One of the most significant ingredients to success is your ability to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Your comfort zone is your enemy. It makes you soft. It leads to complacency.
You have to constantly and consistently step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. There is no reward for always playing it safe. The player who can push themselves further once the situation gets uncomfortable is the one who will win. That is what makes great players so lethal. They thrive in adversity.
In addition to helping players get stronger, quicker, and in great shape, it is my job to push players out of their comfort zone on a regular basis. It is my job to help them increase their tolerance for discomfort (mental and physical). I want them to train hard so the game becomes easy.
I tell my players of the time during our workouts, "Temporary discomfort leads to permanent improvement." I also tell them, "You can have the pain of discipline or the pain of regret... take your choice." Both of those quotes exemplify the same point - if you are willing to step out of your comfort zone now... you will reap the benefits ten times over in the future. But you have to have the courage to sacrifice your immediate personal contentment.
When you are lifting weights, do you stop as soon as there is a slight "burn"...or do you push through and do a few more reps?
When you are running sprints, do you stop as soon as you are a little "winded"... or do you suck it up and run a few more?
When you are working on your ball handling, do you spend extra time on your off hand even though you make more mistakes? Or do you just keep doing the drills you are already good at?
When you are getting up shots, are you a "casual shooter" or do you run through every rep at game speed? Do you come off of imaginary screens and make hard cuts... or do you simply do spot shooting?
The answers to these questions will determine how successful you will be next season. Remember, you have to deserve success. And to do that you have to leave your comfort zone now.
Train hard. Train smart.
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