What do you do when you first get up in the morning? Do you get up and get ready for school or work? That’s the normal thing to do, right? Well I want to challenge this way of thinking because for the last 8 months I have been doing something that has revolutionised my professional life in IT. By sharing this with you I’m sure you’ll get as much out of it as I have.
About 8 months ago I read a book called the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. This as I said before revolutionised my professional life and I have found I have become so good at what I do it has been noticed by the highest managers of my company.
The basis of the book is about waking up early in the morning and doing the SAVERS tasks (please see explanation below this paragraph) to help improve yourself before you commence your daily routine. If that routine is school or work. By getting up early, you are getting up to improve yourself, not getting up to go to a job or school or something that you have to do. The very first thing you do in the day is focus on YOU.
Miracle morning 6 tasks
S – Silence: take time to meditate and be in total silence so that you can be one with thought
A – Affirmation: speak to yourself with positive and motivating thoughts
V – Visualisation: visualise what you want to achieve
E – Exercise: get your heart rate up and a hit of endorphins
R – Read: read anything, preferably something that’ll help you grow as a person
S – Scribe: write about anything; a journal, a poem or even start a novel
How is this going to help you with basketball?
Good question, to answer that let me break this down in terms of the tasks discussed in the Miracle Morning book.
Did you know that Phil Jackson made the championship winning Bulls meditate? The whole team!
Silence without distraction gives you an opportunity to be by yourself. Being in silence will enable you to have time to think, process things such as performance on court. In this day and age this is truly rare to have an opportunity such as this.
As a basketball player you would have run into at least one player that constantly talks himself up. Statements like “I got this”, “You can’t guard me” or Muhammad Ali’s “I am the greatest”. This is easily confused as cockiness but in fact it is positive reinforcement. By doing this you trick your subconscious mind into thinking what you are saying is reality. This is why you hear Michael Jordan refer to himself as the “greatest of all time”.
In my article 5 Psychological Factors That Influence Your Performance On The Basketball Court, I discuss confidence through the method of positive talk.
In this miracle morning task, you want to say to yourself:
“I deserve to play at the <insert the level you’d like to play> level”
“I am good enough to play at <insert the level you’d like to play>”
“I am the greatest”
“No one can beat me at my position”
Visualisation is focusing on something positive that you want in your life. It could be a new car, it could be to lose weight, it could be to make more money. It’s something that you aspire to obtain for which you visualise processing or attaining.
I’m not going to go into this as I wrote a whole article on Visualisation Techniques Pro Basketball Players Use and I go to detail on how to get the most of this task.
Before I joined Long Island University I spent some time at Lincoln Trail Junior College with my of my friends Senad. I was lucky enough to join the team for some training sessions and scrimmages. I used to set my alarm early in the morning and get into the gym around 5:30am and work on my shooting. The rest of the team got up at 8am, some at 9am. By that time I had a solid hour and a half workout and breakfast even before the rest of the team was awake. For the remainder of the morning I was on a high, feeling good and full of energy.
Studies show that exercise produce endorphins, the happy hormone. Having the happy hormone fire first thing in the morning sets you up for an enjoyable and more focused morning at school or work.
There have been a host of champion basketball players before you. Most of them have written books about their experience playing basketball. Book are a great way of getting inside an athletes head and learning how champions think. A great way that you can learn the psychology behind a champion. Along with books written about basketball players there are some great books on sport psychology. Again these books can help you become mentally strong and help you to think like a champion. Hey, Michael Jordan said 99% of the basketball game is in your head.
I have personally improved since I have started reading in the morning. But my genre of books are different to what you’ll be reading. I am reading books about self development, time management and internet marketing. I’m trying to listen to the successful few that have made it big in these areas and implement change in my life that’ll see me be more efficient with my time and with the ability to provide value to people in this world.
I can’t scientifically tell you what it is about keeping a journal that helps your mind but by writing down the positives you have experienced each day gives you a perspective on life. A positive perspective! Instead of being negative and focusing on stuff that went wrong, journaling the positive will change the way you think and keep your mood up.
Journaling is also a great way of tracking if what you are doing in practice is working on court. Keeping a diary that you can revisit every month will help you keep your training in check. Especially if you have an important tryout date you are working towards.
The Miracle Morning has been a game changer for me in my professional life. I only wish this book was released when I was a teen. The heights I could have reached in my basketball and professional life would have been amazing. I ask that every athlete to read this book and implement what I have discussed in this article. Get yourself a good morning routine and work on YOU!
What’s your morning routine? Please share with us using the comment section below.