I was working a speed and agility camp a while ago and I saw something that became increasingly annoying 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 turn and 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 burst 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 able to perform at every level of athletics he ever played. Earning a full ride to Michigan State and ultimately becoming a first round draft pick. Along that rode 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 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 longer run. It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal but it’s amazing how those yards add up.