Last Friday I was able to witness a personal trainer in front of a large group of student athletes give training and instruction, and basically run these students into the ground. Throughout the course of the two hour long workout, the trainer said some inspirational things. Three specific things stuck out to me that I wanted to share with everyone:
Okay, the personal trainer actually said to give 110% every single time, but you can’t give more than you have, can you? So we will stick with 100%. Give it all you’ve got every single time! He said this during a jumping drill. The athletes would be working on squats and jumping for the entire 2 hour session. During this portion of the workout, the trainer had already taught them the form of how to jump properly, and now was having them practice it. He had every athlete line up on the base line of the basketball court and jump out five jumps. Then, he asked all of them to turn around where they were. He told them they now had five jumps to get back past the base line. He threatened (or motivated?) them by saying they wouldn’t want to find out what would happen if even one of them didn’t make it back across. You can bet they all jumped with all they had and everyone got back across the line! After they all made it back across, he talked to them about how they should give that kind of effort every single play, even without the motivation or threat of not making it. They should be able to internally motivate themselves like he had externally motivated them, every single play.
2. Even if you’re the last one, own the drill as yours
This was more of a reprimand than an inspirational quote, but I think it suffices. There were a couple athletes who were the last ones through the drill, and they were obviously just going through the drill as fast as possible with the purpose of just completing the drill, not learning what the drill was trying to teach. The personal trainer commented on this and basically said that if you’re not going to do the drill right and for the purpose of learning what the drill is trying to teach, then you’re wasting your time. Even if you are the last one through, the last one finishing up, own the drill. Own whatever it is you are doing and take pride in your work. Do it with excellence.
3. Your team is only as good as you are
At the end of the workout, when everyone is dragging and exhausted, they still had more work to do. As the athletes are lunging across the length of the gym, stopping every so often to do squats and other leg-killing exercises, the trainer reminds them why they shouldn’t give up when they are exhausted and everything inside of them is screaming to give up: “Your team is only as good as you are.”5 When the going gets tough, your team needs you and you need your team. Every player is vital to the success of a team, whether they realize it or not. Because you are vital to your “team,” make sure you give it your all (even, especially, when you don’t want to) and that you do things with excellence (even if it would be faster to take the easier way out).
If we could take these three principles and apply them to marriages, to jobs, to schoolwork, to sports teams, to our faith in Jesus Christ, I think we would change the world. There would be fewer broken homes, happier work environments, better educations, and more genuine followers of Jesus Christ representing His love and grace and mercy on this earth.