Patience vs Urgency

Long term success requires a balance of patience and urgency. You can't be too patient, or else you won't work hard enough to reach your goals. And your sense of urgency can't be too strong, or else you'll overdo it, which can lead to injuries and burnout.

Having the ideal balance of patience and urgency is what you want. You've got to work hard almost every day to reach your goals, but you also got to live to see another day and understand that an athletic career is a long journey. If you're planning on playing competitively into your late thirties (or beyond), that's a lot of time. When you see the bigger picture, you realize that it's OK to fail, and that it's OK to take time to rest and enjoy the moment. You'll have plenty of time to bounce back, work hard, and succeed.

But at the same time, know that sports are extremely competitive, and that if you don't work hard enough, you'll get passed, so you need a healthy amount of urgency to balance out your patience.

It's important to remember that it doesn't always have to be a 50-50 mixture all the time. For a period of time, you can be ultra urgent and work very hard. But you'll need to balance this out with periods of time where you're ultra patient and you rest and enjoy the moment. Over your career, these opposite periods of time should be about equal.

Kobe Bryant makes the analogy of balancing on a tight rope. When you lean too far to the right, you balance yourself by leaning to the left, and vice-versa. Instead of just staying in the center, you stay balanced by alternating to each side. This allows each side (patience and urgency) to complement each other so you gain their pros without being hurt by their cons.

Always ask yourself, "Do I need more patience right now, or do I need more urgency right now." Become aware of this dichotomy so you can make adjustments and find balance.