“Getting Through?”

Last week, we had a great week. I had absolutely no complaints. Everything wasn’t perfect but no matter what we worked hard. Really hard. But I have news for you. EVERYBODY IN THE COUNTRY WORKS HARD THEIR FIRST WEEK BACK. The thought of a new season with new personal and team goals is refreshing for every coach and every player. Players are excited to show coaches the improvements they made over the off-season and coaches can’t wait to be back in the gym working with their players they aren’t allowed to coach during the summer.  For some teams, this enthusiasm to work hard doesn’t last long. Why? Because that is not who they really are. It’s a front. It’s not habit. These are the teams that when March Madness comes, they’ll be at home eating mom’s cooking wondering “what if.”

Our second week of training started off with another “Hill’ conditioning workout. There was a difference this week. Sure guys finished the workout– That’s great. However, this week we didn’t attack it with the same motivation to dominate it. We survived it. Guys got through the Hill and some have been just “getting through” this week. No matter what you do, whether it’s writing a paper for class, calling clients at your job or putting up shelves in your garage (like my wife had me do Sunday) if you go into your responsibilities with the mindset to get through them, there will be a different result than if you attack those same jobs with the motivation to do it to the best of your ability. We are all guilty of this mindset at times—It’s human nature. (Believe me, I was not excited about putting shelves up in my garage on my least busy work day.)

However, I strongly believe that successful individuals and the best teams in the country become great by consistently working hard to push their limits. If last week a good student got a B on a paper, this week they want to get an A. If a top medical sales rep sold $3,000 worth of product last week, this week they work to sell $3,500. Sure it’s not easy. Everybody has set backs. But we can be different. We can work to push our limits “every day and in every way.” It’s not about doing one great workout or having the best training week of your life and then relaxing to pat your self on the back. It’s about consistently giving great effort to make life style changes. It can’t just be a fad. To be great, you have to live it. Can you lose that 15lbs you’ve been trying to lose by having one intense week of workouts at the YMCA and then go back to your old living habits the following week? No.

To make changes, to improve individually and as a team to achieve the goals we set for ourselves, we must sustain the great effort and motivation we demonstrated in week one. The teams that accomplish this, they are the teams that will win conference championships, advance in the NCAA tournament and have the chance to enjoy mom’s cooking after the season celebrating all their successes.

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About Mark Pancratz's Blog

A native of Schaumburg, Ill., Mark Pancratz played Division I basketball at UW-Milwaukee, earning his degree in marketing and finance. He joined Tennessee's staff in 2006 as a graduate assistant, earning his master's degree in sports management later that year. Serving as a G.A., director of video scouting and assistant to the head coach, Pancratz was an integral part of Tennessee's six-consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. At 26, Pancratz boasts an impressive 18 games of NCAA Tournament experience as a player and/or administrative staff member. He is a member of the Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame and voted one of the 100 Legends of Illinois High School Basketball. Pancratz resides in Knoxville and is married to the former Brooke Waddell.
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