More and more sports teams are taking on military-style training to take them to the next level. The Western Michigan University men’s basketball team even attributes its Mid-American Conference championship last year to the specialized training. For that particular team, the players went through The Program, which focuses on leadership development and team building for professional and collegiate athletic teams. The training includes exercises like carrying 50-pound sand bags, crawling through muddy water, and physical combat drills.
Now, The Program isn’t about strength and conditioning, but rather leadership and unit cohesion. The instructors have military backgrounds and take athletes through the drills. Athletes develop mental toughness and learn to take on situations as they come. The Program stresses it’s not about individual talent, but the entire team working together to win and achieve success.
Here are The Program’s core principals:
We are physically and mentally tough.
We don’t make excuses and we don’t let others make excuses for us.
We work hard! And to us at The Program working hard means we do one more!
The success of any team or organization is based on the whole and not the individual. One talented athlete can’t win a championship, but an entire team working together with a common goal can. We see sports teams all the time go from the underdog position to the winning title. What they have in common is the drive and passion to work together and win, even if they may not necessarily have the most skilled athletes in the league.
Should more sports teams experience military-style training? What else do military drills teach us? Could other organizations benefit from similar training?
Comment below or join the discussion here and connect within the military community.
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