The Power of Commitment

This week has been a busy one with my weekly trip to London to coach my client, meetings with six potential new clients and lots of movement on the marketing front. As things get busier I have been thinking about the high achievers in the world and what they have in common to achieve the great things they do.

There are several common factors which set these people apart and over the next few weeks I’m going to give you some of the common pillars which these achievers all have in common. When I am delivering my talks or workshops on Mental Toughness the first pillar of the model I deliver is Commitment and the description below illustrates why it is so important. I don’t believe that anything of significance has ever been achieved without total commitment.

Commitment is an interesting word and is described in the Cambridge Dictionary as ‘A promise to do something’ or ‘The willingness to give a lot of time and energy to something.’ This describes really well what I have always believed commitment meant to me. I have noticed that whenever I have committed to something in my life I have more often than not achieved it.

One thing I made a commitment to was to play basketball for England. In my mind I made a decision that no matter what, and whatever obstacles came my way, I would play for England one day. At first this seemed to be an impossible dream as I failed to make the grade at the different levels of basketball time and time again. But because of the commitment I made to myself I didn’t give up at any stage.

There were many times when I felt like I wasn’t progressing as I hoped I would and I felt like giving up. But because of the power of commitment I kept getting back up and trying again. I finally made it to the trials for the Under 19 team at the age of 17 but I didn’t make the cut and was devastated.

After a short period of self-pity I got back up and got going again, this time even more determined to make the team. I received word that I had been selected for trials again and went – this time determined to make it. Following a weekend of tough trials we were all called in to hear who had made the cut and this time I heard my name called out and I was ecstatic! Later on in my career I played for the full England team and represented them in the Commonwealth games.

Often the greater the pain you go through to achieve something, the greater the pleasure. The was certainly the case here as I had spent so much time at home in the garden practising as well as running every morning to get fit. One critical thing which changed everything for me was to commit to a week-long basketball boot camp run by a very tough American called Lou Delasandro. It was held in Bracknell and I still recall the pain I went through during this week. I remember trying to sleep at night but the cramp in both legs was so severe I couldn’t sleep.

What this week did however was to lift me to a higher level both physically and mentally – something I took with me from that camp and kept for the rest of my basketball career. I learned that if you put the work in you often get the results you want. My confidence grew over the week and I came out a different player. I won the one on one competition and made the all star team as well as winning the most improved player award.

This without doubt had a big impact on my basketball career and I took the mental toughness I developed during that camp and have benefited from it ever since. We don’t really know how much we can achieve until we are pushed beyond our limits. I have found that our limits are not actually the furthest we can go as there is always a bit further we can be pushed. And as we go beyond our limits we grow and stretch and become more of who we should really be.

I am 60 years of age and am committed to a 20 year plan to be speaking on stage at the age of 80. This is a commitment I have made to myself and have voiced it to many people. I can’t guarantee that something won’t happen out of my control regarding this, but as far as I am concerned I’m going for it!!


Ps did you spot me in the picture?

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