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Effort is Essential to Excellence

“It is impossible to attain perfection, but that should be the goal.  Less than 100 percent of your effort in every respect toward attaining your objective is not success, regardless of individual honors received or the number of games won or lost.” 

– John Wooden, Hall of Fame College Basketball Coach

Even though perfection is unattainable, Coach Wooden references maintaining 100% of our effort to achieving perfection in everything the competitor does.  Maintaining the goal of perfection forces our focus on the ability to continually develop and push our self toward our goals and perform at our best, knowing that each competition is a checkpoint in our progress to observe our development.  The competition should in no way have the feeling as a need to prove what our skills are.  If we take on the mindset of needing to prove how good we are, this is a recipe for second-guessing and NOT feeling skilled enough to belong, the epitome of the Fixed Mindset.  The Growth Mindset values the effort, understanding that effort is the path to improvement, and eventually achievement.  (For more on the Growth vs. Fixed Mindset, check out the book Mindset by Carol Dweck.)

The effort to be successful permeates through every opportunity to improve.  The effort to improve your physical skills in every opportunity, combined with the effort to improve your mental skills every single day, with an intense effort to maintain and improve your emotional well being.  This is perfection as a competitor; this is the establishment of the Heart of a Competitor.

Developing a team to have the Heart of a Competitor is also essential and the effort to dominate every possible aspect of the game is the goal.  This is the focus of Coach Wooden’s quote, 100% of your effort in every aspect of the game.  For his basketball teams, there was an attention to detail offensively, defensively, and every aspect of preparation.  The expectation was that you would provide 100% effort in each of these phases.  The Heart of the Competitor maintains this focus and commits to 100% effort because they understand the difference and the impact that last 1% has on achieving greatness.

Question of the Day:

How have you chosen to provide 100% effort to your physical, mental, and emotional skills?