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  • Writer's pictureacoachsdiary


Updated: Feb 15

Geno Auriemma is one of the best basketball coaches of all time. During practice, he once told his team, “The difference between good and great players is that great players don’t get tired.”

When I told this to my 3 daughters, one of them said, “That is impossible; everyone gets tired.”

She is right; we all get tired. But a big part of going from good to great is staying energized by having a goal and then doing all the little things that greatness requires.

To perform our best and maintain optimal performance we have to be in the best shape we can be mentally, physically, and emotionally on the front end, and we have to have resilience and grit when fatigue, adversity, and boredom strike.

In her book, The Art of Bouncing Back, author, speaker, and performance coach Darlene Santoore writes, “Resilience is your elastic capacity - your ability to stretch yourself further mentally and emotionally when overcoming challenges. Resilience is necessary to recover quickly from difficulties, and as you build up your resilience, you become more adept at bouncing back from tough situations.”

She says for us to reach our full potential and even raise the bar of our performances, we have to first know what our flow state is - the feeling you get when you are in the zone and you don’t have to think about what you are doing next because everything is just flowing through you - and we have to know how to get there, to begin with, or return their when adversity hits.


In the video above, former basketball trainer and current author and speaker Alan Stein tells a story about watching NBA legend Kobe Bryant work out. Nike flew Alan to LA to work at the first-ever Kobe Bryant Skills Academy, and Alan asked Kobe if he could watch one of his private workouts. Kobe told him he could come to his 4:00 AM workout, and when Alan got to the gym at 3:30, he saw Kobe in the gym in a full sweat. Kobe went through an intense warm-up before his workout, and then Alan watched the best player in the world do the most basic footwork and offensive moves during his workout. Alan said Kobe was doing things he regularly teaches his middle school athletes but with an unparalleled level of intensity and attention to detail.

Alan asked Kobe, “You are the best player in the world; why are you doing such basic drills?” Kobe told him, “Why do you think I am the best player in the world? It's because I never get bored with the basics.”

Kobe Bryant’s secret was that he never got bored with the basics. Alan said his biggest takeaway was, “Just because something is basic, it doesn’t mean it is easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it. We live in a world that tells us it is okay to skip steps and to look for shortcuts and hacks, but if you do those things, you are making huge mistakes because the basics work - they always have and they always will. The first step to success is to realize and admit the basics work, then have the discipline to do them every day while knowing that implementing the basics every single day is never, ever easy.”

If you want to be the best at something, you can’t get bored with or tired of the basics. If you want to find your FLOW state, you have to put in the work, and you can’t get tired of doing the same thing over and over and over again.


In another video, Alan talks about the importance of moving on to the Next Play. Setbacks are a part of life, but if you have the right mindset, you don’t have failures - just lessons. Every time you make or mistake, lose, or ‘fail,’ there is an opportunity to learn, grow, and get better.

When adversity hits, you can either get stuck in The Pit of feeling sorry for yourself and spiral through The Doom Loop, or you can pull yourself up and out of The Pit by moving on to and making the Next Play.

Why do we want to focus on moving to the Next Play? 

Alan said that when he was in the basketball training space, one of his key responsibilities was helping his athletes quickly move on to the Next Play because the next play is the only one you can do anything about. Any time, energy, or emotional currency you put into the rearview mirror on something unchangeable means you are not investing your energy in the moment and you aren’t able to perform at your highest level.

If you turn the ball over, miss a layup, or the referee misses a call and you choose to hang your head, pout, or jog back on defense, there is a good chance the other team takes advantage on the other end.

We are all going to make mistakes, but we can’t be in the business of compounding mistakes. When you make a mistake, acknowledge it, hold yourself accountable, and immediately move on to the Next Play.

What are the things in your life that you need to move on to the next play?

Do great players get tired? Yes, I’m sure they do. I know Jordan looked tired the night he had the flu against the Jazz in game 5 of the 1995 NBA Finals, but he never stopped and he still scored 38 points while willing his team to win, and eventually, the championship.

I’m sure Kobe got tired of shooting the same shot over and over again, but he didn’t stop.

Steph Curry rarely misses the first 5 shots of a game, but when it does happen, he doesn’t get tired of shooting and missing - he shoots the 6th shot with the same confidence and optimism as if he made his first 5 shots. When he misses a shot, he quickly moves on to the Next Play by wiping the slate clean after every shot and always believes his Next Shot is going in.

The best find ways to keep going no matter how they feel. They have a goal, create a game plan, set mini goals that will keep you moving in the right direction, and don’t get tired of doing the small things that greatness requires.


1 - What is one goal that you have? It can be a long-term goal or a short-term goal…

2 - What are 3 simple things that you can do EVERY DAY to help you get closer to that goal?

3 - What is 1 thing that can get in the way of you doing the simple things that you know you need to do to accomplish those goals?

4 - What can you do to overcome those barriers?

For a PDF version of this blog, click here: The Best Don't Get Tired

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