Basketball is a fantastic sport but if your worth as a person is predicated on your performance on the court, you are in for a world of trouble. If you value yourself based on what you do rather than who you are, you will encounter heartache and even possible depression.
Research by Jennifer Crocker, who has worked on a series of self-esteem studies, found in her latest research that college students who based their self-worth on external sources--including appearance, approval from others and even their academic performance--reported more stress, anger, academic problems, relationship conflicts, and had higher levels of drug and alcohol use and symptoms of eating disorders.
When an athlete places his or her entire self-worth on an external factor such as sports, there will be instability. As long as this athlete has everything going for well, he or she will be on top of the world. As soon as the challenges happen, and in every great story, challenges always happen, this player can become discouraged or even shattered.
Here is a story of a young man whose whole life was basketball.
This young man was one of the best players in the state of Washington and starting to get noticed by a number of D1 schools. One summer he went with a group of friends to a state park. At the state park was a large tree with a rope that swung people wide over the river 25 feet below. The danger of this jump lay in having to navigate the rocks below. One girl tried to swing out to drop into the river but she became frightened and clung to the rope. She was dangling out too far from the edge to help her get back to safety. The D1 Sophomore prospect reached out to help her and lost his footing falling 25 feet onto his head. He was in a coma for many days and eventually emerged. He found out his competitive basketball days were over. Before the accident basketball was his entire life. His entire worth as a person was based on his basketball. He became depressed. Some key people came into his life and began to share about life beyond basketball. He began to see that his total self-worth was connected to basketball. As he began to reconnect his worth to being alive and to the joy of giving to others, he began to rebuild his life. Now he teaches and coaches and brings hope to many people who know him. If you base your belief on the fact that God loves you and you are a person of infinite value, joy will be the outcome.
Take a look at your love for basketball. Does how you play affect your mood? Do you must have the approval of the coach to have confidence in your game? When you face difficulty, are you shaken or are you strengthened?