Tortoise and the Hare

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Look at the big picture

The story of the Tortoise and the Hare originated 2500 years ago but is even more relevant in today’s age of instant gratification than it was when first written. With Google, cell phones, movies, email and Twitter (to name just a few), we are surrounded by cultural forces that condition us to expect nearly instantaneously results.

Although we live in the world of the Hare, when it comes to developing good athletes, we need to start channeling the Tortoise.

All too often I hear parents judging their children’s “prospects” based on where their child is currently at compared to their peers. I hear comments like “my kid will never play in the NHL because he’s not even playing top level Rep hockey” or because “our Elite Basketball team isn’t nearly as good as Surrey’s”. Kids are forced to specialize and sign up for more and more so that they don’t fall behind right now. These parents are looking at mile 2 of the marathon and worrying because the Hare is ahead of their child.

It takes years of practice to become truly skilled. It’s a really long journey…like running a marathon. It really doesn’t matter who’s winning at mile 2, 10 or even 20. What matters is who’s winning at mile 26, at the finish line. I’ve seen WAY too many Hares just quit the race when they reach high school age to believe in the bunny.

I’d rather have a Tortoise on my team, who keeps showing up every day, taking one step after another towards her goal. Rather than focusing on where an athlete is at today, focus on: 

  1. Is she learning to play the right way- developing good team and individual habits?
  2. Is she getting excellent coaching?
  3. Is she focused and working really hard?
  4. Is he developing a love of the game?

The way we do this at Split Second Basketball is to provide players with a rock solid skill base at the same time as we instill a love of learning and of sport.

As a Tortoise myself, I love to see so many of our players coming back, term after term, getting a little better every week and moving ever closer to the finish line. Keep up the good work!