Victor Oladipo has been in the NBA for 5 years. Only this year has he been THE star player on his team.
The Indiana Pacers are Victor’s third club in as many years; he was traded there from Oklahoma City last summer in what many fans and league executives felt was a lopsided deal that Indiana lost (they gave up All-Star Paul George in the transaction). Oladipo famously slimmed down last summer and whipped himself into superb physical shape, made himself into an All-Star (Paul
George, coincidentally, made All-Star only after injuries forced others to miss the game) and has been Indiana’s best player all season.
I read an article about Oladipo months ago where ESPN writer Zach Lowe praised Vic’s consistent, sustained aggressive play.
“Coaches and execs often say the hardest part of being a star — the last hurdle — is digesting that you have to bring it every night. You scored 30 tonight? Awesome. We need it tomorrow, and then in the game after that.”
Your game will get you in the room, on the team, and maybe on the floor (performance opportunities). And if you’re good at it, people may even recognize you as someone to pay attention to. Being great, though, is bigger than that.
Being great is about bringing that same level of something-to-prove performance to every situation, even when there is (seemingly) nothing on the line. That is mentally tough.
Very tough. Which is why most people don’t do it.
For Your Game
- In every job, there’s training — for the skill necessary to do the work, how to handle common challenges, and the rest. Save for the armed forces, there’s rarely any training for locking in: bringing yourself to a high level of focus that allows you to tap into your best skills. Train yourself to lock in every day. The Mental Handbook is your guide. WARNING: This is for from easy.
- Find a bigger purpose. Your purpose has to be bigger than the current task or job, because the current task or job may not always be so enticing or exciting. What’s going to motivate you to bring it when the job is mundane?
- It would help if you choose something you mostly enjoy, whether it be the competition, the results, the skill, the people… it’s hard to bring it when you dislike every aspect of the game you’re in. Set yourself up to win.
Where and when do you most need to lock in and get focused, and what gets in your way? Reply and let me know.