New Castle News

September 20, 2012

Tim Kolodziej: Three words to help you become your best

Tim Kolodziej
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — “If everyone worked as hard as me, I’d be out of a job.” — Steve Nash

Work ...

Dirty word?

Or the ticket to your dream?

Only you can make that call.

The more I’m around young athletes, make that young people in general, the more I’m convinced: The great ones work harder than everyone else.

You have to put in the time. You just have to.

There’s no other way to achieve excellence.

Let me say it another way: “Want To” is way, way more important than “Can Do.”

The DESIRE to become the best is what separates the top athletes and students from the rest.

And desire breeds determination when obstacles litter your path.

Sure, natural talent is important. But it’s often found hanging on the street corner unless plenty of hard work tags along.

"A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals." — Larry Bird

Repetition ...

You’ve got to get your reps in.

Whether it’s algebra, golf or dance, you’ve got to rehearse your skills over and over and over until they become part of your fabric.

And then you practice some more.

The goal of repetition is to build habits that can be called upon instinctively — even if chaos surrounds you.

I love what legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden had to say on the topic: “I created eight laws of learning: explanation, demonstration, imitation, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition and repetition.”

Author Daniel Coyle has written that repetition is the greatest tool in our toolbox, “because it’s the most effective way to make our brains fast and accurate.”

And none other than Bruce Lee once stated: “I fear not the man who has practiced ten thousand kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick ten thousand times.”

In other words, practice may not always make perfect, but it makes for pretty darned good.

“Even when I’m old and gray, I won’t be able to play it, but I’ll still love the game.” — Michael Jordan

Love ...

I’ve introduced this word last, but by all means it has to come first.


Think about it.

Who do you spend the most time with? The people you love.

What movies do you watch again and again? The movies you love.

What will you practice over and over? Something you absolutely love to do.

And life is unique this way — the better you become at something, the more you love to do it.









It’s not all you need. Work and repetition are close siblings.

But it’s a start.

Better still, it’s THE start of something great.

So start now, if you’ve got the love.

And pretty soon, there will be no stopping you.

(For another of Tim’s columns that deals with truly loving the games you play, CLICK HERE.)