Tag Archives: action planning

Opportunity is Just the Beginning

7 Apr

Opportunity, and — more specifically — what you do with it, is the key to growth and development.  Think of it in these terms:  “Point A” represents who, what, and where you are today.  “Point B” is your aspiration, destination, or goal (who, what, and where you want to be, tomorrow).  The path between these two points represents opportunity.  Sometimes the path will be obvious.  Other times, it may not.  Regardless, your ultimate success in any endeavor will depend on how effectively you navigate this path.  Here are 4 strategies, as they relate to opportunity (with some added basketball analogies):

Look For It

Sometimes you can’t wait for opportunity to knock at your door.  You will have to open the door, walk through the doorway, and search for it.  In basketball, your defender isn’t always going to provide you with a clear path to the hoop.  Think with the end in mind.  Make sure your goal is clear and specific.  The means to your goal attainment will be more clear if you know and understand what success looks like.  Seek advice and guidance by consulting with others who have experience and expertise in your area of interest.

Recognize It

Opportunity isn’t always obvious, nor is it always in plain sight.  If you are a student of the game, your opponent’s tendencies will reveal themselves, over the course of the game.  You have to be willing to think broadly and “connect” your development plan with your goal.  Once again, it all begins with goal setting.  There may be some trial and error, along the way, but that’s okay.  Build some “checkpoints” into your plan.  This will make it easier to recognize whether or not you’re on the right track.

Take Advantage Of It

When you do find and recognize opportunity, take action… don’t procrastinate.  The window of opportunity sometimes closes very quickly.  In basketball, boxing out your opponent to get a rebound is important, but you have to go after the ball, too.

Create It

There will be times when you just have to do it yourself.  Leverage your strengths and talents.  Use the information you have gleaned from scouting your opponent, and other past experiences, and create your own opportunity.  Calculated risk-taking will be part of the equation.  As the old proverb states, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Goal-Setting for Athletes

5 Sep

Goal-Setting[1]The fall sports season is upon us, which means the winter sports season is just around the corner, and winter sports athletes should be actively preparing for the coming season (especially those not involved in a fall sport).  Improving sport-specific skills and strength and conditioning should be priorities for basketball players, swimmers, and wrestlers.

All four of my children are basketball players.  They all play other sports, as well, but basketball is the “common denominator.”  Prior to any season, I always encourage them to sit down and develop written goals for the upcoming season — team goals and individual goals; performance-related goals and effort-related goals.  I think goal setting is important to any endeavor, not just sports.  Personal, academic, athletic, and professional goals — along with appropriate action planning — help to facilitate a successful outcome.

Here’s an example of what individual goal setting might look like for a basketball player:

Play with AGGRESSIVENESS, CONFIDENCE, and ENERGY

Use your SPEED and QUICKNESS to your advantage

DEFENSE

  • Take away opponent’s dominant hand
  • Interrupt passing lanes
  • Jam cutters
  • Box out and rebound

OFFENSE

  • Change SPEED and DIRECTION
  • ATTACK the basket
  • TAKE open shots
  • Knock down shots
    • Field goals, free throws, layups
  • Use reverse layup and spin move, situationally
  • Shoot pull-up and step-back jump shots when you have the opportunity
  • Look for offensive rebound and put-back opportunities

This example is, by no means, intended to be all-inclusive.  It’s just a template and, perhaps a starting point — something to get you thinking and started.

It’s important to have a realistic understanding of your strengths and areas for improvement — to know where you are today, relative to your goal, and where you want to be tomorrow.  The time and effort it takes to invest in your self-development and self-improvement is up to you.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

6 Ways to Get Stronger

12 Feb

195193724_640[1]Every athlete can improve his or her performance by getting stronger.  Whether your sport involves running, jumping, hitting, throwing, or kicking, strength training can help you do it better.  Your sport-specific skills aren’t going to be enough if you’re the weakest, slowest player on the court or field.

Here are 6 ways to get stronger:

