Why Are You Here?

In Mental Training by Brock Bourgase

Players frequently try out for teams, working as hard as they can to make a school team or a regional select squad. What is the point of this exercise? Certainly, youth are enabled to meet their fitness, belonging, and esteem needs. Some might even achieve their self-actualization goals. To satisfy all of these requirements, athletes must possess a deeper motivation.

Everyone must ask themselves: what do I want for myself today, this week, and this month? What do I want for myself in the long-term? Once that vision is established, one should ask themselves how they will get there. What are the immediate steps for personal development that must be taken now and what will follow afterwards? For those with lofty aspirations, there is no easy answer. The training session may only last two hours but the work required takes much longer.

Coaches provide knowledge about fundamental movement skills, physical performance factors, sport-specific abilities, mental training, and long-term athlete development. This information opens the door but it is incumbent upon the athlete to walk through it. The general goal of an elite program is improved performance but there are many specific steps along that path.

A coach may say that “this footwork allows guards to catch and shoot the basketball more quickly” but it is the players must say: “I want a quicker release. I want a quicker release because it will give me an edge when I must attempt the game winning shot. To make the game winning shot, I am willing to work on my balance, quickness, explosiveness, and technique. I am willing to be the first one at practice and the last one to leave.”

I do not relish kicking players out of the gym. Sometimes, the facility is permitted to another group or the custodian needs to complete their responsibilities. Aside from those practical concerns, the only reason to expel players from the gym is a lack of dedicated repetitions. When the repetitions lack Intensity and Quality (due to fatigue or a lack of focus), there is no progress and training should stop. So long as the repetitions are solid, the sky’s the limit… if you’re willing to pay the price.