A person without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls. – Proverbs 25:28

This scripture is not only applicable to life in general, but to all the various elements that make up our life. School. Relationships. Nutrition. Athletics. Finances. A person who isn’t able to restrain from poor decisions or sinful behavior allows openings in his armor for those very things to creep in and overtake their life. What helps a person gain and keep self-control? You rid your life of poor and sinful behavior by filling it with something sustaining and good. In the spiritual sense, that void left by ridding your body of sinful behavior is filled by the Holy Spirit. Building a relationship with Jesus fills and will continue to fill your body with the spiritual strength and self-control brought forth by the Holy Spirit. Where do you start building a relationship with Jesus? First, you accept and admit that behaviors need to change. God’s grace and forgiveness has always been there because of what Jesus did on the cross. All you have to do is accept it. Second, you establish a relationship with Jesus by spending time each day communing with the Father and learning His Good Word. Learning about how Jesus lived a life filled with love allows you to grow closer to Him and help keep poor decisions and sinful behavior at bay. Next, you build upon your relationship by attending a church that speaks to you. Surrounding yourself with others who are or have been broken and digging deeper into Scripture together helps strengthen your relationship with God. Finally, you find ways to use the talents God gave you to glorify Him. Step out of your comfort zone and help those less fortunate with your talent, time, or money.

I also think a good step to gaining self-control in your life and rebuilding your broken-down walls is figuring out who or what your enemies are that you need self-control over. I know I have many…

Greed – I allow myself to think that “if I just had more money I would be happier”. I start wishing I had fast money. Thinking of this takes my concentration off what will really bless me… God.

Debt – I opened the door to this enemy back in college and gave him a spare key ever since. Debt can be so stressful it changes your heart from a giving one to a taking one.

Selfishness – I can get caught up focusing on my own wants, needs, reputation more than those around me. I need to put my loved ones’ needs before my own.

Pride – The competitor in me brings out prideful behavior. I often look at my own accomplishments or think I am a better coach/person than somebody else. It is okay to be competitive, but in a humble manner.

Judgment – I often catch myself passing judgment on people based on what I see on the outside or stereotypes I have learned through society/culture. I must remember to not judge a book by its cover, but learn who a person is on the inside. We are all children of God capable of great love and service to each other.

Laziness – I want results now. I want results without putting in the work. I have fallen victim to this enemy many times. This often leads to me expecting I deserve something rather than earning it. Hard work, due diligence, process, and patience are the ways to results.

Anger – In rare situations I can get extremely short-tempered. Particularly when I am challenged or when I am confronted with somebody giving me advice/help with something I (think) already know.

What do you need self-control over? What or who are your enemies controlling your life? As a coach, I cannot help but apply this to athletics. What areas of your life do you need self-control over in order to reach your athletic potential? Not having self-control with your daily decisions is making your body defenseless against illness, injury, fatigue, stale performances, and athletic progress. Do you want it bad enough to have self-control with your sleep habits? Do you want to reach your potential bad enough to put the right food and drink in your body time and time again? Is the desire to reach the top enough to have the self-control to surround yourself with family and friends who will help lift you to your goals? Having self-control allows you to leave your athletic career never asking “what if?”.

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You Get What You Put In

As my student-athletes are gone for Winter Break and are challenged to continue training on their own, I am reminded more than ever the importance of commitment. For 3 1/2 months, I was there teaching, instructing, mentoring (and at times controlling) as many aspects of their training as I could. Now, for 3 weeks, they are on their own. No coach to hold them accountable. No coach or teammates to push them to give 100% effort in everything they do. The level of commitment they have will determine what they get out of this 3 weeks of training on their own. YOU GET WHAT YOU PUT IN. This is the case no matter what part of the season it is. If you put in hard work and countless simple disciplined choices, you will be left with positive outcomes. On the flip side, if you rely on talent alone and make countless simple errors in judgment, you will be left with undesirable outcomes. The level of commitment must be greater than the level of complacency.

