What is important to you?
Whether I was recruiting athletes, coaching them, or now training them, this is the one question that so often goes unanswered. It’s so scary for me when this happens. Let’s be clear. While basketball seems to be at the center of everything for us, it really isn’t at all. It’s really just a tool and a pretty useful one at that. When I ask “Do you love basketball”, the answer is almost always yes. But when I ask what is important to you, I get blank stares.
Nobody said you had to love basketball. At least nobody with Hoops College. You certainly don’t have to tell us you love it. We don’t care if you do or not. We’d rather you say you hate it, but you play because of some other reason, as opposed to telling us you love it and lying to yourself. Seriously, just don’t lie to yourself. How you feel isn’t going to change what we think about you or how we treat you as a person. We’re going to love you anyway even if you never touch a ball again.
You’re really only hurting yourself.
Please understand that we are passionate about what we do. Anyone who has ever worked with us understands that. Our energy is polarizing. Either you love it or you hate it. That’s the point. And we don’t care either way. The problem comes when you say you love it, but you think our passion is going to fuel you. Players come through our doors every day and they love working with us. They say they love our “vibe”. Thanks for the compliment, but don’t think our “vibe” is going to get you where you want to go. If you can’t create your own “vibe” when you leave us, you aren’t going to accomplish your goals. Our passion has never fueled anyone’s success.
This is why we ask people all the time. What is important to you? When you walk through our doors, you know what’s important to us. It’s clear and obvious. If it ever isn’t clear, we probably need to shut it down. It’s our responsibility to model the behavior we want others to show. I know it’s a process. I know it takes time. It’s like we wake up monsters who have been sleeping. But then they hit the snooze button because they really aren’t ready to get up.
You have to know what you want. Not your mom, dad, brother, or sister. Or your boyfriend or girlfriend or your coach or mentor. What do you want? What is important to you? If it’s not basketball, that’s fine. We don’t care. If you say it is basketball, then your actions should reflect that. Don’t say it’s basketball and take days or weeks off. You can’t say basketball and miss workouts. Don’t say it’s basketball and be the same player tomorrow that you are today.
There are so many players out there who “could be” great. I even think they know it. They live on that hope that they “would be”, “could be”, “should be”. It’s just a matter of time, right? Unfortunately, time isn’t the answer. It’s all about the work. Your words say what is important to you. Your actions show it. Again, we don’t care either way. Our hopes and dreams aren’t riding on what you do or don’t do.
Just understand that when you walk through our doors, we are going to ask you what is important to you. Not because it matters to us, but because you need to think about it. You need to know.
Do you love your pet? Do you love your significant other? Think about something you love. How do you treat that person or thing? If you love ice cream, you eat some every chance you get. If you love taking naps, you don’t pass up on one of those right?
Does everyone love basketball the same way? Of course not. Some people like to watch it. Some people like to play it. Maybe you like to do both. Do you like it? Do you love it? Just because you like or love basketball, doesn’t mean you’re willing to do what it takes to be good at it. And that’s ok too. But if you truly love it and you want to be good at it or great at it or ELITE at it, you have to WORK at it. Do you think married people have to WORK at their relationship? It’s not easy. That’s why so many relationships end poorly. Do you think Michael Jordan or any other great athlete just woke up one day and decided he was going to be great and that’s all it took?
That’s insulting. Seriously. Doing anything truly great requires WORK. It requires disappointment, failure and rejection. It requires so many things that so many people run away from. Not that we run towards those things. Not that we look for those things. But we know that they are going to happen along the way and we don’t care.
What we know is that one “great” step is made up of a lot of little steps. And then when we achieve that “great” step, it doesn’t seem so great anymore and it’s time to figure out what we’re going to do next. Even though we know it won’t be easy, we know we’ll mess up along the way, and we know we’re creating more work for ourselves.
We know and understand what is important to us. We know that you probably don’t. If you do, you know how we feel. If you don’t, figure it out. Otherwise, you’ll just wander through life “woulda”, “coulda”, “shoulda”. That’s most people. They like to tell their stories or project their “regrets” on others. We have messed up and failed so many times. That will never stop. We will mess up over and over again. But no matter what, we know what is important to us and we will stay true to that. Even with our mistakes, we’ll figure it out.
This life philosophy carries over to our training. In every workout, we know what is important for that workout. And we attack it, even though we fail. We work relentlessly to improve at it.
Know what’s important to you. Chase it relentlessly. No matter what, we’ll love you anyway.