Grit: Why You Need It and How To Get It

University of Pennsylvania psychologist, Angela Duckworth, recently conducted research to better understand why successful people are…well, successful. Her research indicates that wealth, talent, or titles aren’t good predictors of success. What is? Grit. Grit is the ability to work hard for a long period of time toward a focused goal and keep moving forward in spite of challenges, obstacles and failures.

Duckworth says, “Grit is passion and perseverance for long term goals. It’s a marathon not a sprint.”

So if grit is so great, how do you become “gritty”?

I believe it starts with first understanding what you want.

Are you trying to make your high school team?

Do you want to become the Friday night starter at your college?

Are you focused on getting drafted in the top 10 rounds?

If you’re clear on what you want, you’re on the right path towards developing grit.  But, it’s not all about having lofty goals and dreams. You have to put some action behind it.

As author, Jon Gordon, puts it – You need to have a telescope and a microscope. Your telescope looks at the big picture – it’s your inspiration. The microscope looks at the details of your day – your habits.

Your habits as a player will be the best predictor of your success.

Do you show up late to practice?

Do you show up prepared?

Do you own your mistakes or do you blame others?

If you want to develop grit, remember the telescope and the microscope – inspiration and action – together they will set you up for success.

Take Action:

Write out your top goals for the upcoming off-season. Then right next to each goal write one thing you are committed to do every day in order to reach that goal.