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Separating Yourself: Don't Forget The Fundamentals

Updated: Mar 7, 2019

If you are a sports fan, you love a good sports highlight. Whether it's a great catch on the field or a great shot on the court or course, we love to see and imitate our favorite athletes. I see it all the time in the gym when a player is working on his game and he spends the majority of their time working on fancy moves. My first thought is where are the fundamentals?

The man who we tend to think about when it comes to great highlights, Michael Jordan said:

" You can practice shooting eight hours a day, but if your technique is wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way. Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise."

What most people forget about MJ is that he mastered the fundamentals of the game. Before any of the great moves we see him do ever came about, he worked tirelessly on the fundamentals of basketball. As an athlete, you know that you just can't show up and automatically be the greatest player, you have to put in the work and it starts with the basics. But what happens over time is that we sometimes get some bad instruction or we are never really shown the correct way to do a skill. Over time, we keep practicing that skill the way we know it and it becomes our way of doing it. The problem is that we become set in our ways and then start thinking we have mastered the basics Thats when we want to start doing all the "cool" moves we see our favorite players doing and we forget to work on the fundamentals.

Fundamentals are something that you never stop working on. Whether it is in sports or in school or life, there is always something you can learn. As a trainer and a life coach, I have worked with professionals in every area from sports to business to entertainment and beyond and every one of them stressed the importance of continuing to "fine tune" the fundamentals of their craft. I'm constantly telling my clients that if you want to know what the greats are doing to work on their games, it's the fundamentals.

Michael Jordan gives us the best bottom line on the subject of fundamentals; "...get away from fundamentals....the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job...whatever you're doing" When a player begins to focus on other things they forget the basics and the team suffers because although they may be able to run through the play, they lack the ability to finish and score. If you can't score, you can't win. It's really that simple.

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