Written by Dr Jim Tunney on December 17, 2018
On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS December 17, 2018, #723.. Great Expectations!
After further review… There’s an old joke that answers the question; “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Seemingly, the question about this iconic venue is about directions-to; but the answer often comes: “Practice – Practice – Practice.” I was reminded of this when I read about a newly released documentary by director Gabe Polsky In Search of Greatness which attempts to discover athletic genius. Coaches have been seeking that answer since the beginning of time.
Certainly, superior athletic talent must be at the top, if not close to it. When you research the records of athletes in their respective halls of fame, you’ll find superior talent in their resumes. In my book, It’s the Will, Not the Skill, which highlights the principals and philosophy of success of Herm Edwards, now head football coach at Arizona State University, we state that while many may have the skill for greatness, success is often achieved by those who have the will.
Where does one start in listing qualities of those who possess that will. Of the athletes I have known who have risen to greatness, it seems to start with preparation! Let me remind you that Noah built his ark, before it started to rain! So, practice, practice, practice makes sense. However, practice doesn’t make perfect; only perfect practice makes perfect! In whatever you do, take time to do it the right way. For athletes, just being in the gym or on the field, isn’t enough to improve their abilities until they are performing at their very best every time.
Coaching can be of great benefit. I’ve heard many coaches remark about an athlete, “He/She is very coachable.” The know-it-all-athletes with extra-special skills all too often flatten-out, if they are not willing to go that extra-mile and seek coaching to help them grow. You will find that road on the extra-mile to greatness is never crowded! While a coach may not always be there to help, athletes can learn by observing. This philosophy, BTW, can be applied to anything one does – on or off the field.
When you observed Jerry Rice catching a pass or Steph Curry dribbling a ball, please remember that each has done that same drill hundreds of times in practice before ever stepping before the public. Preparation with perfect practice can result in great expectations.
Will you take time to prepare in everything you do?