“We are what we repeatedly do, therefore excellence is not an act but a habit.”
This quote is one of the most important ideas for an athlete to keep in the back of their mind. Athletes are constantly striving for excellence in all aspects of their lives. It stems from this competitive nature that sits deep within us. We mold our bodies to be in peak physical condition by lifting weights, running, and doing mindless stick work for hours on end so we know no matter how tired we are at the end of the game, if the ball is coming to us, it’s going to be caught. These aspects do not just pop up over night, they are created over time. We instill these habits into our unconscious so that it becomes muscle memory.
But with that being said, we cannot stop practicing something when we finally get it right, we have to work and practice until we can’t get it wrong. Now, I’m sure you’ve heard that and just thought “I can get a ground ball it’s easy,” but knowing that anytime a ball is on the ground, and there is a fight for it, that you will pick it up because you made fighting through a ground ball a habit, is one of the most satisfying experiences.
In academics, when you study for a test you do not stop when you’ve gone through the material once, you continue to study until you know every last detail and cannot get it wrong. When athletes want to build habits, they have to work as hard as they ever have because it is something they want ingrained into them.
Excellence isn’t something that you should actively think about, it will come when you make excellent acts into habits.