I have really stinky sneakers right now. Certainly not the scent of an athlete others enjoy, but strangely, it makes me happy. I loved playing sports growing up and the stink combined with fall makes me nostalgic for my high school and college game days.
Maybe that is why I really enjoyed spending last Monday afternoon with Mike Jensen, sports reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer. I listened to the interview with Pat Brogan, observed Penn’s basketball practice and attended the Sixers/Celtics exhibition game.
Mike is writing an article on Pat Brogan and will cover Pat’s journey with Dystonia, the Philadelphia basketball network and Pat’s career as a coach. It was a great day walking around Penn’s campus, meeting the coaches and watching the athletes at both the collegiate and professional levels.
I was watching the players closely as they practiced in the historic Palestra, often called the cathedral of college basketball. Who would I pick for the starting line up? I was taking into account the individual intensity, the physical agility, the team participation, etc. I think I have a good sense of what makes a great athlete and team player. I will have to check back and hopefully get to a game to see if my picks were in line with former NBA player and head coach, Jerome Allen.
A few hours later, I liked hearing the salaries for the NBA players and really thinking about what makes an athlete worth $17M/year. I found an interesting description from the Sport Science Lab; a great athlete is more than just the sum of their attributes. A great athlete brings something beyond the average. This includes the necessary physical aspects: balance, control, flexibility, coordination, stability, rhythm but also the mental aspects of athleticism: determination, power, and acuity.
There are athletes that come along with that special something they were perhaps born with, ie genetics. I am a big believer that this gives you a leg up, but it has to be combined with the right training and passion. From Pig Pen’s humble point of view, this does not only apply to sports, but to business and personal achievements as well.
Wine pick of the week: Radius, a Red Wine Blend, Washington State ($8)