I was recently listening to an episode of the Secret to Success Podcast with Eric Thomas and his cohost CJ and CJ said something that really resonated with me. If you aren’t familiar with Eric Thomas, stop reading the blog now, open another tab and Youtube him. Watch any of his T.G.I.M (Thank god it’s Monday) series or one of his speeches and then come back.
Did you do that? Are you now pumped to finish this blog? Alright, let’s go then.
CJ was talking about what it’s like to be around ET and whether he was always as energetic as he is during his speaking engagements. He would go on to say ET was like a cell phone battery. You see AA batteries are great, they are universal, go in many electronics but as they wear down they don’t give you the same results. We’ve all had that moment with the TV remote where we are hitting it, switching the batteries around or pushing the buttons harder in an effort to change the channel. A cell phone battery in contrast gives you the same production at 100 as it does at 1. Even at 1% you can still do everything on your phone from Facebook to Angry Birds. That battery gives full function until it hits zero.
I thought what a great analogy to use on the court. In practice, how often do you give the same level of energy to each drill? Are you running lines at the same speed at the start of practice as you are at the end? How about your effort, is it the same throughout, or is it more like the AA it comes and goes and as you get more fatigued your effort wanes?
A championship level practice requires players to bring Cell Phone Battery energy every time. By giving that 100% effort regardless of your level of fatigue you are not only pushing yourself to be better you are pushing your team to be better as well. Then when it comes time to perform in a game situation you are better prepared.
Some of the reasons I've heard players choose to take a AA approach: They want to conserve energy for the more difficult drill or timed run they know is coming, they don’t really like that drill, other players on the team are giving low energy so why should they give a lot, among other things. To me these are all excuses. Great players approach each drill with a champion’s mindset of being the best at each drill as possible. They aren’t worried about whether they like the drill or what the next drill will be because they are too focused on “winning” that drill. As for overall energy in practice, don’t let others energy level affect yours. All it takes is one person to start a movement of good energy, take the initiative to be that spark. You, as an athlete, can choose to allow excuses to define your energy level if you are content with being good enough but know that you’ll never be great with that approach.
One of my favorite Eric Thomas quotes is ,”Good enough is the enemy of Greatness.” Don’t settle for good enough.
Take a moment to think back on last season and decide whether or not you were a Cell Phone or AA battery. If I walked into your practice, not knowing you, what would I see?
My challenge to you as you go into off-season training is give each workout that Cell Phone battery energy. Don’t be a AA that only works fully some of the time. Push yourself on each repetition of each drill to do it at your absolute peak ability. Then carry that momentum right into next season. I believe if you do the results will speak for themselves.
As always let me know what you think. What are some ways you can think of to make sure you keep giving that cell phone battery energy?
State championship winning basketball coach, Chris Woodside, shares his journey of going from varsity boys coach, to becoming a men's college coach, to currently coaching girls varsity basketball as well as life lessons learned on + off the court.