Working on your craft!!

Last week, a good friend of mine, Ciaran Toner wrote a post about being in the “Right Place at the Right Time“. If you haven’t seen it, go and read it now.

I want to echo on the points he made before jumping to my topic.

There are certain people, who wish for success, but spend too much time waiting for that perfect moment. For example, a basketball player who wants to play at the International level, spending hours at the gym working and perfecting their shot, but still refuses to go and play any pick-up games because they deem that the level is too low; a coach who spends hours working on their X’s and O’s, but never goes to meet with other coaches, or even attends other teams’ practices; a final year student who spends every waking minute in the college library going through every book in detail, but not doing any voluntary work or intern-ships getting valuable experiences or meeting people in the field etc.

Don’t get me wrong –  getting your shots up; coming up with strategies and even studying are all important, but success doesn’t work like that. You need to maximise your chances of being successful by creating opportunities and not just waiting for them.

It is better to be prepared and not have an opportunity, than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.

However, would it not be ideal to be both prepared and have that opportunity?

By seizing some of the above options, you are putting yourself in a position where you will maximise your chances of receiving an opportunity; and that’s what you should be after.

Still echoing on Ciaran’s previous post; if he decides not to respond to that Facebook post, he may still have been as successful as he is now, but by putting himself out there, out of his comfort zone, he maximised that opportunity, by getting to meet new people and making new connections.

This brings me to the topic that I wanted to talk about today, which is “Working on Your Craft“. Those words have been said by so many people at this stage, that I don’t even know who to credit. I first heard it from a friend of mine, Alan Stein, who is the owner of StrongerTeam. About a month after hearing him say that, I heard a motivational talk by Will Smith and he said the same thing… “beat on your craft!”

But, what does that even mean?

For me, it means, making the time to continue to develop and make yourself better at what it is that you are passionate about and want to do.

I am passionate about the work that I do. I am passionate about coaching; I am passionate about the strength & conditioning element of high performance sports; I am passionate about the performance analysis of elite sports.

Because of that passion, I MAKE time every single day so that I can continue to get better at my craft. It doesn’t matter how busy my day is or how hectic it may be, I make the time to get better at what I do. Whether that may be read a book, or watch game tape, or speak with other coaches…. As long as I keep ensuring that I am improving and developing, then I am “working on my craft!”

That’s what I like and respect so much about Ciarán. He is committed to getting better and improving on his craft. He loves performance analysis, and it doesn’t matter how challenging his path may be, he is always ready to step out of his comfort zone and get better at his craft.

In fact, we usually meet up quite frequently and go through the game in detail. I help him understand some of the intricacies that he is yet to learn and he helps me understand the ins and outs of performance analysis in details. We go through game tapes, look at different scenarios on the court, assess strength and weaknesses of our respective squads and “work on our crafts!

Long story short, this is just one of the many things that both of us do to get better. If you want to get better and continue on your path to success, then you have to be willing to make time to get better and seize the opportunities.

The road to heaven is filled with many attractive parking spots

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