My Mentality and Drive as an Athlete To Play Varsity in High School
Even though at first I didn’t get many minutes during JV games, I got accustomed to how everything worked, and all the subtleties that went into practices and games. However, I still felt like I deserved to play Varsity. Because of this, I pushed myself to work harder than I ever had in my entire life.
After three hour practices with freshman, then JV, I’d go home and shoot outside in the freezing cold for two more hours. After games, I did ball handling drills in the basement for another hour. It made me so mad that I wasn’t getting a fair shot at Varsity that I channeled this anger. I didn’t complain, I didn’t make excuses, and I didn’t blame anybody else. I just transformed this emotion into hundreds of shots every day, along with hours of ball-handling and defensive drills. While most guys on the team complained about being tired after two practices in a row, I knew I was heading straight for the hoop when I got home to shoot another 200 shots.
There was a moment, though, that made me question it all. I was outside by myself in the freezing cold, another night getting up a few hundred shots after a double practice. I thought to myself, Tyson, Why are you doing this? What if this won’t be worth it? What if all this hard work won’t pay off and you’re out here for hours every single night for no reason?
I didn’t have an answer for this, but what came next was a theme that would be recurring throughout my life: Trust. I had no idea if I’d play the next year at all, or if any of this hard work would pay off. But somewhere, deep down, I trusted that it would.
And the real answer? I didn’t care. I didn’t care what happened that next year because right then, I had a fucking hunger to do anything I could to play on that team. I would have absolutely no regret, putting myself through sacrifice after sacrifice. There was no way I’d get lost in the system, and I’d prove that I was more than just a mediocre JV player. I’d prove it to myself, my family, and everybody watching me that moving to Shawnee was a smart move.
I set a goal to achieve a Division 1 scholarship and I was going to achieve it at all costs. Most of all, I made sure I was going to become one of the best players in the state by the time my high school career was finished.
This was my My Mentality and Drive as an Athlete To Play Varsity in High School