Tag Archives: consistency

Don’t Take Yourself Out of the Game

21 Apr

As an athlete, consistency is important.  Consistency of effort, preparation, and practice leads to consistency of performance.  But, despite our best efforts, athletes at every level experience performance slumps.  There will be  some games when your shots are just not falling.  How will you deal with it?

There are some things that are under your control every time you take the court.  Attitude is one of them and, perhaps, the most important.  You decide if and how you let a missed shot or turnover affect your next possession, or the rest of your game.  Although it may be easier said then done, a positive mental approach (and, sometimes, a short memory) is critical to athletic performance success.

Effort is another area that shouldn’t be impacted by your level of play.  Keep hustling.  Continue to “play hard, play smart, and play together” (Dean Smith, former University of North Carolina men’s basketball coach).  Don’t allow a missed shot or bad pass to be an excuse to give anything less than 100% when you’re on the court.  Focus on the aspects of your play that aren’t susceptible to slumps, like defense, boxing out, and rebounding.

Don’t allow a performance slump to take away your aggressiveness, confidence, or energy.  You’ve worked hard to get to this point.  Keep believing in yourself and maintain a high intensity level.  Draw on positive past experience to fuel your thoughts.  Keep working hard, stay positive, and good things will happen.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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Consistency is the Key

21 Dec

Consistency[1]I have a few clients who show up to train, sporadically, and are puzzled as to why they don’t seem to make any real progress.  I’ll see them maybe once or twice over the span of weeks or months.  Some of them think their exercise selection is the problem.  They want to try all kinds of different modes of exercise (which is not necessarily a bad thing), but they don’t stick with any of them on a regular basis.

The reality is, you don’t have to take an extreme or fanatical approach in the weight room to be productive.  Same goes for your speed training and diet. Establish a goal, create a plan, ensure that your plan is aligned with your goal, and commit to it on a regular basis.  I realize that’s easier said than done, but the process itself is not complicated.

Strength and Conditioning

Research shows that strength training two days per week — about 30 minutes per session — can help individuals build strength, power, muscle mass, and endurance.  Focus on exercises that work large and multiple muscle groups like the squat, deadlift, bench press, and row.  As a rule, choose free weights over machines.  Free-weight exercises generally require more balance and stability to perform, increasing the intensity level and degree of difficulty.

Speed and Agility

Strength training plays a key role in the development of speed and agility (remember, speed and agility is largely impacted by the amount of force you can generate against the ground; stronger legs generate greater force).  You can be more efficient with high-intensity interval training (HIIT), regardless of your mode of cardio training (run, bike, elliptical, treadmill, etc.).  Try this 10-minute approach: go hard (aggressive pace) for 30 seconds, and easy (very light pace) for 90 seconds.  Repeat four more times.

Diet and Nutrition

Follow the 80/20 rule.  Adhere to your diet and nutrition plan, strictly, 80% of the time.  Allow yourself a “cheat” meal every fifth day.  I’ve read about a physician who recommends 10% discretionary calories, every day, for his patients.  For example, on a 2,000 calorie per day diet, you could eat 200 calories worth of whatever you want, every day — but only 200 calories — as long as you stick to your plan for the other 1,800 calories.  This plan allows his patients to reward themselves for “good” behavior (positive reinforcement).

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Think Big, Start Small (but start)

30 Oct

big-dog-little-dog[1]You are a work in progress; which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.” – Unknown

Dream big.  Aim high.  Stretch yourself.  Have over-sized aspirations.

Then get started.  Get to work.

Develop an action plan, and follow your plan.

Be consistent.  Slow and steady wins the game.

Do something — even if it’s something small — that moves you closer toward your goal, every day.

Be patient (and be prepared to be more patient).

Avoid outside comparisons and work hard to be the best version of yourself.

Be persistent.  Stick with it and keep working at it until you figure it out.

Commit yourself and be dedicated.  It all begins with tireless practice.

I might be a work in progress, but every day I get a little bit wiser, a little bit better, a little bit stronger.” – Unknown

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

YOU Are Your Best Motivator

20 Apr

mountain-climbing-accidents-deaths-on-lhotse-person[1]Any endeavor requires motivation in order to make it a success.  Typically, we begin the pursuit of a goal with lots of energy and enthusiasm.  Unfortunately, many of us abandon our dreams, in part because we fail to realize that this high energy won’t last forever.

