I remember back about 8 years ago when I was just dying to get my first championship. Today, 26 championships later, I still have that desire to win. The only thing that has settled into me has been my body and time working against me. I have been very fortunate to get on some good teams, some lucky teams, and turned in some great performances in order to be successful in a playoff tournament. At the same time, I remember some of the crushing defeats. Those defeats fuel me to do better.
I have already achieved my goal of 25 championships this year and that was in the first week. Now, with this last playoff tournament upon me, I find myself in familiar territory. Neither of the teams I am on are favored to win it. Both long shots. The main differences between 6-7 years ago and today are the fact that I am older and a little banged up, but wiser than I used to be.
I was complacent last playoffs. I was not focused and it showed in my play. I was 100% healthy and really didn’t play my best games. I lost in two finals games and really put a question mark over my head. I wondered if my ability to play in clutch situations really was leaving me. This time it will be different.
In order to be successful this time around, I have to revert back to the way I was 5-6 years ago. Excited for my team’s success. Doing the little things right like coming out to take the shot. Rely on my teammates to help me out. All these things equate into playoff success.
As I promised myself, if I fail I will not get down on myself or my team. I will take it for what it is and move on. After all, I have had so much success over the last 8 years and I cannot ignore that. At the same time though, losing sucks. I am in it to win it just like any season. I am just more focused than I was last season.
I just wish my body was at 100%. The nagging bruises and pulled muscle in my leg are going to be a pain to deal with…..until I pop a 800mg ibuprofen.