I stopped playing professional basketball in 2015.
People often ask what provoked me to leave the game, especially since I was still in pretty good shape, worked out every day, and had not suffered any major injuries.
Maybe you’ve wondered why any professional athlete would walk away from the game, other than old age or injury.
Is it that we grow tired of the screaming fans and relatively light work hours, all while earning a decent paycheck?
Of course not—that’s the fun part. Most people would not walk away from that very easily.
For me, and the myriad former pros I’ve asked this same question, it was the daily grind that pushes you out: the training, recovery, and preparation required to remain at that peak level, mentally and physically.For me, and the myriad former pros I’ve asked this same question, it was the daily grind that pushes you out: the training, recovery, and preparation required to remain at that peak level, mentally and physically. Click To Tweet
That part of the process was what I was done with (and still do not miss).
I never grew tired of the games or the fans or the attention. I just no longer wanted to make the physical and mental investments that started the chain of events that led to the trappings of a professional athlete’s life.
This situation doesn’t only happen in sports—it happens in boardrooms, new businesses, and everywhere else.
No matter your industry or experience level, when you no longer want to work on your game, the game is over.No matter your industry or experience level, when you no longer want to work on your game, the game is over. Click To Tweet
Unfortunately, some people stay in the game far past the point where they’ve stopped working.
They show up to the building, but they’re not really there, if you know what I mean. They’re good enough at the job to make it look, to the untrained eye, like they’re trying when they’re really not.
In sports, we call this “mailing it in.”
The thing about sports, though, is that too many people are watching you work.
You can’t get away with pretending to try in sports.
Every game has winners and losers.
It has been said that the toughest games reveal our character. Those who want to believe that winning and losing don’t matter are those who usually lose.
The purpose of Working On Your Game is to win: to prepare, perform, produce a result, and enjoy the spoils of victory.
This process can and will be tough, and it will challenge you. But when you become, do, and have what you want, the payoff is more than worth all of the hard work and sacrifice that went into it.
Notice that I didn’t say the game had to be fun at all times.Notice that I didn’t say the game had to be fun at all times. Click To Tweet
You don’t need to be excited nor motivated to show up, compete, and do your job. The only thing you need to win, in any game, is the mental tools that unlock the physical tools that allow you to prepare and perform at your best.
This is an excerpt from the Introduction of my book Work On Your Game: Use The Pro Athlete Mindset To Dominate Your Game In Business, Sports And Life.
Get Work On Your Game here: http://WorkOnMyGame.com/WOYG