Persistence and Intuition


I just finished reading a book about basketball.

But it wasn’t about basketball at all.

In the memoir “The Hoops Whisperer”,  Idan Ravin recounts the journey that led him to become the trainer trusted and loved by the top NBA and WNBA players. As I read this book, I found myself less interested in the tales of drills practiced by LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony, and more focused on the tools Ravin uses to develop these drills. His skills as a trainer are not the result of years of education in sports training, but rather a consuming passion for a sport that was born in him as a child and never died.

I recently had a conversation with my uncle, a self-made success story, about being self-employed. Looking for reassurance that I was on the right professional path, I asked him “When did you know you were going to make it?”. He responded by saying, “I think I know what you are asking me and all I can say to you is Just. Keep. Going. Keep doing what you’re doing. Persistence. 90% of the people give up along the way.”

He didn’t answer my question. But he gave me the answer I was looking for.

Both my uncle and Ravin reinforced in me two things I already knew, but didn’t trust myself enough to listen to.


You have a goal. It might be to lose 10 pounds. It might be to swim a mile in open water. I want to grow my business.

I’ve learned about the power of persistence as a result of my own physical pursuits. In 2012, I trained for and completed a 107-mile ride across New Jersey. I had a goal and I pursued it and, most importantly, I didn’t give up. What happened? I was successful.

We have to let go of the fear that sneaks in to derail the path on which we seek our goals.


I prepare my workouts for my clients before their sessions. I like to feel prepared, to have taken the time to think about each client and design a workout for them that they can complete, but one that also challenges them. There are times that a client walks into the gym, however, and it becomes obvious pretty quickly that what I had planned just isn’t going to work.

In these moments, I let go of my plans and work from a new starting point. There are certainly times that fear creeps into my head in the form of self-doubt, and a thought such as “What am I going to do for the remainder of the session?” forms in my brain, but I let that pass and I allow the answer to come. It comes from intuition.

You have to believe that you already know what to do.

Ravin, in his book “The Hoops Whisperer”, consistently reminds us that success both as an athlete and as a trainer comes from listening to what is in your heart. If we can try and move through life with both ears to our hearts, we will realize that we already know what is right and how to achieve our goals. It’s just a matter of listening.

Allison KalschedComment