I originally wanted to write a quick blog to congratulate Jordan Carter of Corban University. But I began to think about what has made Jordan more successful on the basketball court than other recent Central Valley Conference all-league players. This past week, he was named Cascade Conference Player of the Week for the 2nd consecutive week. Jordan began working out with me in the summer of 2008. He was a good athlete, but not elite. He was a decent shooter, but not a pure shooter. He could dribble well, but was not a ball handler. He had the ability to score, but only had one move. However, his focus was not on being the best or scoring the most, but on maximizing his potential as a basketball player. Every drill was a competition against his last repetition. Each shot was a chance to improve his release. Since I first met Jordan in 2008, we have grown to become great friends. Getting to know him as a person helped me understand his values and his goals. Here are four C’s I have observed Jordan doing in order to maximize his potential.
Darren Hardy defines “The Compound Effect” as “small, simple choices + consistency + time = your desired level of success.” Everything that Jordan does is consistent. From his time commitment to his improvement as a player and athlete to his effort he gives in each drill. Most importantly, his attitude and mindset are both consistent as well. Developing consistent attendance and participation with consistent physical effort and mental focus will help you maximize your potential. This is the underlying factor towards fulfilling your potential.
When I first met Jordan in the gym, he was coming off of a year in which he started as a Sophomore on a 2nd-place team and was named first team all-Central Valley Conference. His coach was one year removed from being named CVC Coach of the Year, and I was one year removed from college with a single year of assistant coaching experience. I did not expect Jordan to be as willing to listen to my instructions as he was. Every time I corrected something, he fixed it without any questions asked. If you go through your journey thinking you can figure everything out on your own, you are setting yourself up for failure. Admitting you do not know everything takes courage, but will also help you develop skills and ideas you never knew existed. Learn from others and take advice from people who have been where you want to be.
Jordan’s main concern as his high school basketball career was coming to an end was not in trophies, records, or wins. He was focused on leaving a legacy within the basketball program that would last well beyond his graduation. One of the ways he worked towards this was by working with the younger players in the off-season. He passed on knowledge that was shared with him by his coaches in order to imprint his personal values on the program. Chauncey Billups credits former teammate Sam Mitchell for the best advice he was ever given: “Help the player on your right, help the player on your left, and the one who benefits the most is the one in the middle.” Sharing what you have learned is a great way to spark creativity and develop new thoughts towards achieving your goal. Not only is community about who you are sharing knowledge with, but also who you are surrounding yourself with. Jordan's inner-circle consisted of people like him who were hard-workers and had good character. Kyle Morrow, CEO of ThirstTees, says the number one lesson of how to be successful is that you are constantly becoming the average of the five people you are closest with. Surround yourself with people who are working towards maximizing their potential. A constant exchange of ideas and a strong system of accountability will push you beyond what you ever expected.
There were so many times when Jordan was working out that you could tell he was exhausted, physically uncomfortable, and ready to call it a day. But he found a way to escape his comfort zone, push through the physical pain and mental block, and finish his job. Naturally, it is scary to push yourself when you are out of breath or your legs feel like giving in. However, if you never leave your comfort zone, you are never going to move forward. Staying comfortable holds back progress. Going outside of your comfort zone brings new levels of achievement. Allow yourself to be put into a position to achieve more than you desire.