For Student-Athletes by a Former Student-Athlete Part 4: Extraordinary Discipline and Stewardship

by Gregory L. Gamble II

For high-school athlete’s there’s always great emphasis put on what level of one would be able to participate in college. Division I being the highest, where you could receive full tuition, room and board as apart of your awarded scholarship. Division II being the level right below Division I, where you could earn partial scholarships for college and then Division III where no athletic scholarships were awarded.

Where I’m from, in basketball, it was either Division I or bust.
In my early high school years, I was thought of as a Division III player at best. One of my assistant coaches even thought it appropriate to tell me this not just to my face, but also while in a huddle during an actual basketball game where the rest of my teammates could hear. Imagine how embarrassing and demeaning that could feel. But for me, it was fuel, and maybe the coach knew that about my personality and made the statement to motivate me. Either way, it added gas to an already scorching flame.

What I quickly found was that my success lied in simplicity. John W. Gardner explains this best when he stated, “Excellence is doing ordinary things, extraordinarily well.” I found my athletic voice through meticulousness and self-accountability. I found out what factors made me successful as a basketball player and I practiced them over and over and over again. It was through the lens of simplicity that efficiency was prioritized. I discovered that I could be excellent by being efficient, and that I could become efficient by practicing stewardship and discipline over the knowledge I had gained.

Commonly overlooked when discussing discipline and stewardship, is circumstance. It’s very easy to create plans, schedules and goals when life is throwing you fair weather. You can wake up early, be excited about your day and knock your own expectations out of the ballpark. But it’s when you’ve awakened to another day of unfavorable circumstances, or insurmountable odds, that the character of a true champion is developed and at that point it’s about staying in the fight, making the everyday/hour decisions, remaining committed to your focus, your discipline, your stewardship and your excellence that will propel you to successfulness.

The beautiful thing about commitment is that it has no prerequisites. You’re not required to have already accomplished major feats in your life to become committed or to practice discipline and stewardship. All that is required of you is to move forward everyday committed to excellence. You can do so by starting a small challenge: wake up every-day and make sure your bed is made and your room clean before you walk out of the house. This is a simple practice of discipline, and stewardship and you can build from there and see where it takes you!

Be extraordinarily great every-day and watch how your life and your skill level makes a change for the better. You’ve Got Odds2Beat!

At The Point Columnist , Educator and Student-Athlete Advocate Gregory L. Gamble II