In an article I wrote in 2016, I'd Give Anything, I told a story of a woman who said to a pianist at a party; she'd give anything to play like her.
“One time a fine pianist performed at a party. After she was done, a woman said to the virtuoso, ‘I’d give anything to play as you do.’ As she sipped her coffee in slow motion she took a brief pause and said, ‘Oh no you wouldn’t.’
Soon a great hush filled the room as they were baffled in astonishment and massive confusion. She continued, ‘You’d give anything to play as I do except time. You wouldn’t sit and practice hour after hour, day after day, year after year.’
Then she flashed a warm smile and said, ‘please understand I’m not criticizing, I’m just telling you that when you say you’d give ANYTHING to play as I do, you really don’t mean it…you really don’t mean it at all.’”
Like the pianist above, I’ve always tried to help define to my young athletes what ANYTHING meant.
Here’s an example of how I would define to my young basketball players, “anything:”
-You have to be in the gym on Saturday nights while all of your friends are going out
-You have to get up at 5:30 AM, before school, to workout
-You have to stay at least 30 minutes after practice to work on an area you need to improve on.
-You must take constant criticism from your friends about not being “fun” or think you’re too good to hang out with them.
-Every drill in practice you participate in you take seriously and compete harder than anyone else.
-You eat breakfast everyday single day. You pack something healthy to eat before practice. No McDonalds.
-You get enough sleep, 8 hours at least, so you can have the energy to repeat this day after day
-You don’t do things to jeopardize or harm your body. No drinking. No drugs.
-You win or attempt to win every conditioning drill in practice.
-If you have a girlfriend/boyfriend, tell them the most you will probably be seeing them is when they are wearing your jersey in the stands.
-You set the tone for everything you do. You lead through your character, competitiveness, work ethic and willingness to do the little things perfectly.
-Last but not least, school comes first, you get good grades.
Then I tell them, “Even if you do all of these things, I still can’t guarantee you will achieve your goal. But I can tell you without doing these things; you will have no chance of even coming close. There are too many kids who want it more than you.”
Success is not for everyone. You have to dare to be different. You have to give up everything that makes you comfortable. That takes courage. But that’s what it takes.
How do you define, "anything?"