When Preparation Meets Opportunity
Luck is when Preparation meets Opportunity
by Coach Amanda Kephart
Athletes are not lucky or unlucky, simply they are either prepared or unprepared. An athlete’s life is one of preparation, one of behind the scenes hard work that readies them for both the expected and unexpected opportunities of sports.
A game is to an athlete what a test is to a student. Both are opportunities to show others what you have learned, practiced, and studied. Those that have studied and practiced the best often find themselves “luckier” on the test or in the game. Sayings like, “I’m lucky the test questions were about what I studied” are very similar to “I’m lucky the ball came my way.” Both are reflections of preparedness. If you didn’t study and if you didn’t know what to do with the ball when it came your way would have made you “less lucky.”
How can you become a luckier (more prepared) athlete?
First, make a list of the main skills you will be tested on during a game. For example, if you are a basketball player you will at some point be tested on your passing. Your list will give you your main areas of study.
Second, ask your coach, or soon to be coach, what skills they will grade you on. It won’t matter if you’re a great dribbler when your coach is looking for a great rebounder. Understanding what skills are important to your coach is just as important, if not more important, as knowing what skills are needed in a game. Think of your coach as your teacher grading you on your test (the game).
Third, schedule a time to do your homework, study, and practice. Just knowing, without taking action, is as good as waiting until the night before to prepare for a test. There is no way your performance will be as good as it could’ve been if you would of been preparing multiple times beforehand. And you will surely not be as lucky when unforeseen opportunities present themselves.
Unlucky athletes like to call other athletes lucky because it takes the responsibility off of themselves. Admitting that a lucky athlete was actually a more prepared athlete just exposes those unlucky, less prepared athletes. Follow the three steps above to improve your luck!