As the NBA preseason concluded last week and final roster cuts were made, Kyle Collinsworth—"Mr. Triple Double"—was informed that his services as a guard for the Dallas Mavericks were no longer needed. While his future in the NBA remains unclear, visualizing the future is one of Collinsworth's specialties. He says it all boils down to "positive attitude."
"It's easy to visualize success when things are going good. I learned to visualized success in the tough moments. I learned to visualize success when everyone else saw failure. My mental strength is what shaped my college career and put me where I am today."
Collinsworth relied on mental strength and positive attitude to navigate his irregular collegiate career. During his freshman season at BYU he quietly averaged six points, five rebounds, two assists, and one steal per game en route to a sweet sixteen appearance. However, as the season concluded Collinsworth took a leave of absence from the team to serve a two-year LDS church mission in Russia. While he gained maturity and leadership abroad, trading in basketball for language and spiritual training certainly took a toll on his body.
Despite the hiatus, Collinsworth was able to return and get back into playing shape in just a few months. At the conclusion of an even more impressive sophomore season, he experience another basketball setback—a torn ACL. But rather than taking the expected ten months to heal up, he recovered in six and went on to break the NCAA single season triple double record. The following season he set the career triple double mark, earning him the title of "Mr. Triple Double."
Despite his impressive collegiate career, Collinsworth went undrafted in the 2016 NBA draft. He tried out for a number of teams, and impressed with his aggressiveness and versatility. After a solid performance in the NBA summer league he landed in Dallas who signed him to a two-year contract. However, after pre-season averages of just 1.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game he was waived on Saturday from the team.
The ups and downs of being a professional athlete has provided Collinsworth the opportunity to reflect on what leads to athletic success. He is very intentional in what he eats, how he stretches before and after workouts, and so many of the other little things that contribute to health and wellness. He also spends hours reading books on personal development and nutrition, and takes careful notes.
"I like to read. As a kid I would never read and my teachers would tell my mom that if I didn't start reading I would never succeed in school. I didn't listen to their advice then, but I'm reading now."
Collinsworth is recording all that he learns into a new blog he hopes will inspire youth to get healthy while elevating their athletic performance. The site--Athlete's Guide 5—takes a "five-pronged approach" to athletic performance: the mental approach, nutrition, strength and conditioning, recovery, and rehabilitation.
"When someone trains hard but eats bad that poor nutrition is going to impact their training at some point down the road. However, when someone eats good and trains good too they will recover better and continue to train effectively. And mentally? That's a big area to tap into. Visualization helped me come back from injury. Each of these aspects impact each other and when an athlete stays on top of all of them his or her game will go to a whole another level!"
Collinsworth created the site so others—particularly young athletes—could have access to insider tips from a professional. When asked what advice he had for kids with professional aspirations he responded:
"Decide today you want to be one. When you make that decision your whole life starts to change. You get to bed earlier and you eat better, you stay after practice and work on your game. If you want to do something you have to decide today. Deciding today allows you to put mass amounts of action towards your goal. The sooner you start the more action you will have towards that goal. So set that goal and let it command your every thought, believing you can achieve it."
As Collinsworth's professional journey is uncertain those are certainly great words to live by.