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“Like They’re Not Even There…”

A neighbor on my block growing up had one of those portable basketball courts with the adjustable height. They kept it behind their house in the driveway, and the rim was always lowered to around 8 feet (a regulation hoop is 10 feet)— low enough for any of us kids to dunk on. A guy […]

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“Like They’re Not Even There…” Dre Baldwin DreAllDay.com

A neighbor on my block growing up had one of those portable basketball courts with the adjustable height. They kept it behind their house in the driveway, and the rim was always lowered to around 8 feet (a regulation hoop is 10 feet)— low enough for any of us kids to dunk on.

A guy named Willie was the best at dunking in traffic — or more accurately, getting us to move out of his way when he came driving in for a slam.

Willie and I had been in the same classes in elementary school. Willie has hit puberty earlier than me — he was slightly taller and weighed more — but was the same age and wasn’t a basketball player. All my later years at the local playgrounds playing ball on the regulation, 10-foot rims, I never saw Willie there even one time. 

When we played on that driveway court, though, Willie dominated. He didn’t do any moves; Willie would just take a dribble or two, go up and power dunk with two hands. That’s all I ever remember him doing. 

I knew I was just as athletic as Willie, if not more. But I never dunked on everyone that way. My presence just didn’t intimidate the other players the way Willie’s did. 

The good thing for me was that I was wise enough to ask him how he did it. How do you just go in and dunk on everyone like that on these 8-foot rims, Willie? 

“Just act like they’re not even there,” he told me matter-of-factly, right before he went and did it again, a two-hand Shaq-style tomahawk. No one bothered trying to block it.

Like I said, Willie wasn’t a basketball player. But his advice was insightful beyond the game. 

1) Do what you would do if no one cared what you did, as if you couldn’t hear anyone’s opinion of you. It’s probably different from what you’re doing now.

2) Understand that people are quick to stop you or offer advice before you begin — but will stand aside and give you space once you start moving. 

3) Whatever you choose to do, do boldly. 

Go and grab your free copy of my book The Mirror Of Motivation so you can put your best self forward — which means the world moving out your way like we did for Willie on that court. 

Claim your copy here: http://MirrorOfMotivation.com

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