What I learned from four years of rejection

What I learned from four years of rejection

Reading Time: 3 minutes · March 18, 2020

Zee's Pic From High School BasketballlI was cut from the basketball team four times (8th grade, 9th, 10th, 11th)!  Maybe it’s not surprising because I was 5’7 and weighted 140 pounds. Actually, it had nothing to do with my size. The lessons I learned from this experience set the platform for how I live my life everyday from dating, to my business, and everything in between. If you’re stuck, ready to give up, lacking motivation or feeling unlucky – this post is for you.

I remember my freshmen year tryouts like it was yesterday. We were playing 5 on 5 and 3 possessions in a row – I brought the ball up the court and I went straight for the basket. The first time, I made the layup and the next two, I missed. I was being selfish and didn’t pass the ball. I didn’t understand the concept of team basketball; therefore, Coach V cut me. I was devastated. I went home, shut my door and cried. Coach told me, “I selected players who would make good varsity players and if I made a mistake then you should prove me wrong.”

I made it my goal to prove him wrong. I was so angry because I was a better player than what I showcased that day. I had planned to do whatever it would take to make the team. Once I made it, I envisioned ripping off my jersey and yelling at the coach who cut me from the team. I was heart broken. I worked hard to make it the next year, but was cut again and again. However, I didn’t not give up. I knew I had one more chance to make the team my Senior year.

Here is what I did to make the team:

  •  5AM – I woke up in pitch black at 4:45 AM and tippy-toed my way out so I didn’t wake anyone up. I went to the gym and practiced my shooting and ball handling. Some days I would get eat raw eggs like Rocky.
  • 6AM – I would head to my high school football stadium and climb over the fence and run snakes. Running snakes is when you run up and down bleachers. I was always scared to death that a homeless guy would grab my leg, haha.
  • 7AM – Lifting/Basketball practice (Coach had open gym before tryouts).
  • 8AM – 3:15PM –  The only thing on my mind during class, was basketball. I didn’t care about anything else, except the business club.
  • 3:15PM – Practice in the field house.
  • 7PM – Personal training

I repeated this schedule until tryouts and I made it! Thankfully, I had matured since Freshman year – I didn’t go crazy and rip my jersey off. Coach V saw me wearing the Titan Jersey and that was good enough for me.

What you can take away from my experience:

You need to set goals and break them up into bite sized pieces so that your goal is more manageable. Each day, focus on one objective that you’d like to accomplish that will get you closer to attaining your goal. Make sure to subscribe to my email list and I’ll elaborate on this topic in my next post: New Year’s Resolutions are Pointless.

  • Know that all excuses are inexcusable
  • You must take actionable steps everyday; that includes making sacrifices. (Give up a weekend!)
  • No one can stop you from what you want, except you
  • If you want it bad enough, you can have anything and everything
  • There will always be opportunity, no matter how many times you fail. You will get another chance, if you give yourself that chance.

I’m not ashamed or embarrassed to say I sat on the bench! I lacked the experience that everyone else had. This was my first time playing organized team basketball (minus aau) and I didn’t have much confidence. It didn’t help that a handful of my teammates would talk trash to me at every practice, but I grew thick skin because of it.

I’m proud to say that I’ve won a few 3-point shooting contests since high school. I play in a league now where I am the leading scorer on my team and also 2nd place in steals. I’m not sharing this to brag, but to let you know that no matter what is it that you want, you can have it. No matter how many times you get rejected, you still have a chance. In the words of Mark Cuban, “every no gets you closer to a yes.” Keep grinding and chase after your dreams. Making the basketball team is one of my proudest accomplishments. I hope my story inspires you to keep going.

What’s your motivation to face your fear? Comment below.

P.S. If you play basketball and want to challenge me to a shooting contest – comment below. Winner gets $100 gift card. If you lose, you’ll have to donate $100 to a charity of my choice and share it on social media.

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