Other than asserting dominance on the hard court, what every basketball athlete possibly desires to achieve every single game is command the attention of his audience. The full, undulated attention of the fans, TV viewers, teammates, opponents, sponsors, the coaches, and team owners sitting courtside.
This is especially true for fresh graduates gunning for a rookie draft. But Rain or Shine Elasto Painters guard Jeff Chan firmly believes that even PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) veterans and superstars must never lose the desire to—for the lack of a less competitive word—show off and prove their worth.
Because while skill, talent, and attitude are the fundamentals of a great basketball players, it’s the competitiveness and willingness to work harder than just about anyone in the team that dictates an athlete’s staying power.
After all, professional basketball athletes are technically contractual employees. “If we don’t perform at our best or don’t improve on our game, we might not get resigned and lose our contracts,” Chan tells FWD Life Insurance Philippines.
“You must stay on top of your game. Set your goals and make them happen. If you want to beat the best players in the league, never stop working and training until you do so. If you have a championship goal, you must play to win and play like a champion,” he explains.
These things never escape the eyes of the coaches and team owners. But Jeff doesn’t do all these for the team owners or the contract. He does it for himself, his dream, and, most importantly, his family.
In 2015, Chan signed a maximum, three-year deal with Rain or Shine worth PhP15.12 million, which guarantees his contract with the Elasto Painters until 2018. But more importantly, securing the deal meant the six-foot-two guard can ably save up and prepare for his two young daughter’s future.
To stay in top shape during game time—and to make sure that he’ll have enough energy to spend time with his kids after that—Chan, apart from his team’s daily practice, trains and exercises on his own at the gym. His usual fitness routine? “Push-ups, sit-ups, and carrying my kids,” he quips.
During off season, Chan admits that he takes a workout break to give his unbridled attention to his family. “Coming back to the court and the gym after off season is tricky sometimes. I feel somewhat sluggish, like my body is still in “vacation mode.” But at the same time, I like to take my mind off basketball and training during breaks para pagbalik ko sa training, na-miss ko siya. Mas gigil ako mag workout.
And while his career is obviously at its peak, Chan and his wife are wasting no time investing on a future post-basketball. Apart from getting insurance, the couple is making a big financial push by starting their own poultry farm/business.
“It’s for athletes to take control of their finances. Basketball is not forever. Plus, there are health risks and injuries that could possibly derail careers. There’s no way of telling when it will happen so while you’re able and healthy and fit, prepare for it. It’s always reassuring to know that you have something to fall back on and you have something set aside for your family,” he ends.