Compliance vs Commitment

Compliance vs Commitment

When I teach a junior player, and give them skills to work on, most of them intuitively know they have to go practice. This is racquetball 101. The more athletes practice the better they get. Seems simple but things get in the way.

Life is one thing. School, work, family issues, and things of that nature make it difficult to compete.When athletes hit the courts to practice, they can practice what the coach gave them. or they can expand. Example: Coach gives the athlete a serve, tells them where to drop it, and where it should go to be a prefect serve. Athlete goes to court and practices....or....athlete goes to court and practices and begins experimenting with different drops, places to hit the ball etc. The former is a student and the latter is expanding the base of knowledge beyond what was given to them! I read recently of a fitness trainer named Eric Cressy who called this "compliance vs commitment". Compliance is only following direction while commitment means going way beyond compliance. 

Kane is the greatest player ever to grace the courts. Why? His father taught him just enough, left him alone, and Kane went to the courts. He spent many years losing and winning in juniors and adult tournaments. I feel there could be many more Kanes out there if they were allowed to lose, and they practiced to learn and expand their knowledge. That is commitment. 

In College and junior competitions I see more hand signals that Yogi Berra ever used. Parents are frantically trying to play x-box with a small human being. For the athletes, that is compliance to what a coach wants you to do. Here is the best advice you will ever get. Learn your craft. Get on the court and practice and ask yourself these questions. How do I get the ball to go where I want it to?

Use a good coach and get a shortcut of sorts, but you have to do the practice. The best coach you will ever have is you. If you are waiting for instruction to get better; you will never reach the level you want. If you are practicing the instruction to get better, and expanding your base of knowledge, you are on the elevator, "going up"!

Here is an add-on to this. I recently heard of a pro who told someone they could not play without the serves being called. Why? That is the way their coach trained this athlete. I want the opposite for my athletes. I want them thinking and creating. That is how you have fun! There is no fun when someone else controls your game!