Professionalism is defined as the competence or skill expected of a professional. Kind of vague right? That is what I would like to break down in today’s blog. What is professionalism in terms of a European basketball player? No dictionary or manual can tell you how to handle professional life but be sure, fans, coaches and GM’s watch to see if you are conducting yourself accordingly. Either you are, or you aren’t. There are two areas in which you need to be professional. On and off the court.
On the court is a broader factor than you may think because it blends into some of the things you do off the court. Since your body is your capital, you have to take care of it. Are you eating properly? Are you going to physiotherapy, both to prevent injuries and to rehab bumps and bruises that we all get during the season? Have you been going to the weight room regularly? Then actually on the court, have you been studying the playbook and reading the scouting reports? Do you give your all at practice? Do you get in extra work besides the normal practice times? Are you a good teammate? Do you help the younger players or are you only concerned with your own game? Do you talk to your coach? Do you work on your mental health?
Off the court is not as clear what makes a player professional but of course, there are indicators. Do you interact with the fans, both after wins and losses? Do you act in a respectful manner with everyday people who are not necessarily fans? Do you speak with the management? Do you visit areas and resturants in the city that you play? Do you take care of your apartment and car? Are you hanging out all night before games? These are all things that you might think only have to do with you, but as a professional athlete, you have to understand that it’s also about the standing of the team in social settings as well. You will be watched, and sometimes reported to the management if you step out of line in some way.There are many more questions you could ask yourself. It is your responsibility to act responsibly. If you do so, you will also be showing professionalism.
Thank you for taking the time to read my words!