How do you make the decision to be more committed? How do you control your decision to be committed? First, you have to understand some aspects of commitment before you can make the decision to be more committed. To become the person/athlete you desire to be, you need to possess tenacity and determination. The level of your determination derives from commitment.

Commitment changes your outlook on life. Everybody can look back on their life and think of a moment when they made a big change or wish they would have made a big change. In track and field, this continuously happens throughout a season. Many times an athlete thinks back to what they “could have done” in order to have a better outcome. This is the time to re-evaluate yourself and make changes that will affect the rest of your season or next season. You can do this by embracing a committed attitude.

Commitment helps you overcome life’s obstacles. People are always confronted with challenges. Small challenges. Big challenges. As a student-athlete, challenges seem to be a daily occurrence. Papers. Exams. Stressful relationships. Demanding practices. Not enough time to sleep, eat, or relax. However, successfully navigating through life’s challenges is not a result of luck or magic. Success comes from grinding (and not that kind!). Working hard day in and day out. Committing yourself to simple disciplined choices. Eating breakfast. Staying hydrated. Studying notes from class earlier rather than later. Making smart nutritional choices. Getting a consistent 8hrs of sleep every night. Foam rolling everyday. Stretching extra everyday. Planning each day out in advance so you have the time to sleep, study, eat, practice, and relax. Success also comes from holding onto and refusing to let go of your goals. No matter how many obstacles you face, keeping those goals in your front pocket will be a reminder of what you are grinding for.

Commitment will be tested everyday. I like to refer to this generation of young people as the Text Message Generation. Texts are sent and received instantaneously. Outcomes are wanted just as fast. Commitment can also be viewed as a one-time occurrence. An athlete recognizes some change that needs to occur and makes the decision to do it. After one time, they either get tested with adversity so they feel the change is not worth it or they do not see the benefit/outcome of the change instantaneously. The decision to be committed to a goal is not the end of the process… it is the beginning. Any time you make a commitment in life, it is going to be tested. You will experience failure along the way. Staying committed means you must pick yourself up after each failure, recognize what went wrong, and continue with improved actions. You will be tested by having to stand alone. People will try to distract you and challenge your ability to make simple disciplined choices. If you allow yourself to be surrounded by people (which could be friends and family) that lean on you and try to subtract and divide from your life, your dreams and goals will be compromised. If you plan to follow through with your commitment to your goals, you may have to stand alone at times. Another way you will be tested is by facing deep disappointment. A lot of things can go wrong in life, let alone track and field. How will you react to them? I’ve blogged about this before, but a good way to face disappointment is reminding yourself that “It could be worse.” Another way to react to disappointment is to understand that what happened is exactly what you needed to grow into a better person/athlete down the road. The biggest growth happens when we rise from adversity and disappointment.

Now that you know some aspects of commitment, how do you make that decision to BE more committed? If you desire to have a higher level of determination to accomplish goals for yourself, then you need to make the decision to embrace commitment FULLY in your life. Do not be lukewarm with your commitment…. be ON FIRE! What price are you being asked to pay for making committed choices? Knowing what price needs to be paid in order to accomplish your goals only strengthens your commitment. Once you decide what price you need to pay, then you need to decide if you are really willing to do what it takes to reach your goals. Is the price worth the goal? Is the consistent sleep pattern worth setting a lifetime best in your event? Is saying “no” to partying worth being a Conference Champion? Is extra stretching and injury prevention worth making it to the National Championships and beyond? Is giving 100% in everything you do at practice worth being an All-American? Always striving for excellence – doing your best in everything, in every way – is the kind of commitment that will take you where lazy and average people will never go.

