‘I Never Had the Gifted Speed but I Always Had Great Coaching’

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On the day that he was to become a professional athlete, ‘I had one foot in heaven and one foot on earth.’ After being crippled by injury at an early age, hockey player Mark Smith found success through mentorship with his coach. In order for athletes of all ages to find success, it is important for them to have guidance from someone who understands their situation and has experience in overcoming adversity.

The “nba teams” is a blog post written by the former NBA player, Chris Bosh. In this article, he talks about how he never had the natural talent but always received great coaching.

‘I Never Had the Gifted Speed but I Always Had Great Coaching’

Larry Bird never completely outran a defender and slammed a nasty dunk in his face. He was never blessed with the athletic prowess of his competitor Magic Johnson. The Boston Celtics legend, on the other hand, may have had the greatest fundamentally sound game in NBA history.

Even at the height of his career in 1985, The Legend was quick to praise a few coaches for assisting him in his development into a future Hall of Famer. It wasn’t, though, Red Auerbach or KC Jones.

It was his high school coaches. Bird referred to them as his “Biddy League” coaches.

Before joining the Boston Celtics, Larry Bird was a superb player.

Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird learned everything he needed from his youth coaches.

Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird learned everything he needed from his youth coaches. During an NBA game at The Boston Garden, Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics makes a free throw against the Milwaukee Bucks. | Getty Images/Focus on Sport

Bird was a top recruit after graduating from Springs Valley High School. According to, he had already accumulated 1,125 points by the time he graduated in 1974.

He was chosen an Indiana All-Star and obtained a scholarship to play at Indiana University under Bob Knight, averaging 30.6 points and 20.5 rebounds per game.

Bird, on the other hand, dropped out of IU and went to Indiana State. When he led the Sycamores to an undefeated regular season in 1979, he was awarded College Player of the Year.

According to Sports Reference, he averaged 28.6 points a night that season, with 14.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 2.5 steals.

In that year’s National Championship game, he faced Johnson for the first time, and it was the beginning of an epic, career-long rivalry between the two.

The Legend praised his young coaches for instilling in him a love for the game.

Bird said in a New York Times piece that his boyhood coaches had the greatest influence on his career.

I’ve never had natural speed, but I’ve always had excellent coaching, dating back to my days in the Biddy League. Jim Jones, my high school coach, undoubtedly had the most impact on my game. He was a firm believer in teaching principles, leadership, and the value of teamwork.

He instilled in his students that basketball is much more than simply sprinting up and down the floor. He would constantly emphasize that getting a pass to a teammate with a better shot than you was just as satisfying as scoring yourself.

Larry Bird talks about learning how to play basketball as a child.

When he got to the NBA, he wasn’t a completed product. Larry’s growth proceeded. But the groundwork had been built long before he arrived at Indiana State.

Bird built his career on that basis and went on to become an all-time great.

The 6-foot-9 forward used to dominate the NBA with his dribbling, passing, shooting, and unselfishness.

He improved his physical abilities. But, as Bird put it, “leadership and the necessity of team play,” as well as the mindset of finding your teammate an open shot, are all important aspects of his game.

The first time he faced Magic was in the 1979 National Championship Game. For the remainder of their careers, they continued to meet face to face.

Larry, on the other hand, had all he needed to keep up with — and even beat — Earvin. And he figured it out before he graduated from high school.

Unless otherwise stated, all statistics are courtesy of Basketball Reference.

RELATED: Larry Bird’s Indiana State coach saw him playing basketball with a resort kitchen staff and persuaded him to join the Sycamores with one simple phrase: ‘That’s when I realized I’d found him.’

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The “black nba coaches” is a book by the former NBA coach, George Karl. The book talks about how he never had the gifted speed but always had great coaching.

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