Basketball Motivational Videos – A Niche Genre

What it takes to make it into the NBA.

Everybody who has been playing basketball for a while probably has seen a basketball motivational video. Basically it is a montage of NBA players and prospects doing their grueling workout. A voice over is added of a motivational speaker in sports (like Alan Stein or Eric Thomas) telling you how much hard work matters. These videos normally don’t involve a highlight reel of the player’s best plays, but the focus lays on the hard work the player puts in off the court.

I decided declaring basketball motivational videos a niche genre, since I couldn’t find an article from a larger sports news outlet writing about these videos. This genre also feels niche, because it is hard to imagine anyone watching these videos just as a fan of a team or the player shown in the video, but more because you also play basketball and want to improve. But enough explaining, here are two of my favorite basketball motivational videos.

Colin Stanton – What is Hard Work

So this video was made from Colin Stanton and the voice in the background is Alan Stein, the director of performance for Pure Sweat Basketball. The main theme of the video is about what ‘working hard’ really means. Alan Stein defines it as taking yourself to a point of discomfort. I suggest watching the video to really understand what he is talking about.

How Bad Do You Want It

This video is older and I remember seeing this almost 7 years ago. The speaker here is Eric Thomas and the story he tells is a little more symbolic, rather than him exactly telling you what hard work is compared to Alan Stein. Also always important when creating a motivational video is some good background music, just like here the track ‘first breath after coma’ from Explosions in the Sky. I like how Eric Thomas also uses examples like 50 cent, superstars outside of basketball, to show where hard work can take you.

Motivation beyond Basketball

I really enjoy watching basketball motivational videos and apply the wisdom explained in that context on other fields, not just basketball. For example to become a good computer scientist also requires you to work hard, work smart and work consistently. In general every kind of craftsmanship requires you to not only think about the final product, but also the process. It’s easy to forget how much effort is put even in the simplest things.

On the other hand, these motivational videos often speak about the sacrifices people make to become a top performer in their respective fields. It’s true that sacrifices have to be made, may it be your free time or giving up on another hobby. But this can easily escalate to you giving up on time for friends or family members and your pursuit to perfection can become obsessive and destructive. Here I think one has to question, what is really important for them and consider what is really worth sacrificing. This point often falls flat in these motivational videos.

This was all I wanted to say about basketball motivational videos. Drop a link to your favorite motivational video, may it be basketball or another topic, in the comment section below.

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