Most dedicated athletes spend just about the same amount of time practicing every week. They drill their skills, push their bodies in conditioning workouts and maybe even do regular strength training. Why is it then, that within this group, only a select few athletes consistently improve and excel to a level far beyond their teammates and the competition?
To me, the answer is quite simple. What you put in is what you get out! If you’re not “depositing” quality time in your practices every day, then your “return” will be minimal. Far too many athletes tend to just go through the motions. They’re out there on the field looking like athletes, running, fielding, hitting, checking and sweating. However, as they do this, “the lights are on and no one is really home.” That is, mentally they are out to lunch as they train. They wish they were doing something else, they’re watching the clock or are complaining incessantly to themselves and their teammates about how they hate doing what they’re doing.
If your mind and heart are not into what you are doing right now, today, then you are seriously limiting your development as an athlete. Today’s practice and the drill that you’re enaged in right now is what’s going to help you become a champion. In fact, your attitude has to be that the drill or sprint you’re doing right now is the most important one of the season. Can you imagine how much more you’d put into your practices if you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, that your success this season completely depended upon how hard you went and how focused you were in this drill, right now? it would be a no-brainer for you. If your personal goals were on the line and in your face for each practice, then you’d train with an intensity and passion that would be scary good. You’d never watch the clock or think, “I just can’t wait until this practice is over.”
To become a champion you have to get in the habit of champions, making each practice count. You have to be mentally, physically and emotionally into what you’re doing, while you’re doing it. You have to make each and every one of your practices important to you. You have to be able to link what you’re doing today and right now with your ultimate goals and dreams in the sport. You have to be able to regularly ask yourself, “How is what I’m doing right now going to help me get where I want to go?” When you do this, your investment in your training will take on a much higher quality. And, as a result, you’ll start improving.
Don’t wait for the next drill of for tomorrow’s practice. Make each session count because, if you’re serious about becoming a champion, each session counts. When you go through the motions or in other ways blow off your practice, you can never get that one back. NEVER! It’s lost and you’ve just given your competition a slight edge over you. The most important time to train is today and the most important drill is this one, RIGHT NOW! Put your head and heart into it! Don’t hold back! Don’t save yourself!