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Beating the Odds

How Jeremy Lin Did It

There’s no such thing as an overnight sensation. By the time a star has emerged before the public, he has put in thousands of hours of work behind the scenes.

It was true in the case of the Beatles, who worked years in a night club in Germany. They honed their craft and by the time they played on the Ed Sullivan Show, they only seemed to be an overnight sensation.

The same is true in the case of Jeremy Lin, who blossomed this year with the Knicks but did everything he could to become the player he is now. He showed up early, stayed late, listened to his coaches, shot more than anyone, learned more than anyone, was more hungry than anyone. It’s what experts call deliberate practice.

You can find the whole story in this New York Times article. It is full of words coaches like to use: perseverance, hard work and self-belief.

Most exciting of all, not one single thing Lin did required talent. He spent lonely hours in the gym, and everyone can do that. He sought advice, and everyone can do that. He even listened to the advice, and not everyone does that. Now he’s part of the NBA’s All-Star weekend, after being cut by two NBA teams.

So if you or anyone you know is tempted to think that you just don’t have what it takes, think about Lin. He has what it takes because he went out and claimed it, not because it was given to him.

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One comment for “How Jeremy Lin Did It”

  1. I believe Lin’s real talent is his mental make-up … his dedication and consistency to specific training everyday. His passion for his sport and the desire to achieve to the next level. Some of this stuff is inborn, and we as coaches, are very important to the development of young athletic talent. Hey, did I mention “luck” also helps an athlete reach the top of their game?

    Posted by Tom Fleming | February 26, 2012, 1:24 pm

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