We are firm believers that programs of excellence are that because they strive for excellence each day in all areas at all times. They're aren't just interested in putting forth great effort the day before a conference game in February. Concentrated commitment goes beyond a practice session in November. It's about being the best you can be every day.
There is an old Bob Knight video that was sponsored by Adidas where Coach Knight said that when the ball is tossed up all players want to win. But the one's that will be successful are the one's that want to win the day before, two days before and three days before "because the will to win is not nearly as important as the will to PREPARE to win." Today, I think it can be paraphrased one month before you play and two months and three months.
Coach Don Meyer referred to it often as Arete - a Greek word meaning "the act of living up to one's potential." In the programs that I have worked with the past 10 years, the phrase we've used, borrowed from a John Maxwell book, is "Today Matters." Our thought is that we must have the mindset that each and every day is critically important to the overall goal of being the best we can be.
In fact, "Today Matters" is the name of our summer workbook that we give to our team each year. The book includes a page for each day of the off-season with a quote about the importance of daily commitment. It also has a suggested workout for them on the basketball court as well as in strength training and conditioning. The workout suggestions are geared individually to meet the needs of each player.
Here is the first page of our "Today Matters" off-season book:
Improvement, consistent improvement, is done on a day-by-day basis. To improve anything in your life, you must work at it in some form each day. For our basketball team, we are looking for student-athletes that are committed to improving. We desire to have a team that will leave a legacy of leaving the program better than when they arrived — this is consistent and constant improving. Improving is not a result-oriented program. It is a process–related experience. It is why so many fail to improve at a rate that they are capable. Working in the gym for two hours on a Sunday night by yourself doesn’t give you immediate results. There is no scoreboard to keep count of your made
baskets. No crowd to cheer on your good play. No coach to oversee your dedicated effort. But those that pay the price — working daily on their game, out of the sight of many — are
the ones that reach their potential.
If you have not accomplished what you desire than you can be sure that you are not working hard enough:
“If you want something you have never had,
you must do something you have never done."
And don’t sell yourself short — you can be great! Just remember:
“Good enough never is!”