Ray Allen has a gift. An uncanny talent at making 3-point shots. The Boston Celtics NBA player is so good at it that he was officially entered into the record books as the best, the greater, the number one three-point shooter in history. Yeah, he’s that good.
After his 2,561st three-pointer he officially took the title he went straight for the man whose record he broke, the great Reggie Miller. Then he took a moment to kiss his mom, his wife and his children.
But it isn’t just his physically attributes and genetic gifts that make him a great player.
“People are born with certain physical gifts, size, speed and quickness,” said Magic coach Stan Van Gundy. “But skills? No. He did not come out of the womb being able to shoot a basketball. That has to be developed.” And Ray Allen developed those with a hardcore work ethic and the other thing he credits for his success? His “borderline” obsessive compulsive disorder.
The Boston Globe notes that,”[Allen's] pregame ritual does not waver: a nap from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., a meal of chicken and white rice at 2:30, an arrival time at the gym at precisely 3:45 to stretch. Allen will shave his head, then walk out to the court at exactly 4:30. He will methodically take shots from both baselines, both elbows, and the top of the key.”
And he is focused, very focused. And that really did help him not just become a successful player, but to be one who is a Hall of Famer and makes legendary records.
As parents we can learn from this. If our kids have some kind of issue like OCD or any of the autism spectrum disorders, then – pardon the expression – one can try to make lemons out of lemonade. To take those aspects of their “disorders” they might have and try to see how to make them a positive rather than a negative. To learn to embrace those differences and to make them work for them rather than against them. And Ray Allen, he is an inspirational story. Through his OCD lens, he was able to fine tune his game, both physically and mentally, to accomplish what no one had done before.
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