I tell all of my children that I don't really care about the outcome of their event or sport, just that they work hard and try their best. You're going to make mistakes and you're even going to fail, but that's how you grow. But the effort always needs to be there; we do things 100% if we are going to do them at all. They probably don't understand what all of that means yet, but that's okay, I will keep telling them anyway.
My first season as a D1 head coach, the first thing we did was set a really high expectation on the effort level that we had every day in the gym. Being totally honest, not everyone wants to give their best effort in every moment or situation. It's hard. While I think the message was received on what the expectations were going to be, those athletes that were willing to put in the work didn't really see the fruits of that effort until the next season.
I think one of the frustrating parts of holding yourself and those around you to a high level of consistent effort is that the reward is not immediate. In a day where we have instant everything and where it's okay to give-up in certain situations or moments, of course it's difficult to maintain a high effort level. Especially when things are going poorly. But I think the greatest athletes have the most drive, competitiveness, effort and grit. We could talk all day about the semantic difference between all of those, but that's a blog for another day :)
I put a couple links at the bottom here for you guys to take a look at. One is a fun video I found and the other is from Duke Basketball. Just remember to keep running, keep jumping, keep hustling and chasing after balls; keep pushing yourself to be better each day you are in the gym and keep sending those emails to college coaches. The effort you put in now will certainly pay off down the road.
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