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Working Right Over Just Working Hard

If you working right, take the right route, and do the right things, and then go the right way, you’ll have it made in business!

Working Right Over Just Working HardYou could work as hard as you want to work. You can work, in theory, as smart as you think you are working. If you are not working right, it doesn’t matter. Got it?

A friend of mine learned the importance of this when he was playing high school basketball. He learned this when he was a junior in high school, right after my junior year in high school. He found out that the 3-point shooting line would be used in high school. Therefore, his goal was to get a basketball scholarship being good at the 3 point line shots!

He realized, “I am not the quickest. I am not the fastest. I do not have a talent like a lot of these other kids.” He thought to himself, “What if I learned to be decent shooter?” This new 3-point thing, of course, he thought every team would need someone who can shoot from that distance if the game is on the line thought line. He planned to make that his unique selling proposition. He did not know there was a business factor called a Unique Selling Point aka USP back then, but he did think what if that became his uniqueness, his talent, his skill?

To achieve this goal he went to the nearest playground. He brought some sidewalk chalk and a tape measure, then I went to the basketball court to measure off and mark-off a three-point line. He went out there every day all day long in the hot sun in the summer before his senior year. He was out there just shooting balls, you know, shooting, working hard shooting, getting used to this new three-point thing. He kept this up for maybe 6 weeks, and without making a shot.
Finally, one sunny afternoon, he had enough. It was useless. He could not make the shots. Kicking the ball across the court, hitting the fence while taking off his jersey and tossing it to the side, along with some language that should not have said a neighbour was watching.

The gentleman who sat on his porch chair every afternoon while watching me out on the playground, waved me over to the fence which adjoined the playground. He called out to me “Hey, kid, come over here to the fence. I know why you’re missing your shots. You’re hitting a wall on improving, and I can tell you why!”

I said, “Well, OK, how many years did you play basketball?”

He said, “Basketball? None.”

I said, “Did you coach?”

He goes, “Coach, nope.”

With these responses, he thought, “You, who never handled a basketball or coached a basketball team want to tell me why I am missing my shots when I have been playing for years! Sarcastically, I muttered, “Okay, tell me what I am doing wrong!”

He said, “You are working hard I will give you that because I see you out here in the hot sun. You’re out here all day and all night.” I used to shoot at night because my theory was if I can make the basket when it’s dark, I can make the basket with the gym lights. I would shoot all day and all night.

He said, “Well, son, you are sweating, working pretty hard, and theoretically, working pretty smart doing reps from the painted 3 point line. Also, I see you come out here time and time again working on your strength for your legs and arms by shooting over and over again. But, sorry to say it, you are just not working RIGHT!”

Put off from frustration, I said with just a bit of attitude, “What do you mean by working right?”

He said, “You have your elbow sticking out for every shot you throw!” Now, if any of you know anything about basketball, there’s an old line that is been around for 100 years in basketball. Where the elbow goes, the ball flows. If the elbow is sticking out here to the side, the ball flows to the outside. You will miss the basket each time. He said, “I’m watching you shoot one curve balls after the other.” He said, “It is not about making a significant change. You just have to make a small adjustment. Get that elbow in some and you will be throwing the ball the right way. Bet you money, you will start shooting those baskets by working right.”

“Oh! Wow! Actually, it is not even that hard. I mean I got to work at it, but it is not as hard as I was because here I am just not making anything. You know what? If I do it the right way, if I sequence it the right way, dribble, pump, shoot, dribble, pump, shoot, catch, face, pump, shoot, I do it the right way, the right sequence, I can make some shots.” There’s a basketball magazine that came out talking about the new guys coming into college basketball called Blue Ribbon Basketball

Yearbook. I was honored at the nice cool things they said about a young steel mill town kid who ended up shooting 74% from the three-point range!

So what is the moral of the story? Figure out, with the help of a mentor to give an honest third party advice on what you have been doing wrong that has been causing you to miss the mark and correct it. Work SMART, not just HARD and you will find the course much easier to navigate.

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