Providing Insights on Leadership and Success. Coach Bechler is a John Maxwell Leadership Team Member.
Prepare to Win
(Originally written on July 1, 2016)
July is here. That means one month left until the start of official practices for many athletes. How will you spend this month? Will you be prepared when October and November asks you to pay up for what you did in June and July?
Bobby Knight used to say “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”.
When I was a college basketball coach, I would say, “Basketball may be played in the winter but players are made in the summer.” The same is true for the other sports, as well. Great players don’t train because they love training. They train because they love winning.
Think back to last year? Did the last game end well? Did you have regrets? Do you wish that you had work harder or been more ready? Was the role on the team what you wanted?
Two years ago, our basketball team (of which I was the athletic director) lost in the opening round of the playoffs. After the game, I spoke to two of the best juniors. They were very distraught and there were even some tears shed. I commented to them “remember this game, remember this feeling…let it motivate you for next year.” This year, they won the school’s 8th State Championship.
The example of Michael Jordan being cut from his varsity high school basketball team is often cited by many as an example of someone who used rejection and disappointment as motivation. The sad fact is that most people don’t take advantage of these situations to make themselves better, they just play the victim card or become bitter.
You can control your attitude and your effort. It is amazing what can happen when you choose to give 100% of what you are capable of giving.
Maybe you had success last year. Maybe you will play a lot this year. You still are in charge of your attitude and effort. Will you rest on your laurels? Will you read your press clippings? Will you relax and get complacent?
You can always get better. You can always improve. Don’t think so? Read about Stephan Curry, Lebron James or Kevin Durant. Durant’s coach once said “Durant prepares and practices like he is trying to make the team”. Are you trying to get better every day? Are you trying to be better than someone else on the team or the best that you can be, period?
You want to play more, win more games, set more records, attract more college recruiters, win more championships then prepare to do these things. In other words, don’t wait until the test to start studying. Remember that the pain and hard work of your discipline today will be nothing compared to the pain of disappointed or regret later if you do not achieve your goals. The more that you sweat in training, the less you will bleed during the battle.
To be a champion, you must prepare like a champion. Success is a choice. What kind of choice will you make? As Michael Jordan once said, “Champions do not become champions when they win an event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it.”
Jamy Bechler was a college basketball coach for nearly 20 years before moving to Marion, Indiana to be the athletic director. He is now a certified John Maxwell leadership coach, speaker and trainer. You can contact him at Jamy@CoachBechler.com. You can also subscribe to his leadership newsletter by clicking here.