Fall in love with the process
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…
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