The word tough is often thrown around in the world of sport. We keep hearing this word "toughness" used to describe players and teams, but what do we mean by toughness?
Championship players are continually focused on the areas of their game that the can control. They are never worried about the referee's poor call, the bad floors in a gym or a team-mate's mistakes. Successful players know that they can only control their own effort, enthusiasm and attention to detail. Therefore, they keep focus on those areas as opposed to the uncontrollable factors. Are you the type of player that will make excuses or are you tough enough to fight the excuses such as fatigue, boredom and the blaming of others?
Steve Nash's journey to his MVP Season hasn't been an easy one. He's constantly beaten up and his face is always bloodied over the course of his years. To add to that, he has a recurring back injury that doesn't allow him to sit on the bench during his games. He lies down when he's not on the floor. Add this all up and it must be very painful and exhausting, however, it doesn't stop him from constantly coming back and playing as hard as he can in all his practices and games, and putting some very impressive performances along the way. Are you tough enough to play through a minor amount of pain, so long as no further or damaging injury could arise?
Verbal Communication Toughness
As a point guard, one of your key jobs is to always be communicating; providing your team-mates with verbal instructions and encouragement on the basketball court, in the strength rooms and even on trips away. A great point guard communicates clearly, concisely, with consistent enthusiasm and always with the appropriate tone. Are you tough enough to provide on going and non-stop communication with your team-mates on an everyday and every-drill basis?
The best players will always be open to making contact, in fact they will welcome and look forward to it. Basketball IS a contact sport. On the offensive end, you have to be willing to initiate the contract first. On the defensive end, you have to make the offensive team uncomfortable with your defensive presence. Are you tough enough to fight through a bump on the hip or a slap on the wrists and finish with strong, powerful dribble to the hoop.
Body Language Toughness
Over 90% of what we communicate is non-verbal. However, very few players are aware of this fact, based on how they stand in training sessions and move through the drills; their actions and words are often inconsistent. Are you tough enough to act and play present in every moment of your life, both on and off the court?
Successful people in life develop a few simple disciplines that they do everyday; unsuccessful people neglect to do the few simple disciplines every day. Have you got a resilient desire to continually improve in every aspect of your life. With improvement, change will come, and alongside change might be discomfort of the unknown. Successful players and people welcome that minor awkwardness, knowing improvement is on the horizon. Are you tough enough to face some temporary inconvenience for the end goal of permanent improvement?