I was working a speed and agility camp last night and I saw something that became increasingly disturbing as the night went on. At one point during the session every single camper was involved in a speed station that required him or her to sprint through a specific spot on the court. I would estimate that it was about a 20-yard distance that they had to cover and I would also guess that 90% of the campers slowed down at 18-19 yard mark and coasted through the line. Repeatedly you could hear me or Todd “TJ” Duckett instructing the kids to “finish the drill!” We got to the end of the session and TJ was bursting to talk to the kids. What he said was full of passion, intensity and desire for each kid to work like a champion.
Duck shared that for 29 years, working out was his life. Everyday consisted of running sprints, lifting weights and eating healthy so he could compete at a championship level. During those years, he was a stand-out at every level of athletics he competed at. Ultimately, he earned a full ride to Michigan State and went on to become a first round draft pick. Along that road, he played with and competed against players who stopped running the 20-yard sprint at the 19th yard. TJ knew that at a certain point he would defeat those opponents because he had run 21 yards when only 20 were required.
TJ lives his life in the “1-yard” and always has. He has never stopped short because it wouldn’t be fair to himself, his teammates, his coaches or the people who paid to see him. The “1-yard” is what will help you separate yourself from the rest of the crowd and will always give you an advantage in the long run. It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal but it’s amazing how those single yards add up.