Excuses Excuses or Just Go Iguodala

Are you ready to "Go Iguodala"?

While it is not a through and through requirement to be a basketball fan if you read this blog it certainly doesn’t hurt to appreciate the game!
Because let’s face it…in between my coaching, basketball camp work, and love of the game I enjoy the basketball to life metaphors and stories and feature them frequently on here.  (Apologies to the badminton and croquet fans!)

Andre Iguodala, for those of you who don’t know, was named the NBA Finals MVP on Tuesday night after his team the Golden State Warriors beat Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavs in six games.

Iguodala was the first NBA Finals MVP to win the award in NBA history without starting every game in the NBA Finals.
The thing about Andre (I’m switching to his first name because I don’t want any grammar errors in here!) is he had started 758 consecutive NBA games prior to this season.
He had also played in only 758 NBA games.

This year Andre started ZERO games.  Not one.  All season long.  After 758 of 758.
Until game 4 (and the turning point) of the NBA Finals.
Long story short Andre was inserted into the starting lineup after outstanding play in the first three games of the series and took it to another level once inserted.
Three straight wins after his insertion to the starting lineup his team won the NBA title.

Why do I mention this story today?
You have choices in life.  You can make up all the excuses in the world for why you aren’t ready.
Andre could have told himself numerous times during his ten year career in the NBA that he was a decent player but could never be the guy to change an NBA Finals.
He could have convinced his teammates to never trust him in the final moment of a game anymore because he was getting older.
There certainly was the opportunity to not trust him since he had never been in a big moment of an NBA Finals before.

But instead of excuses and more excuses he chose to “Go Iguodala” instead and get ready for the moment.
He is a player who I have watched over the years always be a consummate professional.  He was always prepared for whatever situation he was thrown into over the years and there have been many over the course of 10 seasons in the NBA.
He has played on good teams and bad teams and maintained a steadfast reputation across the league as a solid and above average player who is a hard worker and a good guy both on and off the court.

But being a good player on a decent team is different than being the NBA Finals MVP on a team that contained the NBA regular season MVP and the most talented roster in the league.

It’s about taking your career to a new level.
It’s about achieving dreams that others deemed impossible for you.
It’s about keeping your mouth shut, letting the haters hate, and then letting them see the results you deliver.
It’s about relentless prep work in the face of knowing that perhaps your time may never come.

But just in case your time does come…Go Iguodala…and be ready.
Be so demanding of yourself that should the time come that you get the opportunity to do so much more than you could have wildly imagined that it’s second nature to you when you get thrust into the spotlight.

Don’t think it could happen to you?
Tell that to a guy who started 758 straight NBA games without ever making an NBA finals, then doesn’t start a game all year, and winds up being thrown in the starting lineup and being the pivotal player to help his team win an NBA title.

Be ready.  Go Iguodala.
How can you do it?
-Prepare yourself each day that today just might be your day.
-But stay steadfast and positive if it’s not.
-Demand the absolute best from yourself in your passion.
-Push yourself harder than others and hone in on both your short term goals but also your “dreams.”
-Don’t ever doubt yourself if you believe in your decisions.

He did it.  You can do it.  Congrats to Andre, the Splash Brothers, and Golden State.  (And to the Cavs for the fight they put up minus key players.)
But more importantly…congrats to you for having the same mindset as them!

Thanks for reading and hanging around here!
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Spread Good Vibes, Demand the Best from Yourself, Carpe Diem!