“5, 4, 3, 2, 1…”
Tie game. The championship is on the line. The clock is ticking down. The ball is in my hands…
It happened hundreds of times in my career — but mostly on my driveway. (You heard about my one buzzer-beating game-winner though?!)
The hoop dreams I, and many others, lived out on driveways or at parks is a fantastic example of this quote that I love, “Dream big, but start small.”
As a 10 year-old kid, the dream was to have a shot for the NCAA National Championship. To have one shining moment. That’s a big dream! And like many aspiring players, I did something about it.
No coach. No cameras. Just me, my ball, and the hoop. I started small.
I envisioned being in that moment. The crowd. The smells. My coach. The nine other players on the court. The big stage under the bright lights. The clock ticking down. The thoughts in my head. The ball in my hands. My defender in front of me.
I drilled it. Eyes scanning the floor. One, two dribbles. Attack my defender going right. Cross-over to my left. Back through my legs to the right. Step-back. Let it fly…
I repeated it. I’d drill that same shot over and over. Then I’d add a different counter to my move and rep that out.
I persisted. If I missed the imaginary shot? The game went to overtime, and I took the shot the next time. Or, I was fouled and needed to make the clutch free throws. Or, I went back and practiced the footwork, positioning, and form on the move I was attempting to make.
Here’s how this applies to my life now:
Ask the question: Have I stopped dreaming? I’m talking about national championship-level dreams. Were my dreams too small or too realistic back then? Could I have gone farther and done more if I’d simply believed bigger? I don’t want to look back in ten years and think that about myself today. Where are my beliefs currently causing me to play it small?
Don’t limit what God can do through you.
Ask the question: Am I willing to start small? I’m talking about drilling my skills on my driveway kind of small. The pursuit of excellence is lonely, mundane, and repetitive. Dreams demand discipline. No cameras, no fanfare, no accountability needed. Can I embrace this day and be my best right where I’m at — no matter the payoff or how seemingly insignificant the moment seems?
Don’t despise the day of small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…
Dream like a kid — expectant, enthusiastic, uninhibited, and unashamed.
Work like a pro — disciplined, determined, detailed, and consistent.
Envision it. Drill it. Repeat it. Persist in it. Think bigger and start smaller.