When I played high school basketball I was a scorer. I put a lot of time into my shot and it was what most people worried about the most when they played me.
“Just don’t leave him open!”
Going into my junior and senior year colleges began to recruit me pretty heavily and playing in college was becoming a reality.
This meant more tournaments and camps during the summers to showcase my skills.
One day I was sitting down with a coach I had known for a long time who was now at the college level.
He was very direct. He said “Nobody cares if you can score, every kid at these camps can score or else they wouldn’t be there”.
He then went on to explain to me how college coaches scout at these camps when they go and watch 150 kids play.
“They will watch everything you do for about two full series, and then they move on to the next kid.
Don’t ever take a play off and do ALL OF THE LITTLE THINGS that no-one else wants to do.”
I took his advice very seriously.
I went on to be the MVP of that camp and win virtually every award they gave out that year. (It was the best week of basketball I have ever played in my life)
But here’s the interesting part:
None of the coaches that called me after that camp said anything about how many points I scored. NOT ONE.
One coach told me he wanted me because in five days and dozens of games (3 on 3 and 5 on 5) I never lost a face off.
At this camp they didn’t do jump balls to determine who got the first possession, or any possession. They faced off two guys and gave a count, when the ball bounced on that count it was fair game.
I never lost.
I got recruited because I was good at something that isn’t even a part of an actual basketball game!!!
Ever since then I’ve always judged myself by how I did things that I don’t like to do or I’m not good at.
My peers, my subordinates and bosses have all always judged me by they way I did the little things, my weaknesses.
Why? Because doing what you are good at is easy!! Hell you are supposed to be good at that stuff.
I’ve had a lot of accurate criticism of my performance as an athlete and professional over the years.
They almost always revolve around things that I avoided doing because I didn’t like them.
It’s how I evaluate people, It’s how you evaluate people. It’s how everyone evaluates people.
What event were people most impressed by when Mat Fraser won the Games two years ago? THIS ONE. Because nobody expected him to. He wasn’t good at sprinting in the past.
We don’t have to spend all of our time shoring up our weaknesses and making them strengths.
But we do need to become competent at the things we are bad at.
Not good at nutrition, work at it.
Not good at gymnastics, work at it.
Not good at receiving criticism, or giving it, work at it.
Not good at showing up on time, work at it.
It’s how people judge you, whether you like it or not.
Because nobody cares what we are good at, they already know that about us.