Once you make the decision to be more committed, you must be able to manage and continue to make that decision. One way to manage being committed is to expect commitment to be a struggle. Anything in life worth having is going to come with struggles. That is what makes accomplishing goals so meaningful. You realize the commitment is worth the struggle to get where you want to be. Next, you must understand that talent alone will not get you to your goals. Understanding this allows you to add a strong work ethic to the God-given talent you have. Another way to manage the decision to be more committed is by focusing on the things you can control. All the daily decisions you make are under your control. They can be simple disciplined choices which will add momentum to your level of commitment, or simple errors in judgment which will detract from your decision to commit. You cannot control your circumstances or the people around you. You CAN control how you react to your circumstances and the people you deal with on a daily basis. Finally, and most importantly, you must do what is right even when you do not feel like it. If you make the right choices only when you feel like it or when a coach is watching, your commitments will be inconsistent. Making the simple disciplined choices when you do not feel like doing so is when you raise your level of commitment above your level of complacency. Doing this allows you to better manage your decision to be more committed.

When you are INTERESTED in something, you do it only when it feels convenient for you. When you are COMMITTED to something, you accept no excuses in doing what it takes to get the results you want. Do not be interested in reaching your potential… be COMMITTED in reaching your potential.

Much of this message was derived from John Maxwell’s “Today Matters”

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This weekend I attended what will most likely be my last in-person service  at Crossroads Christian Church (at least for a while). Mrs. Basler and I will be departing SoCal in a couple of days for a new adventure in the Midwest. While I am sure I will become a regular online attendee to Crossroads, I will miss attending, in person, the place that continues to transform my life and my relationships.

The very first passage talked about this weekend was during prayer before we took communion. The passage highlighted was 2 Corinthians 12:9. The apostle Paul explains that the Lord’s grace works best in our weakness… so Paul was glad to boast about his weaknesses. Ironically enough, the day before I heard this passage I found something very relevant to 2 Corinthians 12:9. As I was packing up our apartment, I found something I wrote over 4 1/2 years ago. It was some self-reflection I did well before I ever started my walk with Christ. I think self-reflection and “boasting about our weaknesses” is necessary for growth to happen in a person’s life. I find it funny now how I mentioned faith at the end… deep down inside the Lord was nudging me back then but it took a while for me to listen and understand. Here was my self-reflection:

“I am thirty years old. I feel I am capable of so much. I hold myself back with a lack of initiative. I am hard-working, but I need to get started first before I utilize my strong work ethic. I know what needs to be done for me to have a chance at greatness. I just don’t do it. I always tell myself I am going to better myself… ‘I am going to do this’… ‘I am going to change that’. All it becomes is hot air. It’s true what they say… bad habits are hard to break. Or are they hard to break for people like me? People who procrastinate. People who talk a big game. I have heard from many people that I am not easy to approach. I have a strong authoritative way about my presence that makes people feel they can’t be open about their opinions. I don’t think I am close-minded… I think it’s more of a defensive nature when my opinion or knowledge is challenged. I definitely have the characteristics of always wanting to be right. I believe that is a branch of my competitive nature. I hate losing. I hate being wrong. If I lose, then I feel inferior. I didn’t do everything I could have to be prepared. If I am wrong, I feel inferior. I didn’t research or know enough to back my thoughts/words. See… I know my faults. I recognize what they are. I want to grow as a person… not necessarily change. But grow. I need to take my recognized faults and learn how to eliminate them or make them better. But now I am back to the start again… I know what needs to be done for me to have a chance at greatness. So what’s holding back my first step to growth? Procrastination? Unorganized? Is the desire for initiative absent? Laziness? Wanting growth to come easy? Lack of patience? That is SO ironic. I preach about patience. This society wants everything right away two minutes ago. Yet I don’t want to combine patience with hard work. That’s what I am. I am a hypocrite. Isn’t that who a person is when they preach one thing and practice the other. I am going to look that word up… I am a hypocrite to the “T”. I should be living the life I teach my athletes. I preach about balance. My life is balanced. It is balanced like a tight-rope performer. Very sporadic. My priorities shift from side to side. It takes a lot of work and causes a lot of stress to balance priorities that way. I need to have the type of balance like a table. The priorities are stable. They are the foundation that supports the surface. When the surface is stable and solid, many things can be set on it with confidence. It doesn’t take a lot of stress to manage all the items put on a solid, stable surface. It all starts with the foundation of the legs. So… what needs to be my legs? My foundation to lead a truly balanced life?

