"Blunt honesty. Consistency. NO ego."
The question was, "What qualities do you aspire to exude every day as a teammate in the NBA?"
This week on the #RaisingAthletes Podcast, Susie and I interviewed, NBA Champion, Channing Frye. The 6'11" former All-American who played at the University of Arizona before making it in the NBA for the last 12 years. He has played for several teams including the Orlando Magic, the Portland Trailblazers, the Cleveland Cavaliers and most recently the Los Angeles Lakers. He took some time with us to talk about his mindset, how he approaches basketball, hard work, resilience and being a father of four small children.
Frye was a "late bloomer" in basketball by today's standards. I.e, he didn't start really playing hoops until the 9th grade when the band director told the then 6'8" trumpet player, "Channing, you need to go to P.E., not band this period."
Frye remembers that moment, "I cried. I loved playing the trumpet."
But he also realized that with his size and his coordination, he could be an impact player if he decided to work at it.
The unofficial word "in the NBA locker room" is that Frye is a great teammate. He's a guy you want to have on the team, because whether he's on the floor or on the bench he's giving 120% at all times.
A couple years ago, he had a set back as he was diagnosed with a heart condition and had to take a year off from playing. It was in that moment he realized he could either feel sorry for himself, or he could get to work, preparing mentally for his return.
How often do we get faced with set-backs? Your child gets cut from the top team? Or didn't play as much as she would have liked to? Or is told by the college coaches, "We're not sure you're college level material."
These are the golden moments, where, like Frye, YOU get to decide,
"Am I going to take this feedback as gospel and not work as hard on my body, on my game, or on my mindset? Or am I going to work EVERY day to prove them wrong?"
Back when I was playing college volleyball and was looking to transfer from San Diego State University, I took a visit to the University of Virginia (UVa). The volleyball coach was underwhelmed by me. She barely took ten minutes to meet with me when I showed up on campus. As she was brushing me off and telling me she had to run, I remember politely smiling and saying, "Thank you for your time."
And as I drove away, I promised myself when I attended the "little school down south" (aka The College of William & Mary), whenever we played UVa, we would never lose.
And we didn't. Not on my watch.
"When they give you coal..... Make fire." - Channing Frye
Frye had some wonderful insights into what to do with that coal and how to have the mindset of a champion. We decide we are champions and then we do the work to get there.
Frye's Top 6 Mindset of a Champion Tips
1) Be a good teammate. You need to be in the gym like you are the worst player out there.
2) Be early (for everything). If coach tells you to be there at 8am, get there at 7:30am and get 100 shots up.
3) Do extra. If coach tells you you need to work on your rebounding, ask him for feedback and find a way to get more reps in practice, every day.
4) Don't be entitled. You are not so special. Be humble. Let your game speak for itself. Your hard work will win you playing time.
5) Be available to your teammates to take criticism and be coached. Don't let your ego get in your way of getting better. Guys often feel like they need to act like they are already good at every thing. You're not. Take the feedback and make improvements to your game.
6) Decompress. Get off the social media! Stop reading and listening to what everyone else thinks about you or who's the best right now. None of that matters. Give your brain time to chill.
The BEST athletes I know do this.....
Frye had a very specific answer to this question.
It's what Lebron does every day and it's won him championships. Listen to the end of the podcast for this morsel.
It's what all peak performers do... and it's gold.
This Week on the #RaisingAthletes Podcast:
Channing Frye: The Mindset of an NBA Champion
This week on the #RaisingAthletes Podcast, we LOVED speaking with Channing about all things peak performance, including how he is raising his four kids.
"Are you going to insist your kids are athletes?"... listen in, to hear his hilarious response to this question.
For those parents out there who are #RaisingAthletes and are enjoying our podcast, we'd be so stoked if you would take a moment to go onto ITunes, give us some feedback and share the podcast with other parents out there who aspire to raise not only strong athletes but extraordinary people.