I am the most desirable thing in life. Without me no one can be healthy, happy, or useful...without me, the hidden wealth and vast resources of this earth would have no value. Men and women who try to get along without me are characterless, selfish, undeveloped, useless, and unprofitable members of society. I am behind every fortune, every art and science, every achievement, every triumph of man. Rich men and poor men alike often try to find substitutes for me, hoping thereby to secure a larger measure of happiness, peace and satisfaction, but they are always bitterly disappointed. Instead of gain, every substitute for me brings them loss. As the creator is greater than the created, so I am greater than wealth, power, fame, learning, or any other acquired possession or quality of man, because I am the source from which he acquired them. I am work.
John Wooden also believes in work. He says hard work is the cornerstone of success. There is no substitute for hard work. Furthermore, author Zig Ziglar illustrates this with a humorous story:
Many years ago a wise king called all his wise men together and gave them a commission. He asked them to compile the “Wisdom of the Ages”. The wise men went to work and came back with twelve volumes of wisdom. The king said he was sure this would not be read because it was too long. They went back to work and condensed it to one volume. Again he said it was too long. Finally they returned with one sentence that read, “There ain't no free lunch”. The wise old king said this is truly the “Wisdom of the Ages”.
It is true. There is no substitute for hard work. However, I see too many young players mistake activity for achievement. Hard work is a daily journey throughout your entire life that requires tremendous self-discipline. Mentally you need to develop confidence in yourself, coaches, and teammates. Physically you need to be in shape, eat right, and treat your body in a manner that prepares you to release your maximum potential.
The hard worker stands up and stands out from the crowd. He's a cut above the rest. He's the first one in the gym and the last one to leave. Once you've created this work ethic, second to none, you begin to feel good about yourself. Your confidence soars and success is just around the corner. However, many high school athletes succumb to peer pressure and settle for mediocre effort. They end up making excuses and passing the buck. You are called to be different!