– Organization: Having this frees up time to work on other faults.

– Faith: I need this to become a better person… an open-minded person who is more free for growth.

– Initiative: I often find that when I just get started on a task, half the battle is won.

– Leadership: Not just by voice. I need to lead by example. I need to practice what I preach. I need to be an example for others to follow. I need to be the example for myself”

A lot of growth has happened to me since I last wrote this self-reflection over 4 1/2 years ago. The biggest growth as been my faith in God. This has been the one thing that has allowed growth in all other areas of my life. I pray that I continue keeping faith in God my number one priority. I think another self-reflection is due when I turn 35. I want to keep growing.

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Are you faithful in your process?

Could you or I be faithful even if we did not know how an outcome would turn out? Or what if the outcome we desire never happens… could you still be faithful in your process time and time again? As athletes, faithfulness and belief in the process are the determining factors on how good the end results will be. Even with poor training, an athlete who believes in it and has total buy-in with the process will still see improvements. On the other hand, if well-thought-out training is provided, but the athlete does not have faith or believes in it, they will see miniscule improvements if any.

So what is faith? How can faith help you achieve goals and reach your athletic potential?

Faith is the opposite of sight

Faith is a series of small decisions that lead to a bigger picture we cannot see. Truly having faith and belief in something means you will make the right decisions on a daily basis to lead you to that thing even though you cannot see it. Faith is not based on circumstances… faith is not based on seeing something first. Isn’t this what goal setting is all about? At the beginning of the season, you have an athletic goal that represents some time or mark you have never attained before (never seen). Committing full faith towards the process and the training provided for you will put you on a path towards attaining that unseen goal. Will there be times you come up short? Of course. But it will not be a result from lack of faith, focus, commitment, or belief. We often get so caught up in wanting to see the results/goals instantly. Faith does not have to be “see it to believe it”.

Faith will never compromise

A person who commits full faith towards the process will never compromise what is right. Faith and belief will never allow you to make wrong decisions. Think about this: if you have faith and belief (and I am talking unfettered belief) that having a consistent sleep pattern, having a nutritious diet, completing all the reps when no one is watching, staying hydrated, staying away from alcohol, surrounding yourself with supportive & positive people, having total buy-in to the training, doing all the required (and extra) recovery modality, being a supportive, caring, & respectful teammate, coming to practice focused everyday… basically, what I refer to as “the process”… if you have unfettered faith and belief that these things will lead you to accomplishing athletic success, you cannot and will not make decisions that contradict these things. Having faith is a choice. When you stand up for your choices, you will not shrink away when somebody challenges you to do the wrong things.

Faith produces endurance

Like I said before, having faith is a choice. In order to get good at anything in life, you have to continuously practice it until it becomes habit. Faith is no different. You have to practice having faith and belief in the process. How does this happen? Making faithful and good decisions over and over again will give you endurance. And I am not talking the long distance kind. As your faith in the process gets tested by peers, negativity, less committed teammates, etc., you build up endurance as you pass each little test. You start establishing a strong foundation of good decisions. When this happens, your perseverance gets built up. By practicing good decision after good decision, it becomes easier and easier to have faith in the process.

Faith produces hope

When you live your “athletic life” so centered in having faith in the process, no tribulation will take you down. You will have faith when faced with big trials (saying no to alcohol & drugs) and faith when faced with small trials (eating fruit instead of a box of candy). When you make continuous faithful decisions in the process, teammates will look to you for hope. They may be struggling with making the right decisions. But because you continuously make the right decisions, you can provide hope to those looking to live a more dedicated and focused “athletic life”. By not compromising what is right, there is no doubt trials will arise. As you pass these trials, you will gain the endurance needed to travel further down that path towards your goals. As a result, you will positively influence teammates around you and provide hope to those who need to get back on track.

