Sports is rich with life lessons. Brady Heslip provided yet another one in Baylor’s 3rd round victory over Colorado. During that game, Heslip made an astonishing nine 3-point shots. It was an amazing display of talent. Why was Heslip able to shoot like he did? Was it luck? The answer is to be found in one of Heslip’s personal disciplines.
Near the end of the game, the announcer told the world Heslip’s secret – hard work. Not your ordinary, garden variety hard work; rather, it sounded like what author Geoff Colvin talked about in his book, Talent is Overrated. Colvin calls it "Disciplined Practice."
Heslip’s form of disciplined practice takes place before and after he's practiced with his teammates. He arrives early and shoots until he has MADE 150 3-point shots. Then, after practice he stays and continues to shoot 3 pointers until he’s made ANOTHER 150 baskets!
This heroic level of personal discipline is not new, just extremely rare. Larry Bird shot 100 free throws every day. During his prime, Vijay Singh was reported to hit 100,000 golf balls a year. Benjamin Franklin re-wrote classic literature to strengthen his vocabulary.
Here’s the point and the challenge: What do you want to be really good at? How bad do you want it? Is disciplined practice part of your pursuit? What do you need to practice?
Who knows what’s in store for Brady Heslip? I don’t, but based on what I do know about him, I’m guessing he’s going to be very good at something. Probably whatever he decides to practice.