  1.  Get in the weight room.  I know this one sounds like a “no-brainer,” but I also know a lot of athletes who aren’t getting their work done in the weight room (you know who you are).  Strength training is not about having time to workout, it’s about making time.  Conditioning, and playing and practicing your sport, are not enough.  In order to get stronger, you’ve got to lift, push, and pull heavy “stuff.”  As I mentioned in last week’s article, you won’t get stronger by grinding out 3 set of 10 reps.  Building strength and power – for most exercises – requires that you work with a weight that challenges you for 4-6 repetitions per set.
  2. Set a goal.  What do you want to accomplish?  Maybe you want to run faster or jump higher.  Perhaps you want to throw, hit, and/or kick with more force or velocity.  Setting a goal for yourself is the first step.  You have to know where you want to go before embarking upon your journey.
  3. Have a plan.  Once you determine your goal, it’s time to develop a plan.  Your plan should include action steps that lead you from point A (the present) to point B (your goal), including exercises, repetitions, sets, intensity, volume, and frequency.  Make sure your plan is SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound).  And remember, your action steps must be consistent with your goal.
  4. Work your entire body.  Forget about “body part” training, working only certain parts of your body on specific days.  You should train like to work, play… and live.  That means it’s important to work all your major muscle groups, every time you workout.  Your body is meant to work as a functional, interconnected unit.  Make sure your training is functional, and reflects the demands of your sport, by training movements and not just muscles.
  5. Rest and refuel.  Every time you workout, you break down muscle.  Allowing yourself some time (48 hours is a good gauge) to recover, following your workout, helps your muscles to rebuild and recover in preparation for your next bout of strength training.  Nutrition – including post-workout nutrition — is important.  Active individuals should aim for 0.6-0.8 grams of protein, per pound of body weight, per day, including 20-30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of strength training.  Athletes may need as much as one gram of protein, per pound of body weight, per day.
  6. Get some help.  Consider enlisting the help of a reputable, qualified, and experienced certified strength training professional, at least to get you started.  He or she can guide and instruct you through exercise selection, proper form and technique, appropriate sets and repetitions, injury prevention strategies, nutrition guidelines, provide motivation, and more.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

It’s Not Gonna Happen Overnight

17 Jan

There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.” – Beverly Sills

My mom used to say that if something is worth having (or doing), it’s worth working for.  The problem for many people is that, while they are enamored with the idea of having more than they currently have, they are not willing to commit themselves to the process required to get there.

What do you want to “have”?  Do you want to get stronger and faster?  Do you want to improve your grade point average?  Do you want to improve your free throw shooting percentage?  Do you want to become a better public speaker?

Regardless of your aspirations, one thing is certain: It’s going to require some time, effort, commitment, and dedication.  Improvement requires change, and change requires action and effort.

Have a plan.  Understand what it is you want to accomplish and, if necessary, consult with someone who has more experience and expertise than you.  They can help you develop the action steps required to begin working toward your goal.

Work your plan.  As John Wooden said, “Nothing will work unless you do.”  It won’t matter how good your plan is if you don’t commit yourself to it.  You’ve got to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Be patient.  Reconcile yourself with the fact that improvement is going to take some time.  Some days will be better than others, but it’s important to stay positive and work through adversity.  Do what you can do, on a daily basis, and be consistent.

Re-evaluate.  Action planning should build in progress checks at regular intervals to ensure that you are on track, and that your action steps are consistent with your desired results.

It’s never crowded along the extra mile.” – Wayne Dyer

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Opportunity is Just the Beginning

6 Dec

Opportunity[1]Opportunity, and — more specifically — what you do with it, is the key to growth and development.  Think of it in these terms:  “Point A” represents who, what, and where you are today.  “Point B” is your aspiration, destination, or goal (who, what, and where you want to be, tomorrow).  The path between these two points represents opportunity.  Sometimes the path will be obvious.  Other times, it may not.  Regardless, your ultimate success in any endeavor will depend on how effectively you navigate this path.  Here are 4 strategies, as they relate to opportunity (with some added basketball analogies):

Look For It

Sometimes you can’t wait for opportunity to knock at your door.  You will have to open the door, walk through the doorway, and search for it.  In basketball, your defender isn’t always going to provide you with a clear path to the hoop.  Think with the end in mind.  Make sure your goal is clear and specific.  The means to your goal attainment will be more clear if you know and understand what success looks like.  Seek advice and guidance by consulting with others who have experience and expertise in your area of interest.

Recognize It

Opportunity isn’t always obvious, nor is it always in plain sight.  If you are a student of the game, your opponent’s tendencies will reveal themselves, over the course of the game.  You have to be willing to think broadly and “connect” your development plan with your goal.  Once again, it all begins with goal setting.  There may be some trial and error, along the way, but that’s okay.  Build some “checkpoints” into your plan.  This will make it easier to recognize whether or not you’re on the right track.

Take Advantage Of It

When you do find and recognize opportunity, take action… don’t procrastinate.  The window of opportunity sometimes closes very quickly.  In basketball, boxing out your opponent to get a rebound is important, but you have to go after the ball, too.

Create It

There will be times when you just have to do it yourself.  Leverage your strengths and talents.  Use the information you have gleaned from scouting your opponent, and other past experiences, and create your own opportunity.  Calculated risk-taking will be part of the equation.  As the old proverb states, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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