Training camp gets a lot easier when you’ve been here before. This season is my second with the Suns. Last year, I guess I could have been considered a rookie. I was so overwhelmed with everything, I didn’t really notice things. It’s all just a blur. I was trying to do everything perfectly and not screw up. I didn’t do anything unless I was specifically told and then only when I was specifically told how to do it. When I wrote a blog post, I sent it to all of the “veterans” of the Suns.com staff for review and I only posted it after I got approval from them all.
This year, I’m a lot more comfortable. I know a bit more about what my role is. I’ve learned how to enjoy my time while still working hard. I can get more things done in a shorter period of time because I have more experience at this level.
In this morning’s practice, I noticed the same thing happened with the rookies on the team. After doing warm-ups where the players went through several different stations, they had to run from baseline to baseline – running backwards, running with their knees way up, reaching up to the sky while running, etc.
The rookies were doing everything very precisely. When they ran, they made sure to touch the baseline each time and did the exercise exactly. When the players were told to increase their speed, they visibly increased the speed. And the rookies were the first ones to get down and back during each exercise.
The veterans, on the other hand, did things a bit differently. They didn’t always touch the baseline each time. They seemed to have a better time warming up because they were kidding with each other as they did it.
During some of the drills, the rookies were trying to dribble perfectly and seemed to get ticked at themselves if they missed a shot. Not so for the veterans. They still did the drills, and most times did them better than the rookies, but they weren’t upset with themselves if they missed a shot. They just grabbed the ball and passed it on.
I guess this shouldn’t surprise me as the same thing probably happens in every job. The more you do something, the more you get used to doing it. And if you’re comfortable with doing something, you’re more likely to have fun and be successful at it. So to the rookies, I say: Good luck and have fun. I can tell you from experience, training camp gets easier as you go along.