Tag Archives: self-development

It’s Not Going to Happen Overnight

31 May

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

As the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, reminds us, excellence is not a static event, it’s a process.

There’s no such thing as an “overnight” success.

When we see excellence, what we are actually seeing is just the “tip of the iceberg.”  We rarely, if ever, see the commitment, dedication, time, and effort that invariably contributes to the end result.

Excellence requires hours, days, and even months and years of practice and purposeful repetition.  No one achieves greatness without a significant investment over time.

And it’s not just about sports.  The same applies for school, work, relationships, and life.

My Mom used to preach patience to my siblings and me, telling us, “If it’s worth having, it’s worth waiting for.”  I would add “working” to the “waiting,” in that quote, since you can’t just wait for it to happen, you’ve also got to work to make it happen (but, I’m sure my Mom knew that, too).

Frequently, I have parents who bring their sons and/or daughters to my facility — during their sport season — having come to the realization that junior needs to get stronger, faster, and more powerful in order to earn playing time or be competitive in his or her respective sport.  And, with my help, they want their child to accomplish it… now.

I think some of them truly believe (or hope) that strength, speed, and power development works like a microwave oven: Put the food in the oven, press a button, wait a moment or two, and… voila!  It’s ready — finished product.

Self-improvement is a process, as is self-development.

You’ve got to put in the time.  And the effort.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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Remember Why You’re There

21 Sep

img-about-21As my daughter – and fourth of four children – begins her freshman year of college, I resume my familiar place on my soapbox to impart a simple message:

REMEMBER WHY YOU’RE THERE

Enjoy the college experience.  Make new friends.  Participate in activities.  Join clubs and organizations.  Play sports and be active.

And, most importantly, maintain your focus and purpose.  Work hard to be the best – academically – you can be.

This same principle applies to other areas.

When you’re at basketball (or any other sport) practice, have fun and enjoy the camaraderie of your teammates.

And remember the reason you’re there is to improve your team’s performance, and further develop your sport-specific skills.

Wherever you are and whatever you do, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the experience along the way, as long as you don’t allow it to interfere with the work that needs to be done to reach your goal.

Be diligent and disciplined about the process, and don’t lose sight of the reason you’re there.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

New Year, New and Improved You

6 Jan

confidence[1]No matter how good you are, everyone has room for improvement.  How will you improve yourself in 2016?  Here are a few thoughts:

Do Something

Challenge yourself to develop a new skill.  Start a new project. If it’s making you better — taking you in a positive direction — continue and improve what you did in 2015.  Commit yourself to self-improvement in some area.  If you’re not satisfied with a certain area of your life, do something about it.  Then, keep doing it… every day.  The cumulative impact will be considerable.

Get Moving

Inactivity is the enemy of productivity.  Get started.  Take action.  Move.  Nothing will change until you get going.  Beginning a new endeavor can seem daunting, but Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu reminds us, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

The best and brightest individuals in every field were once beginners.  No one starts as an expert.  The greatest accomplishments all have the same common denominator:  At some point, someone was willing to take the first step toward greatness, even if they didn’t realize it at the time.  American Author Zig Ziglar said, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.

Be Confident

Believe in yourself.  You have positive attributes.  You have strengths and skills.  Use positive self-talk as a motivator.  Surround yourself with people who are positive and encouraging.  Learn to view setbacks as nothing more than learning experiences — steps on the path to success.  “Believe you can and youre halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Risk New Things

You know the “definition” of insanity:  “Doing the same things over and over, and expecting different results.”  Take a chance.  Be open-minded and adventurous.  Step out of your comfort zone.  Go out on a limb — that’s where the fruit is.  Change can be scary, but it is a necessary component of progress.  “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” – Ben Franklin

Stick With It

Creating a better you won’t necessarily be easy.  Some days will be better than others.  There will probably be some obstacles and growing pains along the way.  Be persistent.  Follow your plan and do something to move forward, every day, especially on the “low-motivation” days.  Don’t give up, don’t give in.