The above are what happens when you have faith and belief in the process. But what about when you are lost? What happens when you do not make the right decisions because of unbelief?

Unbelief blinds your eyes

Not believing that all the things I listed above (the process) will help you achieve your goals will cause you to be blind to the athletic possibilities and potential you have. This unbelief in the process will make you become skeptical. When you become skeptical about what is being taught and provided to you, you diminish your chances of making athletic improvements.

Unbelief poisons your heart

Making poor life choices which contradict the process that has been taught to you will make you a cynical athlete. You will project negativity towards your practices and competitions. Eventually, you will project negativity onto your teammates and coaches. Being negative is always a sign of unbelief. All too often people will say, “I’m not being negative, I’m being realistic.” It is a very scary thing when people start confusing negativity for reality.

Unbelief robs your joy

Unbelief in the process will lead you to make wrong decisions when your faith is tested. Much like practicing good choices becomes a habit, making wrong decisions can become a habit. You will lose joy in practicing and competing because you are not seeing the outcomes you want as a result of your choices. You will soon become a sterile athlete… lacking the ability to produce or function in a positive manner for yourself and for your team.

A team with a poor culture founded on poor decisions, unbelief, and lack of faith can be a slippery slope. A team with a culture based on faithfulness and belief in the process can also be very dangerous… but in a good way. Making right decisions and holding each other accountable to the process can spread like wildfire. Individual goals and team goals soon become something that are no longer unseen. A faithful team, and a faithful athlete, needs to build their athletic career on superior decisions. Can you build a superior house with inferior products? Can you make superior life choices if you keep surrounding yourself with inferior relationships? You need to stay faithful to the process and build your athletic career not on sand, for it will just collapse in bad weather. Rather build it on rock so it will withstand all trials and tribulations.


Much of the information in this blog post should be credited to Crossroads Christian Church and the lessons they teach. This specific blog post resulted from things I took away from a sermon by Ronny Roa.

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Free from Fear

As in life, fear takes many forms in athletics. These fears can paralyze an athlete’s potential. These fears can take a person’s goals away before they even reach for them. What are these paralyzing fears? How do athletes overcome them so they can reach their potential?

The first thing is to recognize which fears lurk within you. I have come up with 6 main fears (I am sure there are many more) which affect how an athlete performs. Do you fall under one (or more) of these??

Fear of Commitment: Commitment can be a scary thing, especially in athletics. In order to be the best you can be, there is a level of commitment to the process that needs to be present. An athlete cannot expect to improve each year while making the same life choices they made during the previous season. A commitment to being better often means leaving behind comfortable/easy choices. A commitment to being better also means leaving behind people in your life who do not help lift you. This is where the fear comes in… a fear to leave comfortable decisions/people and commit to a lifestyle that may be difficult at first, but rewarding in the end.

Fear of Failure: This fear is big and mighty. The chance of not living up to your own expectations often leads to not even attempting a challenge. What if I run slower? What if I don’t jump far… or even worse, foul all my attempts? This fear can affect people so much that they search for excuses not to participate… illness, injury, etc.

Fear of Success: Success? Who would be afraid of that? Isn’t success what all athletes seek when they compete? The answer is yes… this is the ultimate goal of competition: To be successful at everything we do. The fear comes into play when a person starts realizing that with success comes higher expectations. Athletes who have a fear of success think, “If I have a big PR, then I am going to be expected to perform at that level again.” As a result, athletes can “lock” up physically or mentally during performance. In much the same way as fear of failure, athletes will search for excuses as to why they did not perform to their capability.

