I love the playoffs in any sport. It has drama, upsets, tension, and big moments. No matter the sport, we see the superstars rise to the top, but we also inevitably see an relatively unknown athlete have a minute in the spotlight. Sometimes this occasion wins a game or changes momentum, but it is very rarely expected.
In last night's NBA playoff game between the Houston Rockets and Portland Trailblazers, a player named Troy Daniels hit a huge shot. This was a make-or-break moment for Houston as they would have most likely been out of the playoffs very soon if they lost this game. In a big moment, Troy hit a three pointer to give his team the lead. I think it is safe to say that he was the most unlikely hero last night. He had only played in five (5!) total games so far this season and yet was able to come through in the clutch.
While Troy might not been expected to hit a game winning shot it was also not the first three pointer of his life. He once made 11 3-pointers in a game in college and took 599 3-point shots while playing the Developmental League. This was his first opportunity on the big stage, but he had been preparing for it his entire career.
We might have the "opportunity of a lifetime" fall into our lap, but we have a better chance of finding that opportunity if we're preparing for it all along. Sitting on the sidelines without developing our skills won't get us into the game. We've got to be willing to devote the hours to practice if we expect to find success when the opportunity arrives.