Originally Posted by stevieming
probably phrased question wrong. In that physically, of course you can carry on playing until you're 50. What I was trying to get at was the drop off in physical ability, so much so you start not to enjoy the game as much.
Just standing around and getting to a spot for a jump shot isn't fun for me. I get more enjoyment out of beating my man off the dribble and going in for a drive. Which isn't happening too often these days, and when I do get there, I'm getting my shot blocked or throwing an ugly shot off the rim/backboard because I am coming down to earth too quickly.
To be fair, my passing game has improved now that I don't try to score so much. Always could pass but didn't want to, now I find I can impact a game more by passing. And I am enjoying getting assists but I just miss being able to knife through and score whenever I wanted to...
Anyone packed it in because of that?
I'd be curious to know your age.
I've been thinking about the end of my athletic prime for most of the last 10 years. I'm 28 now, but when I graduated high school, I kind of thought I'd be heading athletically down hill right then. Of course, I soon realized I actually hadn't yet reached my athletic peak.
Now, assuming I've peaked, I'm kind of wondering how things are going to go from here. Like, when's it going to start heading downward and how? I was jumping as high as ever this past summer, but I think I was dunking in games a little less than I used to. I'm wondering if that's a reflection of my endurance slacking due to age or because I didn't train as hard.
I've been fearing not being able to dunk or chasedown block folk for a long time. Thankfully, I think knowing my time was limited in being able to do things like that, I did not take them for granted. I enjoyed my athletic prime. And to be clear, my basketball skills go well beyond dunking, blocking, and general athleticism, but there's no denying that athleticism enhances most of those on-court abilities.
If it helps at all, one of my friends just turned 40 and he's still an elite, minor league level player. He works very hard to maintain his shape and abilities though. He's around 6'0'' and used to be a fringe dunker. I recall him trying to dunk (and often succeeding) during our practices in the late 90's (he was an assistant coach). He doesn't try to dunk anymore, but he still seems pretty darn athletic and whatnot. Practicing with his minor league team, he says the biggest difference between him now and younger him is his defensive stamina. He can still operate in every other facet, but he said it was tough keeping the young guards in front of him.
I think aging past prime is a tough transition for any athlete who prides themselves in their abilities. I also like to think it's something many struggle with for a while, but then slowly embrace over time. I'm guessing the initial drop is the worst, the "I thought I was going to dunk that but now my body will not let me and now everyone feels bad for the guy who hasn't realized what he can't do anymore" phase. I figure it comes down to coming to terms with who your older self becomes as a basketball player. Embrace it.