2016 - Post 9: Breaking Bad Habits Part 1 of 3

Habits are what separates bad from decent, decent from good, and good from great.  We notice this when we watch the world's best athletes in comparison to their competition within their leagues.  There is a reason that men like Kobe Bryant and women like Mia Hamm have had the send-offs that they've received; rather than the usual Sportscenter announcement of a player's retirement (with an uproar of 24 hours) and the continuance of society's everyday lives.  Athletes like Mia Hamm and Kobe Bryant have shown the world their worth, not only through statistics and accolades, but they've left no doubt to the world that their success was earnest with something in addition to their natural ability and season after season of "luck."  So, if habits are what separates bad from great and every description in between, then habits must also be what separate the speed of standard progression.  This is what I am writing about in this week's Saturday Morning Coffee.

As it is with most important things in life, breaking bad habits is a process.  Biting nails can be a habit.  Leaning to the left as you play defense can be a habit.  Switching the basketball over to your dominant hand when you're nervous.  Even eating ice cream can be a habit.  The point is, while all of these examples don't have to be bad habits, they are habits; and if they are things we do frequently, then it takes time and strength to alter them.

In most cases, breaking habits starts with words.  Some queue that we hear or some information that is told to use about our habit.  This is especially the common introduction of a bad habit in athletics.  Our first choice is whether or not we decide it is a bad habit versus being a good habit or just being a habit (which we are alright with).  The second choice is whether or not we have the desire to fix or change this bad habit.  Coaches, parents, teammates, friends, etc... all of these people can push us to change our habits; yet, like anything else in life, it will only change if we, ourselves, want it to change.

The next most common way of facing our bad habits, and sometimes the introduction to our bad habits, is seeing them.  This is why watching video has become such a huge addition to improvement in the last several decades of sports.  Being able to see a tendency is the most powerful thing next to experience with it.  This is when many athletes and coaches and even spectators find themselves without a choice but to step face to face with their bad habits.

Still interested?  Join me next Saturday and I will talk about one of the few effective processes of breaking bad habits.  If you have specific cases or habits that you'd like discussed, drop them in the comments section below.  If you enjoyed the read, hit the "Like" button below.  If you want to join the list for email updates or invite a friend, drop your email at the top of the page to the right.  Come on back next Saturday.   

Have a blessed week,

Chris Austin