Sports Fitness Solutions Newsletter Issue #008 - How Bad Do You Want It?

How Bad Do You Want It? 5 Top Questions Every Athlete should ask themselves.

How Bad Do You Want It? 5 Top Questions Every Athlete should ask themselves.

How bad do you want to be a great athlete, the best you can be? So many people talk about wanting to be great; but very few actually do what it takes to be great. I once heard a saying that I will never forget, and that I use on a weekly basis while working with my athletes: "A great athlete does every day, what a good athlete does occasionally." You see, a great athlete does whatever it takes on a daily basis to improve his game, while a good athlete does it when it's convenient or when they feel like it. Athletes that want to be great will do whatever it takes to attain their goal, where the average athlete will only do what it takes when it is convenient for them.

I would like to clarify the athletes that I am describing; I am not talking about the athlete that just enjoys participating in a sport that they truly love. The athletes that I am referring to are the ones that have ability and have enjoyed success at a smaller level of play and live off what they have accomplished; instead of putting forth the extra effort to be great and go to the next level. What is the difference between the great athlete and one that is good, the great one does whatever it takes on a daily basis to improve and achieve their goal. It's called consistency, hard work, and dedication.

If you are an athlete, I want to challenge you to ask yourself five questions. These five questions will determine if you have what it takes to be great or if you are satisfied with just being good.

1. How Bad?

How Bad Do I Want It? How bad do you really want to be great, the best you can be? Are you like most people who just talk about it or are you willing to work to go get it? I once heard Jeff Bagwell of the Houston Astros say, "Some people want it to happen; some hope it will happen; others make it happen." Which are you? To be great you have got to go and make it happen. You have to want it more than your opponent, you have to take it. It just comes down to; how bad do you want it?

2. Why?

Why Do I Want It? Some athletes want to be great for the fame, others want to be great for the money, others because of the love of the game, and finally others simply want to see at how high of a level they are capable of performing at. Whatever the reason, the important thing is to know why you want to be great. This becomes the athletes motivating force, this is what drives them to do what ever it takes to achieve their goals.

3. What?

What Am I Willing To Do To Achieve My Goal? What are you willing to sacrifice? A lot of athletes say that they want to play professionally or win a championship, and that's great. Do you think that most athletes know what it takes for them to get there? What you need to do on a daily/weekly/monthly/annual basis to reach that ultimate goal to play professionally or win that championship? To be a great athlete in any sport takes a lot of sacrifice. You may have to go to bed early when your friends are out at a movie. You may have to tell your girlfriend you can't hang out because you need to train. You may need to change your diet and not eat that pizza you like. Are you willing to make the sacrifices it takes to achieve your dream?

4. How Much?

How Much Do I Really Invest Into It? How much time do you put into trying to be great at what you do? Like anything else it takes a tremendous amount of time to be great at anything. These are the questions that I ask my athletes when discussing what it will take for that particular athlete to be great. How much time do you put into practicing? Be honest with yourself. Are you really ready to invest the time necessary to be great at what you do? There is no substitute for hard work.

5. Do You Really?

Do You Really Love It? Is this what you really want? Your love for the sport is what is going to drive you and that is what is going to keep you going when things get tough. It is not going to be easy. You will fail way more than you will succeed. You will probably be told that you will never make it, and you are crazy for even trying. You really need to ask yourself: is this what I love to do? If not, hang it up and find something you love to do. This is what life is about!

The one thing that these 5 questions all have in common is that none of these 5 things have anything to do with your physical ability. These five things are a way of thinking and are meant to fuel a burning desire to achieve your dream. The good news is that 90% of your competition will not go through this process to reach their goals, so you are now only competing with 10%. I like my odds a lot more now.

Now that you have asked yourself these questions, go and get it. Go and take what you deserve, and don't look back until it is yours! I want to leave you with the words from Jim Valvano the great basketball coach from North Carolina State, “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up!” If you live by that motto, then you will be successful in anything that you choose.

Achieve your Dream. Believe me it's worth the effort.

Good luck and stay fit. You'll be glad did.

Jeff Paluseo

Head Strength & Conditioning Coach, CSCS certified