1 Definite Competitive Advantage in Sports – Commitment

I have trained athletes from 5 years old to 30+. There is a simple key separator between the good and great: commitment.

Athletes very often have GREAT marketing skills: they can talk the talk. But very few, as cliche as this sounds, walk the walk. You know the type (common catchphrases):

  • I am going to play in the NBA.
  • I am going to go D1.
  • I’m out here grinding all day and all night! No one can guard me!

Then you see this athlete play – no ball pressure on defense, playing matador defense, cannot dribble or finish with the weak hand.  This hyped up talk has always been around, but it seems to be becoming more & more prevalent. People talk about the end results, not the process to get there.  Do not get me wrong – it is great to have a dream!  But a dream without the work ethic & commitment to get there keeps it as such – a dream, with NO chance of becoming a reality.

Personally, when I hear athletes say these things, I have a simple follow up question:  What are your current training habits?

Usually the response sheds light on the seriousness of the athlete’s statement. I actually want to hear the breakdown. Normally, there are NO DETAILS, just catch phrases. “I’m training all the time, working my hardest to be the best…”  So, I dig a little deeper to see if there is more there.

When the athlete starts looking into the mirror and states their weekly routine, it often looks something like this:

  • In the gym, 1-3x/wk, 20-30 minutes
    • Ballhandling
    • 3 point shooting

My response? “As of right now, you don’t stand a chance.  You need to set goals and put in hard work EVERY DAY.  Otherwise, like I said, you DON’T STAND A CHANCE.  What do you think the daily routine of professional athletes consist of?”  (Click here to hear more about D1 or USA National Team Commitment).  At this stage, a light bulb can start to go off in their head a bit.

To be fair, putting in the daily work for your STRENGTH, SPEED, SKILL, and RECOVERY daily while being competitive in everything that you do is definitely a COMMITMENT.  This is especially true when you have school work or a job! Time management is key.  And when you train with me, we make a schedule that you need to stick to each week.

The most successful athletes I see LOVE TRAINING.  It is fun for them – working, getting better, seeing incremental progress, starting to get attention from high level AAU or college programs, or having their work being recognized by other pros they play against.  This is what fuels them.  If you just do not like being in the gym or on the pitch, then honestly, STOP.  STOP wasting your time and your money.  You need to LOVE this.

Here are a couple of sample training formats (for committed athletes that want a future in their sport of choice):

  1. HS Summer Off-Season/AAU
    1. 1 hour Speed, 3-5 days/wk (includes recovery day)
    2. 1 hour Strength, 3-5x/wk
    3. 1-1.5 hours of Skill work, 5 days/wk
    4. 1.5-2 hrs Team training, 2-3 days/wk
    5. Proper recovery (8 hrs+ sleep, protein/carbs/good fats & veggies at each meal with calorie intake/energy output balanced)
    6. Weekend Tournament
  2. HS/MS In-Season
    1. 1 Hour Skill, 2-3x/wk – Morning or After Team Practice
    2. 30-40 min Strength maintenance, 2x/wk – Morning or Before Team Practice
    3. 1.5-2 hrs Team Practice, 4-6x/wk (depending on playing schedule)
    4. Proper recovery (8 hrs+ sleep, protein/carbs/good fats & veggies at each meal with calorie intake/energy output balanced)
    5. Games 1-2x/wk
  3. Off-season/Other Sport Season
    1. Oftentimes (and recommended), athletes play multiple sports.
      1. **IF** an athlete is a MS athlete or younger, and if they LOVE a specific sport, I recommend skill training in some way 1-2x/wk for an hour and taking 1 season (fall, winter etc.) completely off
      2. **IF** an athlete is a HS athlete and is a Frosh or Soph, and they know they want to play on scholarship somewhere, I recommend skill training in some way 2-3x/wk for an hour year-round
      3. **IF** an athlete is a HS athlete and is a JR or SR with no looks or offers, and they know they want to play on scholarship somewhere for a specific sport, they need to focus on that sport they want to play in college year round.  You are behind!
      4. Of course, recovery.

As always, there are exceptions to this thought process, with the most common being injuries or overtraining, which will be covered in another article.

If you have questions or comments, feel free to contact me.