This Formula is simple… just get BETTER AND LISTEN🏀👌

There was a book written recently that said a kid needed to put in 10,000 hours in order to master a sport. It also talked about being in the right time and place. This book talked about how your background and opportunities have had much to do with the success of people. The book was called Outliers and it was a great read. I have two relatives making millions playing a sport. I know there is a lot of truth to this book. I watched much of what was said, up close and personal play out.  But what the book didn’t discuss was how not to be successful.

I have seen it all in my years as a college coach, as a parent of a D1 and D3 athlete and as a trainer. I been on all sides and trust me when I say, what I am about to say. It’s not bragging and it’s not to show that I am more knowledgeable. I say what am about to say because I have seen so many people make mistakes that can be avoidable. I KNOW MORE ABOUT THE PITFALLS KIDS AND PARENTS MAKE THAN JUST ABOUT ANYONE. Yesterday for an example I told a parent of a young lady who is clearly a D1 player but won’t play D1, these words.

. “you have not listened to one bit of advice I given you along the way. I wish I could’ve got you to listen somewhere along the way. You have made every bad decision one can make throughout this process

There is a reason some kids are successful and why some are not and it’s not just about the talent level. In most cases it has more to do with mistakes along the way. A inability to be led or too often a person of influence, thinking they know more about the process than those who are experienced in such matters.

Hayley Moore made all the right moves

Years ago I had a conversation with Binghamton’s  University, Hayley Moore’s mom. She asked me what Hayley needed do, in order to play in college. I told her it’s simple “GET BETTER”. I told Traci Moore, not to worry about college coaches, I told her don’t focus on being on the best AAU team. I told her not to worry about her daughters size and strength. I told her to simply worry about her daughter getting better. I told not to play politics and never do anything except help her daughter get better. I told her to live in the gym, but know when to take a break, never play for publicity or to gain favor. I told her, all KIDS LOVE PLAYING GAMES, but kids also like soda and candy. I told her basketball hours are precious and most parents and kids don’t understand this until its TOO LATE.  The Moore family listened and Hayley Moore these plays D1 basketball and fulfilled her dreams. But there is a flip side to Hayley Moore and those are the parents and kids who one day will wish they did things differently.

There are parents and kids who refuse to listen. They will always find reasons to play meaningless games(instead of taking the those hours to work on a real weakness). Many will train in poor non competitive environments or do things on the cheap. There will always be parents and kids who believe they are working hard and doing what’s best. There will always be parents who will make politically motivated decisions for there kids (kids don’t play politics, this is ALWAYS A PARENT ISSUE). They will be those who believe that sometimes you must play the game, learn to beat the system. These are the kids who will one day look in the mirror and wish they had those hours playing politics and beating the system back. They will wish that time was spent in the gym doing quality work. It will not hit them until they realize that it always comes down to GETTING BETTER…NOTHING ELSE.

I see kids every year who are close, but they can’t get over the hump and in 99% of the cases, its because they simply can’t show up day in and day out. It’s just too hard and it takes a real backbone and commitment. Do I believe really believe Kylie Capstraw can be player of the year? Yes, and it’s because Kylie Capstraw number goal is to always get better. How else do you explain her becoming one of the TOP 5 players in the state despite living in a area that is not known for basketball. Why? because Kylie Capstraw had used her gym hours correctly and concerned herself with one thing…GETTING BETTER.


Ashley O’Connor has put the work in

Not much changes from year to year except the faces.  My good friend Rick Smid and I, meet every year and discuss which kids may struggle in college after the signing period. In almost 99% of the time, he will tell you, we are almost always right. Why? Because habits are hard to break and everyone knows which kids work hard and which kids don’t work hard. We know which ones spend all their time worrying about visiting or talking about colleges. We know which ones will not work hard during the off season. WE KNOW…WE ALL KNOW WHO THEY’s just a unspoken silence. We all know the kids who duck competition and which ones don’t. I also know the kids who are talented good enough to even play D1 basketball. But they have attached themselves to the wrong people or train in the wrong environment. Whatever the reason is, it leads to disappointment that could have been avoided.


I tell kids often get in the gym and shoot. I beg them to shoot, I tell them you better be able to shoot. Why? Because I know if a kid cannot shoot the ball these days, they will only reach the level of their natural ability. I know kids with real talent and ability who refuse to shoot EVERYDAY. There will work on every skill set in the game, but will not make shooting, the be all, do all. Why? Shooting takes real time in the gym TO DEVELOP(just ask the best shooting coach on planet earth BETH CHAMBERS).

Katie Collins has made herself a SHOOTER

I love when a parent says “she is shooting everyday” or she made all her shots at a fall AAU game ( not exactly known for defense). I love when a parent or a kid says proudly “She shot yesterday” …LOL. They just don’t understand the hours it takes. Then I see that same kid and they can’t make a shot against REAL COMPETITION. Then a college coach says “she just can’t shoot it well enough for us” I then say to myself  “she just couldn’t get to the gym everyday”  Why beat her up?  Her plate is either full or she doesn’t have that burning desire. I give you Katie Collins of Manasquan. She wanted to become a better shooter. It’s why she shot after school everyday and now is one of the most improved players in the state. She my friends always shows up and why she will be one of the most recruited players in the state one day.

I watch the same picture every year and the movie doesn’t change, JUST THE NAMES. There always will be talented kids, who just don’t understand the simple formula to be successful. They say there is a 100 ways to skin a cat. Well am here to tell you… that is not true. There is a 100 ways to find yourself on the outside looking in. There is only one formula parents and kids should follow…GET BETTER I have enough stories to prove that this is the only formula that works….. and I know this better than anyone, because I have seen the sadness and disappointment on the faces of too many kids over the years




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