Basketball on the Edge – Focus on the Why!

It’s the middle of the afternoon on a hot summer day in July. Your friends just called to tell you they are heading to the pool if you want to meet them and hang out. You had been planning to get in the gym and get some shooting work in but your friends’ offer is pretty tempting. Some players will decide to scrap their workout plans while others will hit the pool. How do you develop the self-discipline to get your training in when there are so many other fun, less demanding things you could be doing?

Realize that you are not alone in feeling temptation. You are not alone in asking yourself if you really want to do what it takes to be great (or even just improve) as a basketball player. Putting yourself through challenging workouts that push you to your limits is not always fun. Players everywhere have had the same thoughts and fears that you have. Is all this hard work worth it? Should I just give it up and head to the pool?

What is your thought process when things get tough? And things will get tough at some point if you continue to play basketball at higher and higher levels! A great way to build your growth mindset is to focus on the why. Why am getting up 500 shots a day? Why am I lifting weights? Why am I running sprints in an empty gym that’s 90 degrees? Everyone’s why is different, but I would bet that yours has something to do with wanting to be the best player you possibly can be. When you are pushing through the fatigue think about why you are doing it. Do you want to make the team next year? Become a starter for the first time? Make all-state? Earn a college scholarship? Why do you do it? Learn to visualize your why. Create a scene in your mind that shows you reaching your goal and then come back to it whenever things get tough. Maybe when you think you’re too tired, or when the coach is getting on you, or when you’d rather sit on the couch and play video games, or when your friends make you an offer that is hard to refuse. Replay your “scene” and ask yourself if you are willing to give (and give up) what it takes in order to get to your why.

If you think you can do it without hard work, that’s a myth. Hard work is a requirement for success in just about anything that you will ever do in your life. Even now, when life throws a challenge in front of me I think about the why. Why do I get up and go to work every day? Why do I coach teams or train players? Why do I write this blog every week? Each of those questions has a why behind it. I challenge you to focus on the why when you are training or studying (if you are a player) or just in your everyday life (if you are a parent or coach). If you do, you’ll find it easier to push through the challenges and keep moving forward.

What is your “Why”?

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