One thing I’ve learned about the off-season is that emotions change constantly. One day training may make you feel like you’re ready to tackle the battle. Another day, the training may be so intense until you cringe at the thought of facing the real challenge. However, on a good day of training or a bad one, you can not deny the fact that training makes you better. And if nothing else, training reveals! How? I’m glad you asked! Often times, we are caught unprepared because we simply rely on our knowledge. This is not enough. My God-Sister plays professional basketball. She has great knowledge of the game. She will probably be one of the greatest coaches of all times but her knowledge of the game isn’t enough without the strength to endure. Even though she knows how to win the game, she also knows that she has to complete the game to earn the title as a winner. One thing I’ve learned from her is endurance is developed year around. When she’s not on the court, she’s still training and she’s still active. Why? Because we don’t win by just knowing, we win by being able to finish!
There’s an article on stack.com that says “In order to effectively perform at your peak during the season, you can’t slack off once regular practices and games end. Keep game ready all year long!” This is so true. We must be ready at all times. Not just to pick up the microphone or to be in the spotlight. We must be ready for the tough times. We must be ready for the unexpected. Now we know that being ready for the unexpected means conditioning, planning, and preparing at all times.
Think about taking a test. When we were preparing to take the ACT, we went through several rounds of training. There were days when we were made to study only science and there were days when we were made to work tons of math problems over and over. It was tiresome and boring! It was tedious and exhausting. Some days I wanted to take a nap. Some days I felt like I was being forced to re-learn something I already knew but the instructor still made me sit there the entire time and say awake. She knew my potential but she also knew that I could be lazy. I was always a bright student and I’ve always been pretty intelligent. In many areas, I was above the average student my age and I knew it. So I was lazy and sometimes self-reliant. I was easily distracted and I hated to read or study for long periods of time. My instructor could tell the moments when I got distracted and she would make me refocus. She knew when I got sleepy, I would just select any answer just to finish and lay my head down. So she would push me harder. She fussed constantly and if I finished early, she would give me another test to take. I didn’t understand why until the actual test day. While I was taking the ACT, I noticed that while I was in the middle of answering questions, I got terribly sleepy. I knew the score I needed to make in order to be accepted into the college I had chosen so I did all I could to stay awake and alert. My body was saying “just lay your head down for a minute and then get back up and finish it before the time runs out” but my brain was saying, “You knew this was coming and this is what we’ve been preparing for. REFOCUS!” My instructor was not only teaching me the knowledge I needed to pass the test, she was also training and conditioning my brain to stay awake and alert in order to complete the test.
Don’t be like me. I thought that because I was a little smart, I would be okay. Turns out, the ACT was a little smarter than me. We think that just because we know the right answers to some things, we’re able to master all things. This is not true. We don’t know it all and the time will come when you will have to show what you know. And when this time comes, it won’t be a question of knowledge only but it’ll also be a display of your endurance based on your off-season training. Once again, don’t be caught off guard. Be prepared to play year around!