It may seem like the top professional athletes make their sports look easy and effortless, but at the heart of every successful athlete there is a drive to overcome adversity and challenges. Here are five inspiring sporting tales to tell the next up and coming athletes to never give up and keep pushing.
Michael Jordan Despite all the success Michael Jordan had during his playing career, it did not start with much fanfare. As a fifteen year old, Jordan was cut from the Varsity high school team. He used that as motivation, constantly improving his game over the summer and in his Junior year, Jordan made the team. The rest is history, as Jordan went on to win six NBA titles and is regarded as arguably the greatest basketball player ever.
JJ Watt Coming out of high school in Wisconsin, JJ Watt was not highly regarded. He was only a two-star recruit, and no major colleges showed much interest in him. After initially committing to Central Michigan, Watt transferred to the University of Wisconsin as a walk-on. He spent two years with there before being drafted 11th overall in the 2011 NFL draft. He’s since won 3 Defensive Player of the Year awards and has had two 20+ sack seasons.
Anthony Rizzo Although now a star first-basemen for the Chicago Cubs, Rizzo’s career could have come to a halt before it even began. Rizzo was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2008, and went through chemotherapy for six months before going into remission. Since then, Rizzo has worked his way up to become an integral part of the Cubs team that won the 2016 World Series, breaking the 108 year drought, one of the longest in sports history.
Milan LucicLucic’s path to the NHL was fraught with multiple setbacks. He was initially passed over in the 2003 WHL Bantam Draft, and was diagnosed with Scheuermann’s disease around the same time — a condition that causes the upper back of a person to curve. After playing a season with the Coquitlam Express in the BCHL, he was called up to the Vancouver Giants of the WHL where he played two seasons and won the Memorial Cup in 2007. He made the Boston Bruins out of training camp the same year, and has racked up 182 goals in 729 regular seasons games since. He won the Stanley Cup in 2011 with the Bruins.
Cristiano Ronaldo Ronaldo was born on the small island of Madeira, off the coast of Portugal. However, Ronaldo did not grow up with much. “I was brought up with nothing, we were very poor” said Ronaldo back in 2011. “I had no toys and no Christmas presents. I shared a room with my brother and two sisters and my parents slept in the other.” Since then, Ronaldo has become one of most recognized celebrities on the planet, and one of the greatest soccer players of all time.
All of these star athletes had reasons to give up, and call it a day. But they did not. They benefited from having support around them. Whether it was from parents, coaches, managers and peers. This sporting support is what gave these athletes a great chance at becoming some of the world’s best, even in the face of personal adversity. How can future stars of sport reach the pinnacle? Well, PlayyOn is a great all-in-one sports management software tool, that makes it easy for coaches and sports administrators to organize teams. This allows the coaches to coach and the athletes to compete without the worry of where to locate all their sporting needs as it is all inclusive within PlayyOn. So sign up today and try it out!