Fear of People: Many times athletes are concerned with what others will think of their performance. They fear the criticism that will come from coaches, teammates, friends, and even family. All too often athletes who have a fear of people will build false expectations for themselves based on what they think other people expect from them. Instead of focussing on themselves, they fear letting others down.

Fear of Circumstances: If you fall under this category of fear, you worry about what will or will not happen as a result of your performance. What will happen if I don’t hit the conference or national qualifying mark this weekend? If I don’t perform well this year, will my scholarship be reduced? If I make the national championships, I will be competing for All-American against the nation’s best athletes. Instead of being lost in the moment of competition, thoughts are projected into the future. When we lose focus of the present, we hurt our chances of even making it to a future outcome.

Fear of Being Exposed: I blogged about this very thing last year. If you cheat yourself in the dark when nobody is watching, you will be exposed under the lights when it is time to perform. On the flip side, if you bust your butt and stay true to the process in the dark when the only person holding you accountable is yourself, SUCCESS will be exposed under the lights. Too many times athletes deflect responsibility for underperforming. They refuse to admit to skipped training in the offseason or poor life choices on the weekend because this will just expose them for their lack of commitment. As a result, many excuses will be grasped for when the performance is not up to par.

The million dollar question: How do you overcome these fears? The number one thing is to admit when you are wrong or not making correct decisions in your life. Be honest about past problems or decisions so you are able to learn from them and move on. Another great way of overcoming fear is admitting you have it. If you can honestly admit to having one of these fears, then a process/plan can be put in place to help you overcome it. This may include mental imagery, or even talking to someone about the root of your fear. Also, do not sit passively by if you know you have fears that need to be dealt with. The sooner you can admit to them, the sooner you can get past them.

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No Room for Complaining

I attend Crossroads Christian Church in Corona, CA. The past 6 weeks we have been reading The Story together… a book about the Bible as one continuing story of God and His people. At last weekend’s service, there was a great message about the truths of complaining and how it affects your life. The message can be applied to all aspects of your life, including athletics.

Attitude shapes everything in your life. When you spend your time complaining, the negativity attached to it becomes toxic and contagious. Small amounts of complaining will lead to more and more of the same behavior. Soon, most situations will be viewed with complaints or grumbling. Not only will the complainer become more intoxicated with negativity, but those around them can be affected to. In an athletic environment, complaining can be detrimental to positive individual and team growth. Just think of the common complaints you hear at practice…

– “It’s so hot outside.”

– “Why do we have to workout in the rain?”

– “I hate tempo days.”

– “Lifting weights is so tiring.”

Hearing these kind of complaints over and over again each day can really be tiresome for those who are trying to find purpose and blessings in what they do. Whenever someone complains, they lose perspective on what can be gained during adversity. You might be on the verge of something great, but not have it happen because you are filled with complaints and the accompanying negativity.

Complaining brings a curse on you and your life. The Bible teaches that complaining (grumbling, whining, wailing) is equivalent to cursing. When you complain about a person, a class, a workout, etc., you are actually cursing that person/situation. It becomes very difficult to see the positivity and gains that can be made with people or situations when you curse it with complaints. Again, complainers lose perspective when they curse the situations/people in their life. If you find yourself on the brink of complaining, there are 4 words you can say over and over again: It Could Be Worse. Try it…

– “It’s really hot outside… but It Could Be Worse.” (It could be 20 degrees and snowing)

– “I can’t believe we have to workout in the rain… but It Could Be Worse.” (You could not be part of college team)

– “I hate tempo days… but It Could Be Worse.” (Every day could be a tempo day!!!)

– “Lifting is so tiring… but It Could Be Worse.” (You could be weak and not reach your athletic goals)

Complaining is also the worship of SELF… a sign of PRIDE. When you complain, you are saying that you deserve better than what you are getting… or that not enough is being done for YOU. “I can’t believe I have to attend this meeting?” is like saying you are above having to attend… that you deserve better than having to attend this meeting. Pastor Chuck at Crossroads said it best, “Complaining is saying, ‘Everything God has given me is not enough.'”

