It’s becoming really interesting to see how this little side project of mine is evolving. Originally dedicated to just sharing my photos and commenting on the subjects, it seems like the site is starting to incorporate life lessons and inspiration I find too. Over the past however many weeks that I’ve been writing I’ve been blown away by the responses I’ve been getting. Not only on social media but the amount of times I’ve been approached in person by someone paying compliment to my writing and that’s really resonated with me. To know that I’ve had an impact on a person’s life outside of basketball is a great feeling. I always saw these types of inspirational and lifestyle writings as corny but I’m starting to think that I owe to those who read my stuff to share things I’ve learned and that have impacted my life.
For those of you who don’t follow Fred Katz on twitter (trust me, you’re not missing out), I’ve been reassigned to time with the OKC Blue for the week. The head coach is Mark Daigneault and, in my 3rd year spending time with this team, Mark has shared some pretty insightful topics with not just me but the team as well. Yesterday’s film session was dedicated to the topic of Commitment. Now, this next part is hard for me to write. During his talk, Mark, who is a die-hard Patriots fan and Tom Brady fanboy summarized a podcast Tom Brady was a guest on where he discussed, among other things, his regiment and commitment to the game of football that has allowed him to be such a force even through his 261st NFL game this past Super Bowl. This is hard for me because, besides my love for basketball one of my other favorite hobbies is talking smack about the Patriots and Tom Brady. It pains me to say but this year he really did cement his legacy as the GOAT in my opinion. How is it that someone 39 years old can still impact a game in the way he does, in his 261st game in which he plays 99 snaps which is 7 more than he’s ever taken in a game before? In the podcast Tom talks about how he does this from his cabin in Montana (smart man) with Peter King. Tom tells Peter that there’s 2 things he loves, “playing football and preparing to play football.” When your love for something is at that level, everything you do is centered around that aspect. TB talks about how every decision that he makes is based around his game and how it will affect his ability to play the game he loves. What stuck out to me about TB’s commitment to the game of football and what obviously drives his ability and longevity is what he said when he was asked if he misses the things he’s “sacrificed” in his pursuit of football greatness, such as sugar and late nights out with the boys. TB tells Peter that if you truly love something, there is no such thing as making a sacrifice for it. This belief system is really what separates greats from their peers. This mindset can be applied to anything you want it to be. Whatever it is that you love requires a commitment from you if you truly want to get the most out of it you possibly can.
I read something the other day that stuck with me about commitment and priorities. “There’s no such thing as procrastination. If you put something off then it just isn’t a priority for you.” I believe we’re all guilty of this is our own ways…I know I am. Obviously I have made a strong commitment to basketball, as everyone in this league has. But commitment is on a spectrum. It’s not as simple as being committed or not committed. It’s more complex than that. As Mark put it, the spectrum of commitment goes as such:
Someone who falls under the Resistant classification is pretty self-explanatory. This is someone who actively fights any attempts by those around them to hold them accountable for their commitment. A Compliant person is someone who always does what they are told, but that’s the extent of their commitment to their cause. Never going above and beyond, they do the bare minimum…just enough to claim they are doing their job. Compare this to someone who falls under the Conditional part of the spectrum and you get someone who actually makes the effort to do more than the minimum or just what is asked for them. But there is a catch in that they only do these things when the conditions they’re in suit them best. If they don’t feel like it or other factors make it more difficult for them to perform their duties, they put their commitment aside since the conditions are not right. Finally there is someone under the Committed label who, no matter what, makes their commitment a priority and always performs their duties and obligations to their commitment regardless of circumstance or situation.
So there’s my motivational speech of the day. I’m not perfect. If I’m being honest with myself, I fall under the Conditional label more so than I’d like to be. I’d say that at least 90% of this league and even the world falls in that spot of the spectrum or even to the left of it. What makes someone great is their ability to decide what they want to commit to and never letting any factors divert them from the goals they’ve set for themselves. Maybe you’re looking at yourself right now and you see yourself as on the left 2/3 of the spectrum but I’ve got good news for you. It’s never too late to make a change and push yourself to be better. Start today.