Friday, May 7, 2010

Comfort Zone

I wanted to share something I just read as a follow-up on last week’s blog, Brand You 2.0. Hip hop superstar 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) is having a majority of his tattoos removed in an attempt to help land more movie roles and give off a more professional appearance.

He is making a distinct change to his brand’s image to achieve an even higher level of success. He is reinventing himself, which in my opinion, is a brilliant move on his part. He has conquered the music industry (sold millions of albums). He has conquered the business world (sold his stock in Vitamin Water for $400+ million). Now he is going to conquer Hollywood!

One of the most significant ingredients to success is your ability to be comfortable being uncomfortable.

Your comfort zone is your enemy. It makes you soft. It leads to complacency.

You have to constantly and consistently step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. There is no reward for always playing it safe. The players who can push themselves further once the situation gets uncomfortable are the ones who will win. That is what makes Kobe so lethal. He thrives in adversity.

In addition to helping players get stronger, quicker, and in great shape, it is my job to push players out of their comfort zone on a regular basis. It is my job to help them increase their tolerance for discomfort (mental and physical). I want them to train hard so the game becomes easy.

I tell my players of the time during our workouts, “Temporary discomfort leads to permanent improvement.”

I also tell them, “You can have the pain of discipline or the pain of regret… take your choice.”

Both of those quotes exemplify the same point – if you are willing to step out of your comfort zone now… you will reap the benefits ten times over in the future. But you have to have the courage to sacrifice your immediate personal contentment.

When you are lifting weights, do you stop as soon as there is a slight “burn”… or do you push through and do a few more reps?

When you are running sprints, do you stop as soon as you are a little “winded”… or do you suck it up and run a few more?

When you are working on your ball handling, do you spend extra time on your off hand even though you make more mistakes? Or do you just keep doing the drills you are already good at?

When you are getting up shots, are you a “casual shooter” or do you run through every rep at game speed? Do you come off of imaginary screens and make hard cuts… or do you simply do spot shooting?

The answers to these questions will determine how successful you will be next season.

Remember, you have to deserve success. And to do that you have to leave your comfort zone now.

If you want to see some of the exercises (and equipment) we use to make our players step out of their comfort zone, check out: http://tinyurl.com/MetabolicWorkout.

I want to clarify two things about this video. One, these exercises and “toys” are not the foundation of our training program, but rather a way for us to add variety and make things mentally and physically challenging. Two, I don’t sell equipment nor do I get paid to endorse any equipment. I merely share the stuff I like! I realize most players and coaches are on a very limited budget, so any time I can offer insight into which products I like the best… I feel compelled to do so.

A colleague of mine turned me on to www.HyperWear.com a few months ago and I immediately gravitated towards their HyperVests and Sandbells. And I love using them! Why wouldn’t I want to share that? If people like my stuff, I hope they share it with others!

Our 12-Week Basketball Off-Season Agility & Conditioning Program will be available soon. It was designed to be done in conjunction with the strength & power portion (currently for sale). You will be able to purchase it at http://Shop.StrongerTeam.com.

As always, if I can ever be a resource to you for your program, please let me know. I would be honored to help. You can email me at

Train hard. Train smart.

Alan Stein



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