Then Be Ready for Big Surprises

You’re as good as you think you are, and as good as you want to be.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

It’s Not Going to Happen Overnight

19 Oct

Man on top of mountain.We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

As the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, reminds us, excellence is not a static event, it’s a process.

There’s no such thing as an “overnight” success.

When we see excellence, what we are actually seeing is just the “tip of the iceberg.”  We rarely, if ever, see the commitment, dedication, time, and effort that invariably contributes to the end result.

Excellence requires hours, days, and even months and years of practice and purposeful repetition.  No one achieves greatness without a significant investment over time.

And it’s not just about sports.  The same applies for school, work, relationships, and life.

My Mom used to preach patience to my siblings and me, telling us, “If it’s worth having, it’s worth waiting for.”  I would add “working” to the “waiting,” in that quote, since you can’t just wait for it to happen, you’ve also got to work to make it happen (but, I’m sure my Mom knew that, too).

Frequently, I have parents who bring their sons and/or daughters to my facility — during their sport season — having come to the realization that junior needs to get stronger, faster, and more powerful in order to earn playing time or be competitive in his or her respective sport.  And, with my help, they want their child to accomplish it… now.

I think some of them truly believe (or hope) that strength, speed, and power development works like a microwave oven: Put the food in the oven, press a button, wait a moment or two, and… voila!  It’s ready — finished product.

Self-improvement is a process, as is self-development.

You’ve got to put in the time.  And the effort.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Focus on Your Gifts, Not Your Limitations

3 Aug

does-positive-thinking-help-you--20120811102240[1]Concentrate on your strengths instead of your weaknesses, on your powers instead of your problems.” – Paul J. Meyer

A few weeks ago, while my son and I were driving home after a workout, we were discussing strength training and its effect on physical development, and how this effect varies considerably among and between athletes.

More broadly, we were discussing the tendency of athletes (and people in general) to be very externally focused — comparing and bench-marking themselves with other individuals and their accomplishments — instead of striving toward self-development.

Eventually, comparing yourself with others is a dead end.

The reality is, we’re all guilty of that, from time to time — in school, sports, work, and life.  As a matter of fact, it’s often encouraged by parents and siblings; friends; teachers and classmates; coaches and teammates; and colleagues.

We all know that the only relevant comparison is with ourselves.  Yesterday’s performance is the only important gauge for today’s efforts.

Yet we continue to look over our shoulders and all around us, because it’s easier to do that than it is to look in the mirror.

We all have the potential to be better, today, than we were yesterday; better tomorrow than we are today.

Invest more time and energy focusing on what can go right, instead of thinking about what might go wrong.

Instead of thinking about limitations and restrictions, spend more time concentrating on opportunities and possibilities.

Acknowledge and recognize your strengths and gifts, rather than beating yourself up about shortcomings and weaknesses.

Be more solution-oriented, and less problem-oriented.

Be optimistic, realistic, and opportunistic.

And, most importantly, spend some time each day reflecting on — and being thankful for — the ways you are blessed and fortunate.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Invest in YOU

10 Jul

conference-nsca-2013This week, I’m attending the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) National Conference.  It’s a great opportunity to improve myself through learning, networking, and professional development.

In essence, I’m investing in myself.

If you want to achieve, accomplish, or succeed, you’ll need to develop — and invest in — yourself.

Here are some ways you can invest in yourself.

Discover Your Strengths.  What are you doing when you’re at your best?

Set Goals and Review Your Progress to ensure that you’re on track to accomplish your goal(s).

Get a Mentor to give you objective guidance and perspective.

Develop Your Skills

  • Education – classes, degrees, certifications
  • Training – workshops, conferences, webinars
  • Knowledge – books, articles, blogs

Be Creative.  Try something new – some activity you haven’t explored before

Cultivate Your Mind and Body

  • Read
  • Be open-minded
  • Keep your mind active with word games and puzzles
  • Exercise regularly
  • Fuel your body with healthy foods
  • Allow for adequate rest and recovery
  • See your physician regularly, and when you’re sick
  • Wear clothes that make you feel confident and attractive

Be Thankful

Find Your Purpose.  What drives you?  Why do you do what you do?