We may feel highly motivated to begin a new diet or exercise plan, or perhaps a new job or other project.  We are excited about the possibilities.  Then, after a while, we become tired and our initial enthusiasm fades.

That’s when self-motivation becomes important.  That’s when we need to push ourselves.

We shouldn’t allow our motivation to be too dependent on what the scale or mirror says, or what other people say or think.  There’s nothing wrong with external (extrinsic) motivation — sometimes it can be effective — but we need to work on developing our internal (intrinsic) motivation.

Being motivated doesn’t mean we won’t have to struggle with adversity along the way.  There will always be demands on our lives and our time.  There will be obstacles and temptation to derail our efforts.  Things are rarely as easy as they initially seem.  Remember that even when your motivation is low, you are still able to accomplish something.  Low motivation doesn’t have to mean paralysis.

Conversely, when your motivation is high, take advantage of it by taking on more (or more difficult) tasks.

Occasionally, there will be a “bad” day.  There are times in all of our lives when we find it challenging to stay motivated and on course.  Don’t allow yourself to focus on the negative.  Focus instead on what really matters and learn from a negative situation in order to create a better outcome next time.

We can improve our self-motivation when we acknowledge and embrace the realization that we own our thoughts, feelings, behavior, and choices.  We are in control of what we think, feel, and do.  Reflect upon times when your motivation was high and try to determine what you did to feel that way.

Your motivation will be much stronger and consistent when you focus on making conscious choices about what you can do consistently to achieve all of your dreams and goals.

Be accountable when looking at how you define problems and situations.  Think about what you can do — given what is reasonably and realistically within your power — and do it.  Be open-minded and willing to try different things.

Preparation — and the effort you put into preparation — will make it easier for you to follow through, even when taking on more difficult tasks.  Advance planning and forethought can help you to be less dependent on extra motivation.

Focus on progress, rather than perfection.  Incremental change is the key.  Avoid alternating bouts of productivity and inactivity.  Be consistent — do what you can — on a daily basis, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you can achieve over time.  Slow and steady wins the race.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

16 Characteristics for Success

21 Nov

San Antonio SpursOnce again, this is borrowed from a poster I found hanging on the wall of a high school weight room where I work with an area swimming and diving team.  Another gem.

ALWAYS Compete!

Do EVERYTHING to the best of YOUR ability!

Practice is EVERYTHING — How we practice defines who we are.

Always protect the TEAM

No Whining, No Complaining, No Excuses!

If you’re 5 minutes early, YOU’RE LATE!

16 CHARACTERISTICS FOR SUCCESS:

  1. Make a commitment
  2. Be unselfish
  3. Create unity — come together as never before
  4. Improve every day as a player, person, and student
  5. Be tough
  6. Be self-disciplined — do it right, don’t accept less
  7. Give your best effort in everything you do
  8. Be enthusiastic
  9. Eliminate mistakes — don’t beat yourself
  10. Never give up
  11. Don’t accept losing
  12. Permit no self-limitations — expect more of yourself
  13. Expect to win
  14. Be consistent
  15. Develop leadership
  16. Be responsible

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

The Power of Action

1 Aug

take-action[1]Success seems to be connected with action. Successful men keep moving. They make mistakes, but they do not quit.” – Conrad Hilton

What do you want to accomplish?

Maybe it’s sport-related.  Perhaps you want to improve your strength, speed, agility, and/or athleticism.  Or, maybe it’s something even more sport-specific, like your shooting percentage or batting average.  Or, it could be that you aspire — quite simply — to make the team.

Maybe it’s school-related.  Your goal could be to improve your grade point average or perform better in a particular class or course, or the next time you take the ACT or SAT.

Work-related goals are important, too — promotions, increases in pay, and performance improvement, among others.

Ultimately, some of our goals involve interpersonal communication and relationships.  We seek to improve upon our relationships with family, relatives, and friends.

Regardless of what you want to accomplish, develop a plan of action and take the first step toward your goal today.  Make sure your action is purposeful — not random or arbitrary — and do something that moves you along the path toward your goal, right now.

Then, no matter how effective your first action step was in moving you toward your goal, keep moving.  If appropriate, repeat the first step.  If necessary, take the next step.  Just don’t stop.

You may surprise yourself by how much you can accomplish by just “inching” toward your goal, with steadiness and consistency.  It’s amazing what can be accomplished if you’re persistent and keep moving forward.

