Winning a championship has a price to pay.
Filipino professional basketball players that I have talked to in recent weeks like Greg Slaughter and Chris Ellis of Barangay Ginebra mentioned that even in the long season break, conditioning remains part of their regular schedule.
Whether that’s jogging, lifting weights, or doing skills training, athletes do the “dirty work” so to speak minus the spotlight and the loud cheers of the fans, all for the purpose of preparing themselves for the tough grind when the new PBA season begins.
Slaughter, the 2014 season Rookie of the Year said he’s worked closely with comebacking skills coach Kirk Collier to get himself into superb condition as he tries to help Ginebra end its six-year PBA title drought next season.
Ellis, meantime, explained that despite coming off a three-week vacation to be with his parents in Tampa, Florida, part of his schedule was walking with his mother and jogging at the sandy beach everyday to make sure he keeps himself in shape.
Here’s how “Air Force Ellis” describes his offseason training in the US – “My training, I call it ‘Rocky Balboa training’, just having a lot running and just try to keep in shape everyday,” he said.
“But I was able to play some pro-am games and pick up games, but most of the time, I work on my form, small things, then watched on some film, just try to be a student of the game,” added Ellis.
Like Slaughter and Ellis, I’m reminded again that as important as it is to exercise and take care of our bodies, a far more important discipline everybody needs to address each day is our growth internally.
A passage in 1 Timothy 4:8 (New Living Translation) says, “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”
Ancient Greeks, through whom the modern-day Olympics was inspired, place strong emphasis on the importance of physical exercise.
And this same commitment that athletes like Slaughter and Ellis show each day to get into tip-top shape, should be the same commitment we show each day in our pursuit for internal growth.
The passage calls this internal growth as “godliness”.
Godliness, actually comes from the English word “Godlikeness”, which, according to pastor and Bible teacher David Guzik, means to have the character and attitude of God.
People think that depth of character and integrity are only reserved for the pious, the religious or the “righteous”, but truth is, all of us can develop godliness or growth internally, when we make a total commitment to “surrender” our old desires before this all-powerful, loving and forgiving God.
Are you ready to grow internally?