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Work On Your Game Content/mental toughness/Don’t Let “The Sniper” Get You...
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Don’t Let “The Sniper” Get You...

I was at the local rec center one day when I was around 15 or 16 years old. 
There was a Men’s league game about to begin. I was watching because one of the adults from my block was suited up to play. 
This man, his name was Guy, was around my parent’s age — which put him in his mid thirties, about the age that I am now. Guy went to high school at the same time and the same school as my father, though they hadn’t known each other. 
Guy lived next door to Jared. 
Jared had one of those portable, adjustable basketball courts that he’d bring out all the time, and we’d set the rim at eight feet and dunk on it all day. 
Guy would often come outside while we were playing and tell us, is his slightly-cocky, old-man way, that we needed to play with the rim at 10 feet so we could ready to play real basketball. 
We ignored him. 
Guy wouldn’t go as far as to critique our games directly, but I could tell that he had opinions on the game that he was itching to share. 
So when I saw Guy warming up for a game that day in the rec center, I found a good seat. I wanted to see if Guy was actually any good. 
Guy lasted in the game for about three minutes before The Sniper got him. 
No, Guy didn’t get shot. 
In sports lingo, The Sniper is when you’re “old” for your sport, and you get injured while doing something as routine as running up the court or jumping for a rebound. 
No contact occurred. No one touched you. No one is even near you, but you collapse to the floor in pain. 
THAT’S The Sniper. 
Mid-thirties basketball players often fall victim to The Sniper. 
When The Sniper starts finding you, it’s time to stop playing and start coaching your kids 😆. 
The Sniper got Guy. He limped to the bench, clutching his knee and the big knee brace he’d been playing with. 
I never saw Guy on a basketball court again.  


When people learn that I used to play basketball, I’m often asked how much I still play now, being that I’m in shape and still relatively young. 
The answer is: none. 
Since I decided I was done with the game, I don’t play basketball AT ALL. 
Pickup games? 
Local leagues?
Doing drills for fun? 
No. No. And hell no. 
I never wanted to be the old (<— relative term) guy at the court, obviously past his prime, trying to capture his past glory. 
I never wanted the player who someone in the crowd could point to and say, “yeah, he’s trash now — but trust me, he used to be good!!” 
I don’t want to fall victim to The Sniper. 
The Sniper isn’t limited to basketball, or even physical activity. And it doesn’t always show itself in such a visceral way. 
The Sniper can rock you to sleep quietly, too. 
Make you comfortable and complacent with who and where you are, robbing you of your drive to achieve anything further than your status quo. 
This is why many people's greatest accomplishment often doubles as their ONLY accomplishment. 
The Sniper shoots down what little ambition they had. 
So, when I knew that basketball would soon be over, I started formulating in my mind what would be next. 
I thought about who my audience would be and how I would reach them. 
I started looking at people who were already doing what I was thinking about doing, and thinking about how I could do it my way. 
Always aiming to stay so far ahead of The Sniper that I could be the one shooting his ass. 
Maybe you’ve faced the challenge of staying driven and motivated when your situation is comfortable enough that you don’t really have to push yourself. 
Moving yourself to action isn’t about what you’ve done or what you have. It’s about how you think. 
And there is something you can do about it. 

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