4:52am: As I'm struggling to get out of bed, I get a text from one of my athletes:
Danny: "Let's get it!..U up bro!"
Danny: "I'm on the bike"
Me: "U already there?"
That's all i needed to throw on my hoop gear and run out the door to the first of my two early AM sessions.
5:15am: I walk into the gym which is pretty hot and humid (just the way I love it) and there's Danny, getting ready for our "grind session"
I couldn't help but get excited myself because I could tell from his voice that the next hour was going to be nothing short of a 12 round heavyweight bout. And that's exactly what went down, 1v1 basketball, baseball pitcher vs life coach, two games to 100 (2's & 3's), intense ironsharpening at its finest.
6:40 am: Exhausted from one of our most intense sessions to date, we sit on the sideline and talk about how intense those games were. I tell Danny that I appreciate his competitive fire and his desire to get up and be in the gym before school to put in some work. He says it's all about getting better together, why wouldn't he do it. As we leave the gym that gets me to thinking about what would drive a student athlete to want to get up so early. I definitely have time think about it before my next session at in about 20 minutes with another motivated student who's about to put in three hours of work with me.
I read a statement recently that said "Coaches love coaching players who are hungry to get better and don't have to be told to get in the gym" In nearly 22 years as a trainer and life coach guys like Danny make me want to get in gym and grind it out with them for four hours. It's amazing to me that any high school student would want to sacrifice themselves and get up on their own and put in that much work before school. Most teenagers don't think they have the time or the energy for it.
7:30am: Thoroughly exhausted by my workout with Danny I find myself walking into the gym with another highly motivated athlete Simeon who's ready to spend the next 2.5 hours building on yesterday's early AM workout. Can't help but feed off his excitement for "getting better" not only are we putting up a ton of shots, working on attack moves, grinding out a couple 100pt games, it's "Leg Day"....we are tacking on a strength session to finish up. Crazy? You bet, but worth every bit of pain we will all be feeling later today.
10am: Sitting together in the lobby, I had to ask Simeon what motivates him to want to get up early to put in work. He didn't hesitate to tell me why. He said:
"Because I love the game, for my parents, and to everyone who said I was trash and said I couldn't play and coaches who put me on the b team in 8th grade"
This sophomore has the kind of work ethic I usually see in my college athletes. Before we started working together, he was already getting in the gym at 5am to put in a couple hours work before starting on school work. When he told me about it, i knew he was the kind of player I love to work with.
Both Danny and Simeon have the internal drive to become great at what they do. Both guys are not only driven but are super competitive and are not satisfied with anything less than being the absolute best they can be. This is the mentality that made guys like Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and basically most guys regardless of their sport successful.
Where does that come from? Some say you have to be born with it and others say you can learn it. I say its a combination of both. You do have to have the want to, but what I have found out after 25 years of investing in and developing leaders is that we all have some internal desire to achieve greatness but we need people who can help us develop the tools to get there.
What are you driven to do? Do you have goals? Do you want it more than anything else? Are you willing to give up a few things in order to achieve it? These are questions that you have to be ready to answer if you want to separate yourself from your competition!