Be wise in your decision making and your determination in improving your game. Determination helps us define and decide our goals as well as find the resolve to see those goals achieved. According to Paul Graham, “Anatomy of Determination”, the simplest form of determination is sheer willfulness. When you want something, you must have it, no matter what. Determination is willfulness balanced by discipline. The opposite of determination is disinterest, doubt, hesitation, irresolution, spinelessness and vacillation. Determination is the will to work hard and to work smart.
For example, Sam and Tim are both 8th graders. Sam is heading out to practice basketball. He plans to practice hard for 30 minutes working on random shots around the key. Tim plans to practice hard by completing 5 perfect lay-ins in a row while working on left and right hand. If he misses, he does a quick discipline (such as a few push-ups) and goes back to his goal. Which is the best method for practicing? According to research on talent development, Tim will achieve the most improvement. During practice time, instead of practicing for a set number of minutes, focus instead on achieving a pre-determined number of perfect reps or goals which require you to go beyond your current comfort level. In talent development research, a reach is when a person pushes himself beyond what is comfortable not to the point where success is impossible but not too little so that the goal is easily attained.
Research shows younger athletes with high level of intrinsic determination have corresponding high levels of motivation and self-discipline whereas younger athletes with low levels of intrinsic determination have low motivation and self-discipline. What researchers disagree on is the question, “Is intrinsic determination something we are born with or can it be developed?” This is a crucial question because without determination, a person cannot achieve what he or she is capable of achieving. We believe intrinsic determination can be acquired through a change of mindset. This comes through a clear purpose. One young man came to camp who had very little motivation and basically no determination. “I didn’t know who I was or what my purpose was in life. Nothing mattered because I didn’t matter.” Purpose and determination go hand in hand. What you believe determines who you are and what you do with your life. Find your why this summer.