NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 04: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors in action against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on January 04, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

You have all heard the stories by now but how can you apply Fred Van Vleet’s mantra to work for your fitness goals?

Draft night 2016, Fred had rented out a bar in his hometown of Rockford, Illinois and invited long-time friends and family to watch the NBA Draft.  After 3+ long hours his name was not called, however, the Wichita State University product didn’t let that stop him.  His goal of getting to the NBA was firmly in his hands now, and his agent turned to him and relayed 3 words that framed his journey a mindset: Bet on yourself.

Flash forward to February 2, 2021 in a game against the Orlando Magic and the kid from Rockford, who bet on himself, is scoring from everywhere despite not being the most athletic player on the court and one of the smallest.  He ends up scoring a Toronto Raptors team record of 54 points. Yes, the undrafted, undersized, kid from little Rockford Illinois and NOT the revered and highly drafted peers before him including Vince Carter, Chris Bosh or Demar Derozen.  The most by an undrafted player in NBA history besting Hall of Famer Moses Malone’s 53 points nearly 40 years prior.

Not only does he put the ball in the bucket, but he is a great defender and works tirelessly on that end of the floor.  Watching him on defence is the epitome of the hard work he has put in.  Think of it as the cardio you do after a hard leg, arm, shoulder, chest workout.  Your body is sore, you may be tired, but your desire to improve and evolve is getting you past that burn and into the best shape of your life.  Think of the cardio, extra set, workout when not 100% as your “Fred on D”.  Not only will you see the results but you will get the added satisfaction that you “left it all on the floor”.

Like Fred, it will not come overnight and will take time, but steady progress is rewarding as well.  Set goals along the way using the “Fred Template”

  1. Make the NBA (2016-17) – Set a goal to workout 3-4 times a week, incorporating cardio and weights into every workout, while setting a goal to lose an attainable amount of weight, spread over an attainable amount of time, track your food.
  2. Key Rotation Member 6th man (2017-2018) – Increase your workout frequency, build up cardio, slowly increase strength with increasing weights. Focus on your Macro Nutrients and really dive deep into what you are fueling your body with.  Incorporate Supplementation.
  3. NBA Champion (2018-2019) – Take videos and progress pictures to show the impact your training has on your body composition. Tailor your Macros to what works with your body having control of what goes into you body.
  4. NBA Starter and Team Leader (2020 – BEYOND) – Maintenance, which is in the form of recovery (foam rolling, vibration, heat, ice), and ‘SMART’ training keep the legs moving on the stationary bike, band work, lighter weights.

Remember you can create your own destiny and that the best stock to buy is in yourself.  Buy stock in yourself, invest in YOUR health and fitness.  You will, Like Fred Van Vleet, become the person no one ever expected or thought you would become.  BET…ON…YOURSELF!