In most occupations – banking, medicine, teaching, etc. – professional status requires specialised skills and proficiency. Basketball is no different – you have demonstrated expert abilities and you are paid for those skills.
However, having professional status is not the same as being a professional. A professional is someone who:
- Demonstrates rare abilities and common sense, and then uses these gifts in their professional life.
- Is considerate towards other people and demonstrates self-control.
- Takes pride in the work that he or she does and is focused on the task at hand. A real professional is willing to go the extra mile to make sure that everything is done, and the responsibilities of the day are complete.
- Knows that people deserve respect and that to gain respect, you need to show respect to others.
If you are a professional, you are going to get ahead in your career simply because you know how to treat people. In addition, being a professional can also benefit you in social settings. For instance, the more you demonstrate professionalism off-the-court, the more likely you are to be viewed as a potential leader, which can lead to tremendous opportunities during and following your basketball career.