The Scoop: Will Smith’s Treadmill

“The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out-worked, period.” – Will Smith

If you haven’t seen the video where Will Smith offered up this quote, it may come off a bit confusing. He clarifies: “if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die.” 

It goes without saying that success is the result of hard work. As much as we’d like to think that the people at the top got there through luck and connections, the reality is that those people worked for everything they’ve gotten, and, generally speaking, they worked harder than everyone around them. 

Every exceptional ball player that I have coached was that prototypical “gym rat.” They stayed after practice to take extra BP or ground balls. They took private lessons during the offseason and hit the cages in the dead of winter. They conditioned on their own. They set themselves apart mentally and physically. They were often born with talent and natural ability, but they worked to maintain it. 

I often relate stories to my team about the guys who had all the talent in the world but took it for granted. For every exceptional player who worked his butt off, there are an equal amount that, with even just more than marginal effort, could have been superior athletes. But, they chose to get off the treadmill first. Their stories aren’t inspiring. They’re cautionary tales. 

Effort is a choice. You don’t have a say in your genetics. You can’t make yourself six and a half feet tall. You can’t control the actions of those around you. But you can work. You can work tirelessly. You can refuse to be out worked by anyone. The results of your effort will speak for themselves. 

Make the choice, and then make your mark. 

Have an awesome Friday,


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