ife (“Hard Work Beats Talent, When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard”) – (Kevin Durant) Over this past summer, I experienced a lot of events that I think will change my life for the better. It seemed like everything started falling in place when I got an unexpected call from a college coach from a small school called Samford University. I was shocked that I received the call because for one, I’d never even heard of the school he was calling from. Also, I never actually played a full game of football in high school.
The reason he’d called me is because he said he was at one of the previous scouting camps I attended a few weeks prior, and he liked my athleticism and how I always worked hard and never gave up, even when he saw I was having a hard time. He wanted me to attend one of the school sponsored scouting camps that he was putting together, and he offered to get me in for free so I gladly accepted. When I arrived at the camp, I was very nervous because there were a lot more major college coaches there than I expected, and the combine included college students also, so I wasn’t just competing against any regular competitors.
There were 6 different events that we were doing that day, and I had never done any of them at any previous camps so I had no faith in myself from the start. At the first event, the 40 Yard Dash, I had to race a college linebacker from another school so I had to prove to my coaches that I could take on any challenge they threw at me from the beginning. But everything didn’t go quite as I expected. On my first try I false started 2 seconds early, and everyone was laughing at me so I started to down myself. On the 2nd attempt, I false started again!
It wasn’t as early as the previous one, but I was wasting all of my chances at getting an official time because I was too nervous to even start on time. On the 3rd and final attempt, I managed to get off on a good start and run a 4. 92, but the scouts weren’t very impressed by that because they knew and I knew that I could do better than what I was showing them. At the next event, the Running back drills, I was already nervous because of how bad I had done at the previous event, and it showed in my actions.
When I went up to catch passes from one of the quarterbacks that was attending the camp with me, normal passes that I could catch in my sleep became difficult for me to complete. I was so worried about messing up again that I wasn’t performing to my full potential. The coach that recruited me to attend the camp took notice at my performance and pulled me aside and talked to me. He told me “he knows for a fact that I could do better, and he wants to see the athlete that he saw at the previous camp, not the nervous one that he had seen today.
Just believe in myself and perform to the best of my abilities for the duration of the camp and everything would be fine”. Then he gave me a quote to think of when I got down, “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard”. Now I don’t know what it was about that speech, but when I went back to the drill, everything seemed to fall into place. I was catching every single pass the quarterback threw me, even the ones that were badly placed. When I re-did my 40 Yard Dash, my time dropped from a 4. 2 to a 4. 8. From that point on, I exceed all my expectations at every other event that was available to me at the camp. After that day, I learned that I can’t down myself every time I mess up at something, I have to just keep doing my best and to forget the rest. And whenever I get to the point where I want to just give up, I always remember that quote that the coach told me, “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard. Word Count: 695