Setting Realistic Expectations

Mike Coval
January 5, 2021
"I think you're good enough to play at Temple, maybe even Duke" 

I'm not going to lie, I'm a little embarrassed that I typed that out, but those words were legit said to me by my mom when I was in 7th grade regarding my basketball "talent". 

You see, I was the kid who was peaked early with my development and then never got much better after that time.   

Neither of my parents were athletes.  Neither had friends that played a sport in college at any level.  They had no idea what was realistic.   

There's a lot of reasons why I didn't develop appropriately in basketball (that's all on me), but even if I had done everything "right" to develop to my fullest capacity, the realistic side of it was that a 5'9 guard who isn't a great athlete and isn't physically imposing is probably an NCAA Division 3 or NAIA Division 2 player at best (and that's still one helluva an accomplishment). 

So what happened?  The expectations that were set I fell well short of.  Truth be told, by the time I got to my junior year of high school I was burned out. 

This isn't my parents fault either.  They were excited about what was happening at the time and they simply didn't know any better when it came to setting realistic expectations and then helping me develop a plan to get to where they believe I could get to. 

So what's the point of me sharing all of this? 

It tells a story that in order to know what is realistic for you, no matter what your goal is, you should have the following variables in-place: 

-the proper environment:  This includes everything from the layout of your home and how you utilize it and the same for work.  These are the two places that you spend probably 80-90% of your time at so it's crucial that you have this set up appropriately. 

-the right "team":  This can include your friends, family, perhaps those that have "been there and done that" (i.e. a coach, reading/viewing content from those that have "been there and done that", etc.), and excluding those who are toxic to your progress  

-a vision for what you want:  this requires a "why".  With something as much grey area as our lives, it's hard to know what to do if you don't know why you're doing it.  

 -understanding that if what you're currently doing isn't working, then it's not the right thing and needs to be adjusted:  this can probably be the hardest thing to do.  For example, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds, and you're eating properly, but you drink two glasses of wine each night, and you're not losing weight, then it would probably be beneficial to cut back on your consumption of wine.  Does that mean you have to completely get rid of it?  Maybe.   Maybe not.  But, if you don't want to give it up, then it would make life easier if you learned to accept that it's very unlikely that you will lose the 20 pounds that you're striving to drop (at least for right now).

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Mike Coval

Coval Fitness is a Personal Training Studio and Gym in Ann Arbor, Michigan

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