Editor's Note: When Alexis first told me about this story, I couldn't believe it. I wasn't the timing, or the suspense, it was the fact that she was "lucky" to be in the right situation. She was "glad" that it allowed her team to win. She told me the story like it was no big deal. IT IS A HUGE DEAL. But that just shows her character. She may have found herself in a lucky situation but I found that "luck is when preparation meets opportunity" and that the harder you work, the "luckier" you get. She is the founder of Champions Training Academy and member of Team On 3.
Luck + Preparation
Having a champion mindset is something that will follow you everywhere. It applies to more than just athletics, it applies to everything you do in all aspects of your life. Every tool that you learn helps teach you, shape you, and molds you into not only a champion-caliber competitor but it also makes you more mentally tough. Ever since I can remember, my dad had been training me to be a champion. He constantly encouraged and pushed my brother and I to: stay focused, work hard, be resilient, to persevere, to give it your all, to be selfless… the list goes on. As a kid, sometimes these lessons are hard to grasp. As a kid, sometimes you get frustrated and can't comprehend why your coach (in this case my dad) pushed you so hard for so long. As a kid, you can't understand, until you have a moment like I had in the 2008 NCAA Final Four game in Tampa, FL.
April 6, 2008
NCAA Final Four:
Tennessee Lady Vols vs. LSU Tigers
That day, I had the worse offensive game of my Tennessee Lady Vol career, I mean I did not make one shot the entire game and the clock was winding down to the final seconds. Not only did I not make a shot, but I also committed a dumb foul that sent the LSU tigers to the foul line where they took the lead with seconds left in the game.
Now at this very moment I had to options:
1. I become a mental midget and claim defeat, or
2. Remember that I am a champion!
I had no choice, the second option was my only one. Tick Tock My teammate (Candace Parker) got the ball and dribbled the length of the court, full speed and dished it to our other teammate (Nicky Anosike) for a lay up. She missed. Luckily, I was right there to make the last second tip-in that gave us back the lead with no time left and solidified our spot in the National Championship game where we became back-to-back NCAA Champions. The bottom line is that if the ingredients I needed to embody what a champion was didn’t get drilled into me as a young athlete I would have folded in the moment instead of embracing it and capitalizing on it. To this day, that tip-in moment was one of the best moments in my career as a basketball player. I still thank God to this day for giving me the strength I needed to be a Champion.
April 6, 2008
NCAA Final Four
Tennessee Lady Vols: 47
LSU Tigers: 46
Alexis is hosting a camp for Champions Training Academy on June 2-3 in Las Vegas, NV at the Tarkanian Basketball Academy. Click HERE for more details.