What does it take to make a Champion? This is one of those questions that everyone who coaches or plays this game is always trying to answer. As with many of the things we discuss there are just as many answers as their people who are asked. There is one quote, though, that I feel really exemplifies what many people would agree is a key to becoming a champion.

“Champions Don’t Show Up To Get Everything They Want; They Show Up To Give Everything They Have!”

I believe this quote sums up what many of us think separates the teams and players who are really successful from those that are not. Reaching the highest levels of competition requires a level of commitment and effort that many players or teams are unwilling to give.

Why some people are willing to give all they have in pursuit of their goals while others are not willing to is one of those million dollar questions that keep coaches tossing and turning for their entire careers. Parents have approached me before a lesson and asked questions about how to motivate their daughter to work harder or give more effort. Frustration is the universal emotion that many people feel when they see a player or team come up short.

Effort can not be coached in the same way that hitting or pitching might be. Desire is one thing that all champions seem to possess. Now, don’t get me wrong, effort without talent is also going to be a frustrating deal but without effort, talent is never going to be realized.

So, in many ways, this is a chicken or egg discussion. Without talent, championships don’t happen but talent without effort is usually going to leave us wanting much more. Helping our players, from a young age, to value hard work and giving all they have to give is something that will certainly lead to a more fulfilling athletic career. Now, will working really hard guarantee championships? No, but not working hard guarantees that you won’t!

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?