Ray AllenFew are born great. Most achieve greatness through unrelenting effort. Day in and day out persistence, practice, practice, practice, and yet even more perseverance.

Case in point: In the 6th game of the 2013 NBA finals, the Miami Heat trailed the San Antonio Spurs 95-92 with mere seconds to go. The pressure was intense for it was an elimination game for the Heat. Defeat would crush their dreams to join the Lakers as the only teams to win back-to-back championships in the last 15 years. Lebron James took the first 3 point shot, missing badly. As he saw James shoot, Ray Allen, the NBA career leader in 3-point shooting, moved in to prepare for the possible offensive rebound. When teammate Bosh grabbed the rebound, Allen rapidly back peddled to the 3 point line to receive the Bosh pass & send in the three pointer that sent the game into overtime.

“As smooth and effortless as it appears …. he (Allen) was compelled to say the art of retreating, catching and getting his legs set under him was not as easy as it looked…. ‘It’s tough. Believe it or not, I work on it quite often, I try to put my body in a precarious situations coming from different parts of the floor, different angles.'”  — New York Times, June 13, 2013, p.B14

The pros make it look easy but beyond that “effortless look” is a lifetime of effort.

The secret to success is the same for you and me: work hard, work smart, commit to continuous learning and never-ending improvement. Practice, practice, practice.

Closing quotes:

“The will to prepare to win is more important than the will to win.”   — Vince Lombardi; 1913–1970, Green Bay Packers coach, after whom the Super Bowl trophy is named

“Success is the sum of small effort, repeated day in and day out.”  — Robert Collier; 1895-1950