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When You Grind, You Shine

Posted Diana Patton on 3/20/2017 |


I happened to glance at the television a couple of weeks ago and overheard the University of Michigan’s basketball coach, John Beilein, commenting about their airplane accident. The plane that was carrying the entire Michigan basketball team and their staff literally blew off of the runway and into a field. A few of the players were injured, but most, if not all, were undoubtedly shaken. Their team was scheduled to play in the Big Ten Championship games over the next few days.

For my non-basketball folks, not being able to play in the Big Ten Championship is like incorrectly announcing Best Picture at the Oscars – it is a pretty big deal. Of course, discussions about the airplane accident kept sports newscasters and social media feeds buzzing with talks of whether the team could pull themselves together to capture a victory during the championship playoffs.

Pull themselves together. Uh, yeah, they did more than just pull themselves together. They played four games in four consecutive days and crushed their opponents, winning the Big Ten Championship trophy. It was as if the accident never occurred. 

If you think this was luck, or some “just so happened upon” win, think again. Michigan teammate, Irvin, said in an interview, “It was a great feeling, just knowing all the hard work we put in through the whole season.” Irvin is referencing the relentless work on their physical game, their skills game, and most importantly and obviously, their mental game. They were ready for battle and for any unforeseen circumstance that could possibly take them off track, even a bizarre plane accident.

I used the Michigan basketball team’s example of grit, determination and resilience to make a point when I spoke to the basektball team at all-girls St. Ursula High School. Coach Tandy Bradford asked me to deliver some “parting words” at their end-of-year banquet. SUA’s slogan for the 2016-2017 basketball season was: “When you grind, you shine.”

Michigan’s basketball team would have never been able to shine without their grind. When you grind, you go beyond what is expected. You do the intangible, the things that no one thinks are important like:

Immediately capturing and reversing negative thoughts that may creep into your mind. You stop the thought before it attempts to burrow itself into the patterns of your behavior.

Sharing the good, bad and the ugly with your teammates to build trust and to encourage one another through challenging times. 

Taking time every single day to review your goals, meditate and pray.

Constantly repeating affirming words that encourage yourself, usually preceded with the words, “I am ______.” Such as I am unique, I am blessed, I am confident, I am strong.

Blocking distractions like social media, television and non-productive chatter and gossip that eats away at your grind time, and saying no to short-term thrills that may cost you long-term success.

That is the grind. This type of grind and resulting shine is for everyone, not just basketball players. When coupled with an “I believe I can do it” mindset, it will produce positive results over time in all areas of your life. The key is consistency and a firm, unwavering belief that it will happen.

The next time you see someone’s success - their shine - you can safely presume they have been putting in the grind for a sustained period. It does not just happen by chance. If it does, you can rest assured that the shine will fade as quickly as it lit up.

Do the grind and feel the shine!

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