Rudy Gay told me this a few years ago, “Each level you go up, people are going to expect more out of you and if you don’t deliver you are going to get criticized.”
What’s this mean?
If you are going to try to accomplish anything…you are going to get criticized. So let’s dive in…how should you handle it?
Who’s the most qualified to talk on this topic? Russell Westbrook.
He was ranked the most unfairly criticized player by bleacher report.
His teammates said they’ve never seen anything like it:
When They Lose: He gets all the blame
When They Win: He doesn’t get any of the credit
That’s a tough spot to be in.
Magic Johnson said this on National TV about Westbrook, “He is the worst point guard in (NBA) Finals history.” Think about that, that’s brutal. How did Russell respond? Two games later he had 43 points and Magic apologized.
In our Film Session, The Effects of Criticism Feat. Geno Auriemma, we defined outside criticism as criticism coming from people who aren’t in your inner circle. Who’s in your inner circle?
2.) Teammates / Friends
-Essentially the one thing all of these people should have in common is: They should all want to see you do great – if they don’t, maybe they aren’t as close to you as you think they are.
So, as all of this outside criticism surrounded Russell Westbrook, his coach, Scott Brooks said this to him, “Don’t worry about what they say, you are my point guard, not theirs.”
Why is this so important?
Where is Scott Brooks? Russell’s inner circle.
So when Scott Brooks comes to his defense and says focus on what I’m telling you – that reassures Russell of what he’s doing. And I believe that’s why Russell said the best way to deal with criticism is to, “Follow your heart and listen to the people who are in it with you.”
When you do that, you’re focused on the process and not distracted by all of the things that don’t matter.