W is for Willingness

        W is for Willingness.  More specifically, W is for the difference between Want and Willingness.  To want is to desire or wish.  Everybody wants to be good.  Teams everywhere want to make playoffs, regionals, win state championships, national championships, etc.  Players want to start, to be really good, to earn scholarships, to get drafted, etc.  People all over the country want to achieve their New Year's Resolutions.  A willingness is a readiness to do something or being prepared to do something.  One definition I saw even referenced the energy one has for doing something.  The question that is the separator, then, would be, "How many of those teams/players/people have a willingness to do what it takes to achieve their wants?"  Sports is such a unique activity in that the time spent on preparation for competition, in many cases, far outweighs the time spent in actual competition.  Preparation is where the willingness is most visible.   I hate when announcers say, "It's going to come down to who wants it the most."  It's such lazy analysis.  Once the game starts, everyone wants to win and is probably willing as well.  Who has shown the willingness to do what it takes though? The want and willingness have been determined in what precedes the game.  During the competition, it comes down to who executes.

        Dr. Charlie Maher is someone I have mentioned before on the blog.  He has been the Director of Psychological Services and Team Sport Psychologist for the Cleveland Indians since 1995 and has over 35 years of experience in the field.  Dr. Maher has a book called The Complete Mental Game of Baseball:  Taking Charge of the Process, On and Off the Field.  When he says complete, he is not lying.  The book is very comprehensive and takes the reader through a linear series of topics.  Dr. Maher combines content with interactive questions that challenges the reader to apply what is read. In the book, one concept addressed is what Dr. Maher calls the RWA Challenge.  The Challenge has three questions designed to gauge self-motivation to go after goals.  The questions are:

1. Readiness: Am I ready to work toward attainment of the goal?

2. Willingness: Am I willing to engage in the necessary actions to attain the goal?

3. Ability: Do I have the ability to follow through with a plan to attain the goal?

Dr. Maher goes on to discuss how if the answer is yes to all three questions then you are ready to go.  If the answer is, "No," to any of the questions, then it is time to then ask why and adjust accordingly.  Like yesterday's topic, the RWA Challenge is simple and to the point.  They can be applied to the goals of an individual and a team.  While the Challenge is simple, the actions to follow may or may not be.

        Augie Garrido is the author of one of my favorite quotes.  He says, "Goals without commitment are nothing more than wishes."  I think the quote applies well here and could even be adjusted.  "Wanting, without willing, is nothing more than wishing."  You likely know what you want out of your season and sports in general.  Are you willing to do what it takes?

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