Ray Allen has been one of the great basketball players in the NBA. It is true that only the followers of the American basketball league, where more and more Spaniards play, will know of their adventures. It was not my case, but a few weeks ago, I found myself reading his farewell letter from the most competitive league in the world and realized that there were teachings there for everyone, but especially useful for our children. Many of us would like them to idolize other characters, such as scientists, for example, but the fact is that athletes are the ones who occupy conversations, videos, pieces of wall, or folder. Lately, they are up to their models in the hair salon. Rarely does it become as clear as in Allen’s letter what effort it takes to get there because, sometimes, it may seem that it is only because of those tattoos, those hairstyles, those brand shoes. But no. They are hours and hours of training. The same that may be required to become academically brilliant. It would be nice if there were at least as many children who wanted to win the Nobel Prize as to be Cristiano Ronaldo. But the teachings of Allen, who addresses himself at the age of 13, are useful for life in general:
1) Being a misfit has its advantages. At the age of 13, the son of a military man, Allen, had been to many schools, different states, also in Germany and England. At that age, he arrived in South Carolina. New friends, new teachers. Again. “You are used to being a stranger.” But this time it is mid-course, at a difficult age, a few years in which the children have quite bad milk. And Allen talks weird. With a little English accent. Expressing well. And you are sure to be told that you speak like a target. It will be new and rare. “It will be, at the same time, the hardest and the best 1bet2u login thing that happens to you,” Allen writes to himself, with the distance of life. The basketball court will be your world and your refuge. That is the advantage. If you feel outside, find a refuge. Books, sports. The programming. Chess. Music. Quantum physics. Whatever is.
2) Be focused. When Allen visits the older ones, he hears many phrases that begin with “if there were …”. He doesn’t want to see himself looking back in time like that and decides he has to focus. You cannot disperse because you know that things will get more complicated. Life is not simplified.
3) The “no reason” engine. Allen explains that, when others see that he has the possibility of going to a university, they start to make predictions of the type “you are going to get drunk a lot,” “you are going to suck all the time on the bench.” So, what he wants with all his strength is to demonstrate that they are not right. He knows that there are people who do not want to see him move forward and succeed. He ignores them. But he remembers what they say, and it motivates him every morning. They are not right; it is repeated.
4) It is not luck: When Allen begins to excel in high school, he also hears that he was born with the gift of basketball. He does not believe it; he knows that this divine gift is hard work. God doesn’t care if he takes the next free throw; he repeats himself.
5) “I want to see you sweat. “ She arrives at university. The pride of wearing the uniform the first day. But the coach yells at the rookies to take it away. Let them wear another normal: “I want to see you sweat.” In that first training, Allen will know that he has entered another dimension of hard work. “This man is almost going to break you, but he’s going to make you a much better player and person. That training will be the introduction to what it means to be good.”