The gap being knowing and doing is one of our biggest struggles. We often say something and we mean it wholeheartedly, but until we put action behind it they are just words. As an individual who wants to grow, this is the gap we should be trying to close each day. Here are a few personal examples from my life that I have admitted and worked to close that may resonate with you.
-You know ten minutes of extra free throws or shots at the end of your workout will pay off, but you made plans with friends.
-You know you need to improve your weak hand before next season, but you don’t work at it enough or consistently because it’s hard.
-You know eating vegetables and unprocessed food is best for your energy level and health, but you swing through the drive through because it’s convenient.
-You know you want to read more to learn and grow, but you don’t carve out time each day to read.
-You know going to bed early is going to help you have a productive morning and get good rest, but you stay up one more hour watching a tv series.
-You know you set the alarm so you would get up and be productive, but you hit snooze and stay in bed.
Think about as we make these choices to close that gap how we are becoming better versions of ourselves. Becoming the person we say we want to be. Take a moment to think about what you know but are not currently doing consistently. Don’t overwhelm yourself with many things, but take one or two this week and close the gap!
March Madness is here, and play-in games begin in less than twelve hours. The 132 teams that qualify to play in the men’s and women’s NCAA tournament, plus the teams playing in other post season tournaments, have all completed extremely successful seasons and have earned the right to keep playing. What that means is that there is some great basketball coming your way the next three weeks.
Watching basketball can greatly impact your basketball IQ. March Madness is important to you if you want to be a better, smarter basketball player. It’s that simple. Be willing to learn from these players and coaches as they take the court in a survive and advance post-season where the culmination of their work all season is on display and hopefully at its peak.
A few things to watch for to increase your IQ and enjoy these games as a student:
-Pick a player at your position and watch them move without the ball. Watch how active they are off the ball.
-Follow a team that is known for their defense. Study Virginia’s pack line defense (watch their post hedge and recover). Watch Syracuse’s zone and how teams attack it. Pay attention to the effort behind Texas Tech’s man to man pressure. Everybody loves defense right?
-Challenge yourself to study good shot selection. Do Villanova and Auburn take too many threes or is this a good strategy? Who is scoring easy points in the paint? Are teams assisting buckets or going one on one?
-Watch a good finisher and study the way they use their body to create contact and space. (My suggestions: RJ Barrett, Duke; Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon; Coby White, UNC)
-Want to be a better rebounder? Watch the board play of Luke Maye (UNC), Dedric Lawson (Kansas), and Ethan Happ (Wisconsin), or Kristine Anigwe (Cal women) and PEAK’s own Bayley Plummer (App State) on the women’s side.
-Pay attention to how much a shooter on the floor changes the game. You want to play? Learn how to make shots!!
March is one of the very best times of the year! Enjoy the madness, and be sure to find ways to grow while you watch.
In any area that you pursue growth, it’s more enjoyable if you love doing it. For great basketball players, it’s not just the games and competitions with others that fuels their journey. They must also fall in love with the process of becoming a better player…the process of maximizing their talents, of working hard to build skill, of growing and expanding what they are capable of doing on the court.
For example 10,000 jump shots is a lot of time, investment, and commitment. But it can also be a lot of fun working that hard. This is where the mental game comes into play. Fall in love with that work. Not only can it be fun if you love it, but the results you want follow that work so why not enjoy getting there. If we don’t enjoy the journey of that work (i.e. shooting by ourselves in a gym for an hour four days a week isn’t fun), then it will be a lot harder to do it and a lot harder to get to the intended result.
Encourage this mindset in young athletes. Lazy is not an excuse, talent is not an excuse, and anyone (yes anyone) can get better at the game with work and commitment. Encourage them to find their own way to enjoy hard work, and they will get better so much quicker. For some its competitive drive, wanting to be the best. For others it’s self satisfaction in being drenched in sweat working towards something. And for others it may be confidence building that they crave to build skills and see themselves improve. But find what it is that motivates their work mindset, because as they practice it, it will grow. At the end of those 10,000 shots, I guarantee their sense of accomplishment is worth it and they are more in love with the hard work than before they started. I also know that deep down, young people like to be challenged and pushed to reach better versions of themselves.
Tom Brady shared in an interview earlier this year about why he is so good at throwing a football. “The more you do it, the better you get at it. Part of doing it a lot is loving it. If you don’t love it, then you’re not going to work hard at it. I’m fortunate to love it.” Learning to love the process can be developed. Let’s fall in love with it…
"Get Better" is our PEAK blog, providing you with content to help enhance your game, your mind, and your relentless pursuit of the process! Enjoy.
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