Try to do at least one thing, every day, that makes you better and moves you closer to where you want to be.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

New Year, New and Improved You

31 Dec

6464976249_cc913504ee_z[1]No matter how good you are, everyone has room for improvement.  How will you improve yourself in 2015?  Here are a few thoughts:

Do Something

Challenge yourself to develop a new skill.  Start a new project. If it’s making you better — taking you in a positive direction — continue and improve what you did in 2014.  Commit yourself to self-improvement in some area.  If you’re not satisfied with a certain area of your life, do something about it.  Then, keep doing it… every day.  The cumulative impact will be considerable.

Get Moving

Inactivity is the enemy of productivity.  Get started.  Take action.  Move.  Nothing will change until you get going.  Beginning a new endeavor can seem daunting, but Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu reminds us, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

The best and brightest individuals in every field were once beginners.  No one starts as an expert.  The greatest accomplishments all have the same common denominator:  At some point, someone was willing to take the first step toward greatness, even if they didn’t realize it at the time.  American Author Zig Ziglar said, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.

Be Confident

Believe in yourself.  You have positive attributes.  You have strengths and skills.  Use positive self-talk as a motivator.  Surround yourself with people who are positive and encouraging.  Learn to view setbacks as nothing more than learning experiences — steps on the path to success.  “Believe you can and youre halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Risk New Things

You know the “definition” of insanity:  “Doing the same things over and over, and expecting different results.”  Take a chance.  Be open-minded and adventurous.  Step out of your comfort zone.  Go out on a limb — that’s where the fruit is.  Change can be scary, but it is a necessary component of progress.  “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” – Ben Franklin

Stick With It

Creating a better you won’t necessarily be easy.  Some days will be better than others.  There will probably be some obstacles and growing pains along the way.  Be persistent.  Follow your plan and do something to move forward, every day, especially on the “low-motivation” days.  Don’t give up, don’t give in.

Then Be Ready for Big Surprises

You’re as good as you think you are, and as good as you want to be.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Winners Never Quit and…

8 Sep

quitting[1]“Winners never quit and quitters never win.” – Vince Lombardi

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” – William E. Hickson

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” –  Joseph P. Kennedy

I’m sure you’re familiar with these quotes.  They all speak to the same concepts — persistence, perseverance, and overcoming adversity.

Here’s some advice: Forget all that stuff.  Accountability, self-development, and self-improvement are overrated.  And, it takes a lot of work to make yourself better.  Why expend all that effort?  I’m pretty sure no one ever improved their lot in life — academically, athletically, personally, or professionally — by working hard to make themselves better.

Are you a student who doesn’t care for a teacher, classmate, or class?  Don’t particularly like homework and studying?  Struggling with a certain subject or course? Are you just plain tired of school?  Just quit.

Are you an athlete whose coach is not giving you the playing time you feel you deserve?  Teammates not helping you get the exposure and recognition to which you’re entitled?  If you’re not satisfied with your playing time — or any other aspect of your sport participation… walk away.

Are you a business professional who’s just plain tired of the day-to-day grind?  Experiencing difficulty with a job-related role, responsibility, or task?  It may be time to put in your notice.

Having trouble communicating, interacting, and coexisting with family and friends?  It’s obviously their problem (no matter how many of them there are) because it certainly can’t be you.  You should suggest to all of them that they “look in the mirror” and engage in some serious soul-searching and attitude adjustment, and learn to adjust to your perspective.

And another thing: I’ve always encouraged my kids to talk directly with adults — teachers, coaches, supervisors, etc. — to discuss and resolve any issues that may exist, before I got involved.  I wanted them to deal with differences of opinion and adversity, and learn to “fight their own battles.”  But maybe I had it wrong.  Why should a kid have to swallow his/her pride and check his/her ego when a “helicopter” parent, living vicariously through their kid, is willing to confront his/her “tormentor?”  It’s much easier just to let mommy and daddy fight that battle for you.

Let me know how that works for you.

On a serious note, NO ONE should EVER tolerate verbally and/or physically abusive behavior from ANYONE!

Quitting is becoming an epidemic.  Are you infected?

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?

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