Increasing your breaking point

When I was playing at Michigan State we had a conditioning test that we ran every pre and post season called the V02 max test. It consisted on us being hooked to a few machines to monitor our vital signs and running three minute segments. In between each segment a blood sample would be taken so they could test the lactic acid and V02 levels in our bodies. Every time you completed a segment, the treadmill would increase in either speed or incline and our job was to run as long as possible.

Every time I did the test there was a point around the third or fourth stage when my mind started to tell me to quit. It began to tell me how hard it was, how tired my legs were and how much lungs were screaming for more oxygen. I knew that quitting was as easy as reaching out and grabbing my sides of the treadmill and just like that all my suffering would be over. I could be sitting back drinking a Gatorade and not worrying about how I was going to make it through another three minutes of hell.

That point and feeling of quitting during a conditioning test pales in comparison to the point in a game when there are 4 minutes left and you have to dig down and take victory from your opponent. That’s point when all that hard work comes pouring out and you truly understand what your breaking point is.

Everyone has a breaking point and everyone’s is different. Your job is to condition yours so that your opponent breaks first. In basketball you can tell when it happens, you look across the court and see your opponent bent over, grabbing his shorts and you know you’ve got him.

Increasing your breaking point happens when you’re in the fire. When you’re in pain and all you want to do is take the easy road of quitting. Work to make it one inch further than you did last time and make those incremental gains to your breaking point.

“The moment when you want to quit, is the moment you need to keep pushing”

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