Work Smarter AND Harder

Famous basketball coach Jerry Wainwright once said, “Motivation is not enough. If you motivate an idiot, all you have is a motivated idiot.” A lot of focus is given to the motivational piece in sports training because it is hard to cultivate/instill a work ethic. Working smart, however, is another essential component. Working hard and working smart on their own are outstanding qualities, but one’s preparation is not truly complete until he/she maximizes both. As always, balance is key. In order to maximize the opportunities we are given to improve we must constantly have a purpose (a WHY) that is the driving force behind our actions. This concept extends beyond training. Whether it is what we eat, the TV shows we watch, who we interact with, the question we must keep in mind is WHY? What does that experience do to enhance our life and positively impact our goals? If it’s a drill or a workout, how does it correspond to what we do on the field? Without this perspective, one could work incredibly hard in the wrong direction. If you rest, rest with purpose. If you add another set, do so with purpose. Involving your “Why” in this consistent manner throughout your day will enrich it in several ways. Whether it is hours of seemingly meaningless paperwork or grueling two-a-days, the task will be less of a burden when it is directly linked to its benefits. Over the course of a long season, a long semester, and so on, the aforementioned connection is essential to consistent success and general happiness. In addition, you will find that the mundane activities become less mundane—if at all—and your days will become immensely more rewarding. While some of the of this will be due to eliminating the detrimental or unproductive aspects of your day, the biggest change will be an internal one that is imperceptible to anyone other than yourself. As my uncle once told me, “everything means something.” When you adopt this perspective you acknowledge that every aspect of your day is meaningful. The result is incredibly gratifying. Success has a recipe, and the key ingredients are hard work, intelligent work, and a greater purpose behind all that you do.

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