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Improve your Progress in Basketball and In Life

“A little progress every day adds up to big results.”
What are your dreams for this basketball season, or new school year? Better GPA, improved performance on the court, greater self-discipline and follow through? Whatever your goals for this new school year, progress is a necessary part of a successful journey. After all, it would be disappointing to look back and find you were in a worse place mentally, emotionally, spiritually or physically at the end of the school year. Progress is however, not necessarily guaranteed but there are ways to help you on your way to becoming a better player and a better person in the coming months.

Progress means growth, advancement or development. Take a good look at what is real progress and how to keep moving forward in our mission to become better.

How do you measure progress?

According to the Harvard Review, the most important motivation for every person is progress in a meaningful goal. In other words, having something you get better at that is meaningful to you is crucial to your sense of well-being whether that is in your ability to shoot the basketball or be a better sibling. Whatever your areas for improvement, it’s important to be clear about what progress is and is not.

What makes progress most challenging are the challenges and difficulties we face. However, progress is not always a steady march forward. It can be a slide backward, it can be a long period without any signs of advancement. Improving and progressing in your goals and dreams requires setbacks. But here is the problem as stated in the article by Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer in the Harvard Business Review. “Of all events that can destroy engagement, joy, and productivity at work (or school/sports), having setbacks or being stalled in the work is number one. Our research revealed that, on 76% of people’s very best days — days in which they were happy and highly engaged — they had made some degree of progress in the work; only 13% of those best days had setbacks. By contrast, only 25% of people’s worst days showed any progress, while 67% had setbacks. Even worse, the negative effect of setbacks on engagement is two-to-three times the positive effects of progress.” If you want to have a strong basketball season, you need to see setbacks as part of the road to progress.

How to Use Setbacks as Stepping Stones for Progress

1. Reinvent your vision of a setback—maybe even change the word to “Grit Moment” or “Passion Gut Check.” Use a term that will motivate you to use the discouraging situation, frustration or problem to your advantage.

2. Become a student of the setback. What triggered it? Is there a pattern or cycle to the setback? Keep a journal and write down what you learn about setbacks and your reaction to them.

3. Make smaller wins possible. Set up little milestones to achieve and build a daily accumulation of small steps of progress.

4. Setback days are also connected with bad mood days. They tend to influence each other. Those who encounter setbacks also rate higher levels of fear, sadness, and anger. Those who experience greater progress also rate higher levels of joy, peace, and elation. When you encounter a setback, intentionally choose gratitude. Work to elevate your mood. Setbacks tend to cascade as our mood drops. Make intentional choices about your attitude and you will be more likely to stay on track.

5. Don’t give setbacks too much power. Don’t allow yourself a shame spiral, a “blamefest” or a pity party. Instead, focus on progressing in your ability to deal with difficulty well. Turn your attention to how you will progress out of setback and into a better frame of mind. Once you are there, turn your attention back to the progress of your goals and dreams.

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