by JT Whitt
Next Level Performance Coach
I always wanted to play college Basketball. It was my goal. I saw myself playing at the next level as if it were the natural next step in my athletic career. Well, It didn’t happen, and when it didn’t happen I had to accept that there was really only one person to blame: me.
A good majority of youth athletes up to high school seniors want to play at the collegiate level and then professional sports when they “grow up”. They want that to be their job. In the beginning everyone thinks they have what it takes to make it, and as the years trickle on more and more people drop off the sports map and only the really special ones succeed to the next level and even fewer make it beyond that.
Take me for example. Throughout my sports “career” I always made the team no matter what the sport. I always felt like I was the hardest worker in the room and somewhat of a leader, and for what ever reason I never allowed my size (5 foot 5 130 pounds) to dictate what I played or who I played against. I thought I was doing enough.
During my time in high school I was good enough to stand out where I was playing, I made it into the local paper a couple of times and graduated Athlete of the Year during my senior year. Due to my successes and accolades I thought I was working hard enough. My mindset was such that I thought because I made the varsity team every year, because I worked out three or so times a week with the team, and was fortunate enough to attend numerous sport specific camps and training every summer that somehow I was assured of getting recruited and earning a spot at the next level. Obviously, I thought wrong.
My personal sports story is not unique and it just goes to show you that no matter where you come from, no matter how many resources you have working in your favor, the only things that matters are how badly you want it, how hard you are going to work for it, and what things you are going to give up until you either make it or don’t (not just sports, this holds true for everything).
Me personally, I liked the idea of playing college sports, but realistically my head wasn’t where it needed to be. I always loved to hang out and do things with my friends and girlfriend, go on snowboarding trips, stay up too late and watch movies, and never really worried about what I ate either. In the end, I wasn’t going to sacrifice my social life by putting more time and energy into focusing on my sport.
I am not trying discourage anyone form chasing their dream, but instead light some sort of fire in you and push you to work even harder than you are now if your dream truly is to play at the next level. For most athletes, it’s not easy getting to the next level, there are a lot of distractions and demands on your time. However, YOU have all the control; only you can decide how hard you work and what sacrifices you’re willing to make.
Not everyone can make it to the next level, and if you are truly giving your 100% best effort 100% of the time at what ever thing you are trying to achieve in life( it doesn’t just have to be sports) and still don’t make it at least you know you gave it your all. Regardless of if you make it to the next level or not, the effort you put in will benefit you somehow, someway. So, don’t skip leg day, get sufficient sleep every night, and always bring your best effort to every workout and every game.
And, if you are truly intent on taking it to the next level, seek out some help in meeting your goal. Consider adding sports performance training to your regimen — it’s the ideal way to gain strength, speed, power and agility and to help avoid an injury that could side-line your career. Give Next Level a call if you want to learn how sports performance training can help you: 703-754-0161.