Somebody once said "Hard work beats talent any day" I tend to believe there is some truth to that. I was hanging out in the gym one night and watch this really athletic guy throwing down some really nice dunks. He made it look so easy like it was nothing but then he challneged another average looking guy to some 1v1. I figured that he was going to roll this guy but as the game ensued, the average guy started putting in work and not only did he win, he ended up dominating the game. Now from the looks of the "average" guy's game there was nothing very athletic and super talented, he just went to work doing what he knew to do and ended up winning. He clearly outworked the other guy, proving that hard work can win.
When it comes to separating yourself from the competition, outworking the competition is a must. What is "outworking" the competition? It starts with an attitude. Michael Jordan was quoted once as saying "I play to win, whether during practcie or a real game. And I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthursiasm to win" One of the greatest basketball coaches of all time Pat Summitt says "You can't always be the most talented person in the room, but you can be the most competitive" It comes down to a matter of competitve drive, you have to want it more than the other player.
How do you demonstrate that? You are relentless..you don't take plays off....you are willing to dive after every ball....you are willing to guard the best player on the other team. You don't try to play their game, you play yours....you take risks....you are willing to take it as far as you need to in order to get the win.
Outside of the game, you are the same relentless person in practice and in workouts. You are the first one in and the last one to leave. You are going for individual skills and performance training in addition to team practices. You are willing to make whatever sacrifice it takes to get better. You are in the gym after everyone else goes to bed. I have one friend who told me about his days in high school where he would get to the gym at 10pm and would be putting in work well past midnight. His parents would call asking him when he was coming home and his response to them was do you want to pay for my college education and their answer was keep putting in work and we will see you in the morning. He plays D1 basketball and is making a lot of noise in his conference. He would be the first to tell you it all has to do with being wililng to put in the work and being willing to outwork everyone.
Whether it is on or off the court, you have to have a solid work ethic. As a trainer, I have the most respect for those players that are determined to get the drill right and will not let me move them to another until they get it right. They get frustrated, they want to throw things but to me that shows me their heart. They are the ones that you see on the field or court getting after it on every end. Dripping with sweat, completely exhausted at the end because they gave everything they had, that is outworking them which at the end of the day should lead you to beating them. It's an attitude, it's a choice! What are you going to do?
Stay Forever Strong