I had a conversation with a colleague of mine last week about the concept of “Guaranteed” results. This has always been very hard for me to understand. How can you “Guarantee” results in sports? Although foreign to me, it’s something that is promised all over the country.
Parents are willing to spend thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars to get their children to that next level. They’ll hire the best of the best, in hopes that their services will ensure greatness. Many professionals who offer services such as these, “Guarantee” results. “I guarantee I can make your son or daughter play at the next level.” Bold statement when you ask me, considering there are so many factors that go in to who makes it and who doesn’t.
1.) You Cannot Teach Athleticism – Athleticism is a gift you are born with or you aren’t. You can build strength, you can improve quickness, you can even increase your vertical leap, however the ability to jump 40″+ in the air is something that you cannot teach. A scout once told me there are three ways to make it to the NBA. You are a phenomenally well rounded player, you do one or two things extremely well, or you are just a freak athlete. You can’t teach the freak.
2.) The Biggest Influence in the Game is Between Your Ears – Mental toughness is a very hard concept to teach, and something very few ever truly learn. Although Kobe and Lebron are incredibly gifted and hard working athletes, in my opinion (which is just my opinion) their advantage over their competition lies in their head. They are mentally solid in every aspect of the game, which is why they can do what they do night after night.
3.) Geography – I was a factor of this one. You can be a great player, but if no one ever sees you, it is very hard to achieve greatness. Though this is becoming easier with advances in technology and the increasing availability of the internet, growing up in Idaho or Montana for example is no advantage. Most scouts don’t even know where those places are.
Under most circumstances, in order to be great, you need to surround yourself with those that are great or greater than you. You need to challenge yourself by playing with the best players and the toughest competition. This can be very hard to do when you factor in where you live. Sun Valley, Idaho where I grew up was not a hot bed for future basketball stars. I had to travel to compete, which isn’t always easy to do.
4.) Dedication and Determination – I have been running HSBCAMPS for five years now and this is perhaps the issue that our kids struggle with the most. Do you WANT to play at the next level or do you HAVE to play at the next level? Most people want something but they either don’t understand what it takes to get it or they refuse to work hard enough for it. There are hundreds of thousands of athletes as we speak, training, competing, and doing everything possible to achieve their dreams. Greatness is not easy. If it was it would be easily achieved. Even the best are working every day to be better. When you think that you have done enough, you need to do twice as much. Think of all of those that are competing for your spot right now.
Formerly a sales manager at 24 Hour Fitness, I used to talk to people about their goals and why they were interested in joining the gym. We had a “Guaranteed” training program with “Guaranteed” results. We could guarantee whatever we wanted, as much as we wanted, but I knew as well as anyone that it didn’t mean it was going to happen. You can promise, you can preach, and you can motivate all you want, but if the person you are pushing doesn’t want to be pushed, it is all for nothing. The guarantee lies with each individual. I am a true believer that if we set ourselves up to accomplish, anything is possible. The key lies in we. We need coaches, we need trainers, we need mentors in our lives, but only we can force ourselves to do that extra workout, to shoot those extra jump shots, and to study when we are exhausted. There’s that old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” The water is there, are you going to drink? Only you can make that decision and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. There are no substitutes for hard work and dedication and no amount of “Guaranteeing” will ever change that.