Is It Time To Quit Basketball?
In this competitive sports culture, we often hear “winners never quit,” “finish what you start” or “push through it”. We’ve been told that in order to succeed, we must overcome obstacles and perseverance is the key to success.
In Part 4 of this 8-week series designed to level up your next season, PGC Director Tyler Coston visits the important question, “Is now the time to quit?”
Over the past 10 years, I have worked with thousands of athletes, and most of them should have seriously considered quitting. Many players would accuse others for their failure, blame coaches for their poor experience, or complain about unfair circumstances. If they truly considered quitting, one of two things would happen:
1. Their perspective completely shifted from negative to positive
2. They quit to pursue something they can excel in.
Instead, many continue to play the game without any real passion or commitment to improving their craft.
At the end of each basketball season, I debrief with athletes, coaches and parents. Initially, many begin to complain and make excuses for why their team or themselves under-achieved. Instead of giving them the validation they’re looking for, I interrupt their story with my favorite question:
“So why don’t you just quit?”
Why don’t you stop spending all your time, resources and emotional energy on this thing that frustrates you so much?
Questions to ask yourself:
Athletes, if your coach is that bad and your situation is so unfair, why not quit?
Coaches, if those parents are so difficult and frustrating, why don’t you quit coaching?
Parents, if constantly having to motivate your child is so exasperating and causes so much tension in your home, why not quit?
No one expects me to ask that question. The look of surprise turns into reflection as they repeat the question in their mind. Most people begin to think of reasons they love the game, and why, despite the disappointment, it is all worth it. They change their tune, and I begin to hear a very different story.
The fact of the matter is: if you don’t have some very compelling reasons to renew your commitment to this game, you should quit. Quitting is a very reasonable response to a situation that is not fulfilling. And sometimes, it is a necessary step on the path to success.
In fact, some of the greatest winners are quitters. The wisdom it takes to know when to quit has led to many of the greatest breakthroughs we have seen in history. Inventors quit on failed ideas, scientists quit on faulty theories, leaders quit on flawed strategies and athletes must quit on certain pursuits in order to flourish in others.
IF YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT QUITTING, HERE ARE 3 THINGS TO CONSIDER:
1. AM I JUST GIVING INTO LAZINESS?
Laziness is a terrible reason to quit, and one that should be eliminated first. Is it too difficult and you don’t like the challenge? If you answer yes, quitting is not your best option. You may just need to change your approach. View the challenge as an opportunity to grow. Attack what is difficult until it becomes easy. Don’t quit just because it is hard. If you do, you will have an even harder time navigating through life.
2. IS THERE A BETTER USE OF MY TIME?
If you answer yes, reassess your talents and maximize your potential by investing your time in something attainable. You can still play the game you love, but your fulfillment in the game (and in life) will be better served if you quit on the impossible and focus on the possible.
3. COMPARED TO QUITTING, HOW BAD IS MY SITUATION?
This is a decision point you must get to in order to have a chance to change your situation. When you believe your situation is flawed, consider the alternative of quitting—quitting the game of basketball, quitting the team or quitting a challenging goal you set for yourself. This will often put the situation in a new perspective. The problem so many of us have is we constantly compare our situation to the best case scenario we see for others.
Comparison is the thief of all joy.
Once you consider the worst case scenario, you’ll begin to feel gratitude for the opportunity you do have.
There are times quitting is the best option. No one ever told me that, and I wish they had. If you’re considering quitting,
1. Take some time to yourself to review your goals and reflect on how important they are or are not to you.
2. Ask yourself if you are just giving in to laziness, and if this is a decision you will be proud of later.
3. Truly contemplate if there is something better you can do with your time.
After pondering these questions, you should have much greater clarity on whether or not you should quit.
Join us at a PGC camp to discover how to master subtleties of the game, build team chemistry and morale and lead your team on and off the floor.
We’re excited to give you three free videos!
Inside these videos, you’ll discover your first steps to becoming an Unstoppable Playmaker. Each video is designed not only to help develop how you play the game but how you think the game.
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PGC Basketball provides intense, no-nonsense basketball training for players and coaches. Our basketball camps are designed to teach players of all positions to play smart basketball, be coaches on the court, and be leaders in practices, games and in everyday life.
We combine our unique PGC culture with a variety of teaching methods and learning environments to maximize the learning potential of those that attend our sessions. In addition to spending 6-7 hours on the court each day, lessons will be reinforced through classroom sessions and video analysis.
Our goal at PGC is to empower you with the tools to fulfill your basketball dreams, while also assisting you in experiencing the joy of the journey.