Effort. You design you program around it. You demand it. It requires no innate skill or natural born talent. Yet players are reluctant to give it. Why? Why is effort such a hard thing to put forth? Are we that lazy? I’m not so sure. Could the reluctance to effort be a mindset that anything that requires effort makes you a failure? Do players see effort as a mindset that takes away from their natural born talent? After all, it doesn’t look like Mike Trout is trying very hard (sarcasm).
Somehow players get to a point in their thinking that if it takes an extraordinary amount of effort then they must not be any good, and you know as well as I do that there is nothing worse for an adolescent player than appear to fail or to be picked on for looking to be challenged by something that seems natural to others.
How did we get this way? If we had been born holding back none of us would be walking, talking or even trying new foods.
Take Michael Jordan for example. Unable to make his varsity basketball team as a 10th grader, he knew from a very young age he would have to work to develop his abilities. He was a player who had to struggle to grow, not a natural born talent that was inherently better than others. Michael Jordan at one time in his basketball life was no better than any other 10th grader at his high school. How did he end up one of the greatest players of all time? He didn’t see effort and failure as the end, only the entry point; then he stretched his talent farther than everyone.
How do you foster a program and an environment that not only encourages effort but encourages efforts to the point of failure, then providing feedback to help players move forward? It’s your biggest challenge, whether you realize it or not.
Embrace the Grind