I had good intentions of posting a blog last week but life sort of happened and I didn’t get it done. No excuses, just an apology. I came across this blog entry (listed at the end of this blog) about kids and sports, thought it offered a really good perspective, and wanted to share it with you.
I loved the message that excellence and precision is developed over time with practice, practice, and more practice – it is absolutely true. When fans watch great athletes perform such incredible feats on TV, they usually don’t realize how many hours, days, and years these athletes have invested in developing their craft. I marvel at how professional golfers are able to consistently hit great shots and wonder why I don’t do the same. Then I remember how little I practice golf and answer my own question.
I don’t think all young athletes lack grit but I appreciate the perspective offered that young athletes often lack patience. I would further add that parents and coaches feed into the problem by expecting quick results and success. We would all be better served by focusing on reinforcing the process of improvement rather than the win. In most cases, winning is a byproduct of preparation, effort, commitment and practice so this is where the emphasis should be. This also takes the pressure off of young athletes and allows them to focus on getting better rather than worrying about disappointing everyone if they don’t succeed and taking undesirable shortcuts (e.g. steroids, cheating) to gain a victory.
Truth be told I believe this article’s message extends well beyond kids and sports – it applies to everyone – not just aspiring young athletes. Take pride in getting a little bit better every day. 100 1% improvements become a 100% improvement rather quickly.
Success is getting a little bit better everyday.