Action is empowering.  It’s invigorating.  It’s gratifying.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Basketball 101: The ABCs of Shooting

30 Jul

Pete Maravich shootsI’ve always been a big believer in defense, as it relates to team sports.  If you can limit your opponent’s scoring opportunities, you will always be in the game — you’ll always have a chance.

Conversely, I understand the importance of offense — you’ve got to shoot if you want to score, and you’ve got to score if you want to win.

Basketball shooting is built on repetitionquality repetition.  Great shooters understand that there are a few basic principles that guide their desire to become proficient.  Here are a few tips — ABCs, if you will — to consider as you prepare for your upcoming season:

Accuracy

You’ve got to be able to put the ball in the hoop.  Great shooters are accurate.  They don’t make all their shots, but their shots are always around the basket.  That means shooting with the proper release, rotation, and arc, for any given shot.  Technically correct form is a must.  If you practice with poor shooting mechanics, all you’ll succeed in doing is reinforcing poor shooting form.

Belief

If you’re going to be a great shooter, you’ll need an unwavering belief in yourself.  You’ve got to have confidence that borders on (but doesn’t manifest itself in) cockiness, and confidence leads to success.  You must want the ball in your hands, want to take the “big” shot, and believe in your ability to make it.

Consistency

As previously stated, release, rotation, and arc are important components of shooting.  The ball has got to come off your hand the same way — consistently — for any given shot.  It’s all about muscle-memory.  Once again, technically correct repetition is the key — doing it the same way, over and over again.

As long as we’re at it, there are a few “Ds” to throw into the mix: Dependability, Dedication, and Desire.  Great shooters are dependable, and can be counted on to produce, consistently.  Great shooters are also dedicated to self-improvement, and have a strong desire to be the best they can be.

To get the most out of your practice, make sure your shooting drills reflect game conditions and game speed.  As much as possible, you want to be able to simulate conditions similar to those you’ll encounter in competitive play.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Slow Progress Is Better Than No Progress

14 Jul

tortoise_hare[2]We all have aspirations, dreams, and goals.  And sometimes it can be frustrating when our progress toward those goals moves more slowly than is consistent with our expectations.  How do you handle those situations?

As it relates to exercise, I occasionally have clients and friends tell me that they simply don’t have time to workout.  Given the choice between a short but effective workout and doing nothing, they would choose the latter.  If they can’t set aside 45-60 minutes for exercise, they’d rather not do it at all.  That kind of convoluted logic makes me crazy.

Ultimately, everything is a process — fitness, sports, school, work… life.  Slow and steady is the way to go.  In the long run, consistency wins the prize.

Quantum change usually does not reflect reality.  Incremental change, over time, can make winners of us all.

Early last year, I published a blog post titled, The One-Percent Rule.  The 1% rule is all about self-improvement.  It means you should try to be 1% better today than you were yesterday — in the gym, at practice, as a competitor, at work, at home, and in life.

Do something — anything — today that moves you closer toward one of your goals.  Don’t get caught up in how much or how little you are able to do.  If you’re willing to do something, you’re halfway there.

Keep moving forward.

Carpe diem!

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?

Don’t Take Yourself Out of the Game

16 Dec

Stephen Curry, Nenad KrsticAs an athlete, consistency is important.  Consistency of effort, preparation, and practice leads to consistency of performance.  But, despite our best efforts, athletes at every level experience performance slumps.  There will be  some games when your shots are just not falling.  How will you deal with it?

There are some things that are under your control every time you take the court.  Attitude is one of them and, perhaps, the most important.  You decide if and how you let a missed shot or turnover affect your next possession, or the rest of your game.  Although it may be easier said then done, a positive mental approach (and, sometimes, a short memory) is critical to athletic performance success.

Effort is another area that shouldn’t be impacted by your level of play.  Keep hustling.  Continue to “play hard, play smart, and play together” (Dean Smith, former University of North Carolina men’s basketball coach).  Don’t allow a missed shot or bad pass to be an excuse to give anything less than 100% when you’re on the court.  Focus on the aspects of your play that aren’t susceptible to slumps, like defense, boxing out, and rebounding.

Don’t allow a performance slump to take away your aggressiveness, confidence, or energy.  You’ve worked hard to get to this point.  Keep believing in yourself and maintain a high intensity level.  Draw on positive past experience to fuel your thoughts.  Keep working hard, stay positive, and good things will happen.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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