So Much More to Give…

Are you really working at basketball as hard as you possibly can?

When I was a high school athlete, I thought I was doing everything I could to become a great basketball player.  Little did I know, the first day I joined my college teammates for an individual workout session, I was on the sideline puking after 15 minutes of working out.  These guys worked out at such a high rate of speed and with such precision that I just could not keep up.  It was a sorry site seeing a former “Player of the Year” be absolutely embarrassed on the court.  On the other hand, this was exactly what I needed.  I needed to realize that my body and mind could give so much more.  I would now have to take care of my body off the court.  Get in the weight room and build my strength and stamina.  And probably most importantly, become mentally tough enough to withstand a workout like this day in and day out.

About 2 weeks after coming into the college program at Northern State University, my Head Coach, Don Meyer (NCAA all-time leader in wins), began pushing me to levels I didn’t know I could reach.  See, in high school, I was never pushed to the brink.  I could play at 80-90% and still be the best player on the floor every single night.  Now if I played at 90%, I would never see the floor.

If you are a high school player, I would encourage you to seek out collegiate players and not only play with them, but more importantly, go through an individual workout with them.  You will quickly notice how much quicker the pace of the workout seems and how you are struggling to keep up.  Keep doing this week after week though and soon you will be on their level.  If you currently workout for 2-3 hours a day, I recommend instead finding a way to work so hard that you can only possibly workout for 45-60 minutes at a time.  If you are not drained at the end of a 1 hour workout, then get a heart rate monitor and never let your heart rate drop below a certain level.  This will also tell you how good of shape you are in, by how quickly your heart rate can recover from a tough drill.

If you can’t find a higher level player to workout with, then just think about your own individual workout program.  Do you have a consistent, constructive workout where you workout at a high rate of speed, or do you just kind of come in and get some shots up at a leisurely pace?  That type of workout is great for old men’s league or to win a game of HORSE, but you only develop proper fundamental skills by working out at an uncomfortable rate of speed.  Do this in your workouts and in every drill you do:  “Start slow, get a rhythm, then go fast enough to make a mistake”.  You learn by going so hard that you make mistakes.  This will develop the fundamental skills you need to become great.

Also, watch the video below.  But, don’t just watch the NBA players working out, but listen to the message and think to yourself.  How bad do you really want it?  Bad enough that you will sacrifice anything to become better?  Are willing to pay the price to achieve greatness?

Do You Have Credibility With Your Teammates?

A leader must have credibility. Are you doing everything you can to build credibility with your teammates so that you can build the best TEAM possible? You cannot possibly hold others accountable if you are not doing something yourself. My coach, Don Meyer, used to say: “Your example is not the main thing, it’s the only thing.”

So think about it. Are you showing up early for practice and workouts as a way of showing your teammates how important this team is to you? Are you taking care of your body off the court by sleeping and eating right? Are you the hardest worker in the weight room on a consistent basis? If you want to be a true leader, you must be doing these types of things to build credibility.

If a teammate comes up to you and gets on you to work harder in the weight room, yet that person is always the first one done with his/her workout, and really just goes through the motions during workouts, you have no respect for that person’s comments as his actions do not hold the weight of his words. How about the teammate who chews out the team for partying on the weekends, instead of getting proper sleep and nutrition. If this person is one who follows these principles himself, these words may resonate.

Do you want to do everything you can to help your team succeed? Do you want to succeed as bad as you want to party? Do you want to succeed as bad as you want to eat junk food? Once you really decide to do these things, good things will come.

When your career is done, you will look back on it with one of the following: The Pain of Discipline or the Pain of Regret.

Which one will it be for you?