Two years ago, I was inducted into my high school's athetic Hall of Fame. I was allowed an opportunity to speak to current high school students during a varsity boys basketball game. Here is a section of the speech I am sharing as I have had requests to hear what I spoke about at the event. Enjoy!
This moment is a little different and creates a unique opportunity, an opportunity to share critical life principles. People often ask me how does a small town kid, from Lima Ohio earn a scholarship to a Division I university? How'd I know what to do to get where a got? I want all you young people to listen to my answer. It's called knowing what you're good at, how hard you're willing to work for it, and being consistent. Three traits that translate in any generation and any job setting.
Being able to find something you are passionate about as well as actually naturally good at is not the easiest thing to accomplish. As a high school student, you need to experience the most you can from wherever you can. Don't define yourself just yet by one sport, or one hobby, or one person's opinion; keep trying out new things and different experiences. You might surprise yourself at what you are really, really good at doing. Never let others define what you're good at, you define yourself.
I've also had people say they wish someone had told them how hard they needed to work to achieve their goals. Well no one told me and no one will ever tell you. The only person that can answer that question is you. Are you truly working hard, giving something everything you have, are you taking advantage of every resource and person available to you to make you better? You should consistently be in competition with yourself.
And lastly, the most important principle is consistency. Consistency shows value. Consistency is necessary for trust, durability, and longevity. You have to show up every week no matter how difficult the game or life might be. For me, I didn't just show consistency, but I did everything in my power to be the best that I possibly could. Over time, being consistent at taking advantage of all your resources and consistently being at your highest level, you will reach your goals and you will be highly recruitable in almost any arena in life.
There is a reason they call it chasing your dreams and not walking after them. Don't hope someone gives you an opportunity, create one for yourself.