a little more?
You’ll be in some great company.
(Adapted from a speech given by coach Bob Starkey during a summer basketball camp.)