Daily Dose of Coach #151: Tracking Keeps You Honest

"You can't improve what you don't measure." Peter Drucker

In Coach John Calapari's book, Player's First: Coaching from the Inside Out , he wrote about one of his first rules of success.

As a high school basketball player, Calapari was in the gym year round, holidays, weekends, late at night, working on his game. His old athletic director joked that he had a key. The doors were chained but could be propped open. Calapari would squeeze his skinny body through the chained doors to get in.

He wrote, "I'd take shots from all different parts of the floor, practice foul shots, worked on my ball handling. I wrote down everything I did."

He wrote everything down in a notebook, from the drills he did to how many shots he took and made. He believes tracking is a major source of success. He teaches this lesson to his players today. "You have to embrace the grind, the work, the pain, the sweat. And keep track of it all. Because it keeps you honest. You've got to track your workout and track your shots. If there's not something measurable it's not real."

He tells them to have the mentality of constantly searching for improvement. "You say to yourself, I'm taking 500 shots before I leave this gym and I'm doing it every day. Count them up and write them down, how many you made. If you miss a day, write that down too so you can look back and feel bad about it. If you didn't hit the foul shot at the end of the game, you clanked a jump shot off the back of the rim that would have tied the game, look back at your workout book. Maybe it's because that's the day you slacked off."

Tracking the indicators important to achieving your goals gives you an honest look at your chances of success. Find a goal, figure out what can be measured in achieving that goal and do it relentlessly everyday. To paraphrase Calapari, if you don't achieve your goal, maybe it's because of those days you slacked off.