From the standpoint of faith, complaining is the opposite of worship and a sign of lack of faith. The Bible teaches us that when you complain, you are actually rejecting God. We cannot be in the presence of God and complain… the two cannot exist together. A great example of this is when God used Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and slavery. God was going to fulfill a covenant he made with the Israelite’s ancestors by leading them to the Promised Land. Because of the constant complaining of the Israelites, what should have been an 11 day journey turned into 40 years. In fact, God was so angered by their complaining that he was ready to destroy all of Israel. Do not let your athletic journey to success be delayed because of complaints about the process. Have faith in the plan constructed for you and fuel it with positivity.

In short, it isn’t about the circumstances or adversity you face, or what you have or don’t have. It is about heart… having the heart to stay positive when situations say otherwise… having the heart to be good people towards not-so-good people. In closing…

Complaining MAGNIFIES what’s wrong…

MINIMIZES what’s right…

Causes us to miss what MATTERS.

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The lights expose it all

I tried finding a quote my colleague has paraphrased many times, but to no luck. It is a quote from Joe Louis or Joe Frazier… goes something like this: If you cheat yourself in the dark, you will get exposed under the lights. I found a very similar one to that…

“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses—behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”

—Muhammad Ali

Both quotes refer to self-discipline, focus, and accountability. If you cheat your training when nobody is watching… if you cheat the goals you are trying to accomplish when nobody is there to hold you accountable, you WILL get exposed when it is time to compete. Again, to take an idea from my colleague… if you are taking shortcuts or being lazy with anything you do at practice (or anything in life), you will get beat by somebody who does it better… someone who doesn’t take shortcuts but holds themselves accountable every single rep with everything they do. The question becomes… when do you want that person who does it better to inch you out in a race or a jump? At a home meet in front of your friends/family? Or how about in prelims at the Conference Championship to knock you out of making finals? Or maybe it doesn’t happen until 1st Round of NCAA when you get knocked back to 13th place and miss going to the National Championships? The point is… don’t be the athlete getting beat because you cannot hold yourself accountable to doing every single rep correctly and with focus. Be the athlete that does it right all the time so you can be the one out-working and out-performing your competition.

Keeping focus on everything you do in your life so it supports your athletic goals/dreams will also be exposed “under the lights”. Your hard work, accountability, discipline, and focus will be exposed as SUCCESS. The question you need to ask yourselves (and be honest with your answer because the window of opportunity to be a collegiate athlete goes by fast) is “Does my focus at practice and with life decisions compliment the goals I have as an athlete?” If it doesn’t, then that is the cause for poor practice/competition performances. Are you thinking about body position with every movement of the warm-up, or are you just going through the motions? Is every fast paw done with a tight core and a conscious effort to have the pelvis in the right position? In between technical reps, are you visualizing how to fix a technical issue or are you talking/gossiping/giggling with your teammates to pass the time? As you come to a practice, are you focused on the workout that lies ahead or are you worrying about OR starry-eyed about a personal relationship? What about when it comes to getting rest at night… are you holding yourself accountable and going to bed at a reasonable hour or are you staying up late on Facebook/Twitter?

A coach can only provide so much external motivation… the athlete has to be internally motivated to stay focused on every single rep. At most, a practice session lasts 2hrs 15min. It should not be too much to ask for an athlete to set aside all the outside distractions and put all focus into the practice… no gossiping about things unrelated to practice, no going through the motions of the warm-up, no stressing about academics/relationships (since they can’t be solved at practice anyways). Considering that you athletes are all out there by your own choice… why not stop being “luke warm” with your actions and be “on fire” for the choice you are making. Push all your chips in… even when nobody is watching. Because if you put your best focus forward with everything you do, you are going to like what gets exposed when the lights are on you.

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