Obviously, the work I do with athletes is primarily performance training – Strength & Conditioning, Speed & Agility, etc. Other areas of performance training, such as sport-specific skill development (e.g., basketball ball-handling and shooting), are equally important.
In addition to training these athletes, I try to get out and watch them (as many as I can) compete. Watching them play provides me with invaluable insight into two key areas:
- The impact our training has on their performance, and
- Areas of improvement where we can enhance/modify our training to further improve performance
But there’s also something else I’ve learned from watching these athletes in a competitive setting: The attitude, effort, and work ethic they bring to our training sessions is directly reflected in their performance.
Recently, I had the opportunity watch several, high-level club volleyball teams play, all of whom participate in our organizational team training. These opportunities are rare, since most of these teams travel considerable distances to compete – regionally and nationally, and don’t participate in many local tournaments.
As far as I’m concerned, there were no surprises, regarding the level of their performance. The teams that routinely bring a high level of effort and work ethic – and a positive attitude – to our training sessions played well, even against top competition. The teams that bring a less-than-desirable attitude and effort to our training sessions did not fare as well.
Work ethic is not a “sometimes” thing. You can’t work hard some of the time and say you have a strong work ethic. It would be like studying only some of the time, but claiming to have good study habits. It simply doesn’t work that way.
You can’t go through the motions and half-a** your way through your performance training sessions and expect a high level of success when it’s game time. My observation of hundreds of athletes and teams, over time, has corroborated that.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s no guarantee of success, even for those athletes who do consistently demonstrate a high level of effort and strong work ethic. But I sure like the odds, and so should you.
STRONGER, Get FASTER!