betting on yourself fred van vleet

THE MYTH ABOUT BETTING ON YOURSELF: WHY THE RIGHT COACH, TEAM AND SYSTEM MATTER

SHIFTER’s Kevin Bourne talks about Toronto Raptors guard Fred Van Vleet and the myth about betting on yourself.

Ever since Toronto Raptors guard, Fred Van Vleet, overcame the odds by going undrafted and eventually playing a key role in the Raptors’ Championship run, the term “bet on yourself” has never been more popular. Not only has the term been referenced by other NBA stars, but it’s become a motivational meme both in Instagram and in business. It gained even more relevance in recent weeks with Van Vleet being voted to the NBA All-Star game for the first time, making him only the fifth undrafted player in NBA history to become an all-star.

But Van Vleet’s bet on himself and rise to NBA stardom has led to a myth―that betting on yourself means doing it by yourself. For some “Bet on yourself” has become synonymous with “Screw everybody, I can do this on my own”.

While Van Vleet was clearly slept on, looking deeper into his story we see that betting on himself didn’t mean doing it by himself. Along with an unshakeable confidence in his talents, he had three other things that contributed to his success―the right coach, team and system to compliment his talents. Not only is this true for athletes, but for all talents in media and entertainment. Many artists and creators can’t figure out why they’re so talented, but haven’t achieved the level of success they feel they should be having. The reason is because they don’t have the necessary coaching, team and system to compliment their talents.

Let’s take a deeper look.

1. The right coach

Van Vleet played for some tough (and at times controversial) coaches both at the high school and college levels, but he really found a winning dynamic with Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse who trusted him with the ball and allowed him to flourish. So much so it’s not out of line to ask whether Van Vleet would’ve become the player he became with a different coach.

A good coach provides experience, accountability, as well as a winning system designed for your unique goals and talents (we’ll go deeper into the systems part later). Much like a mentor, a coach helps you to develop by helping you to identity your strengths and weaknesses. They help you to reach your goals and also push you to be the best version of yourself. They see a clear path to success and sometimes see more in you than you see in yourself.

2. The right team

Basketball is a team sport and so is life. Having the right team is one of the biggest contributors to success. Even all-time greats like Michael Jordan and Lebron James needed the right teammates to win at the highest level.

In the case of Fred Van Vleet, he had a great team of on court mentors, vets and All-Stars in Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry who showed him what it took to lead a team and play at the highest level.

When we talk about teams, we also mean the culture. A poor culture can be detrimental to a player’s success. Once again, you have to ask whether he would be the player he is today without the right culture, hands-on mentorship and the other players’ willingness to play their roles.

The same is true for any talent looking to make it in media and entertainment, whether on the creative side or business side. Your team can make or break your success.

3. The right system

Basketball is a very systems-based sport. There are a number of time-tested schemes and plays in a team’s arsenal. There are also innovative new systems teams can develop that can confuse an opponent, like Nick Nurse is known for.

Systems also include a team’s developmental system. Beyond x’s and o’s, the Toronto Raptors are known for having great systems, from scouting to player development in the G League, with a G League championship to prove it (Van Vleet helped lead that team).

A good player in a system that doesn’t fit their style of play can lead to disaster. In Toronto, Van Vleet found a system that suits his talents and style of play. Would he have thrived in another system?

Similarly, all talents need to find a winning system. The wrong system will waste your talent and the wrong culture will drain your energy.

Finding the right coach, team and system

As a talent in media and entertainment, finding the right coach, team and system can see time consuming and difficult, but it’s the difference between feeling stuck and frustrated and gaining momentum, opportunities and income in your craft.


A lot of artists, creators and other talent struggle to find the right support in the form of a coach/mentor, team and system. To make it easier, SHIFTER has created a coaching program where we teach you our winning formula for raising your profile in the industry, attracting opportunities, and ultimately make consistent income through your craft.

Tap here to book a call to find out more about how SHIFTER can help you raise your public profile and make consistent income in media and entertainment.