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Posted in: High Performance Coaching

path to greatness?

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  • Ralph

    In their search for the optimal path to greatness, some athletes and coaches believe that the path should be clear of all obstacles, while others say that such challenges are instrumental to talent development.

    Former, latter, both, neither?

  • EllyNetball

    Hey Ralph ... I see it as a matter of mindset so ... it's "latter" for me

    Those who prefer no obstacles (or avoid them by removing themselves from the situation) are probably somewhere towards the 'fixed' end of the continuum: they like situations where they perform well, are less likely to make mistakes, and don't have to put in too much effort.  They are likely to believe that learning and getting better at things should be relatively easy.

    Whereas those who embrace any challenges, regarding them as learning opportunities, are probably somewhere closer to the 'growth' end of the continuum: whilst performing well is important, they really care about learning and are willing to work hard to get better ... they accept that making mistakes or looking bad is part of the learning process.

    Of course, having a 'fixed' mindset is not a permanent condition!  None of us are stuck at one end or the other: athletes and coaches alike should know that a mindset can change and develop.

  • Ralph
    On 22/06/16 5:52 PM, Elly Moore said:

    None of us are stuck at one end or the other:

    I’ve met quite a few coaches and athletes that give a good impression of being stuck, even if (?) you are right and they are not.

    What's your view on experience? Do what ever it takes to win because one progresses to the next round, therefore gains more experience, and removes the obstacle of the opponent. Do you expect your athlete to accept loosing to an inferior opponent because you need them to only play a particular technique or tactic, that will help them in the long run but means they loose to an inferior opponent and looses experience of the next round?

  • IanMahoney

    No oppenent is inferoir just better on th day.

    Take leciester city, no on expected them to win the premier league in a 100 years.

    Thinking you competing with someone infereror is whem you lose.

    I you learm the lesson you won't make the mistake of believing you can't lose again!

  • Brett

    Yes finding and experiencing success is important in development, I think knowing what works and feeling that helps us learn. But the question I guess is - do we learn more from our successes or failures?

    I know where I've learnt the most from...

  • Ralph

    It’s fascinating to me, that all my best performances, where I played way above optimal, although I didn’t actually win, all the matches I enjoyed the most, I didn’t actually win, that all the best results, the enjoyment was momentary and only fleetingly remembered, where as those that had the most positive emotional connection, I remember vividly, regardless of result.

    Certainly several time world footballer of the year Ronaldo thinks Iceland’s, “small minded players” are inferior? It will be interesting to see how England approach that upcoming match.

  • skitson

    A fascinating question as there is so many paths to the top. I agree with a lot of what has been said where one takes victory in defeat. A funny concept one most real, it is almost as if the chase to achieve greatness has a greater bearing on an athlete than the greatness itself. I believe only true greatness is awarded when an individual or team repeats over and over again. This idea of sustaining greatness requires a completely different mindset to achieving greatness.

    I think failure is a major part of the path to greatness and I came across this video recently which highlighted some absolute greats of sport and the challenges they overcome to reach and sustain greatness. (Not just sporting examples either). For me it generates certain feelings that develop something deep within athletes/team who overcome this point and drive forward to reach their goals. Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BncX9I54W-g (I prefer watching this with the narrator on silent with some emotive music in the background - a bit of Ludovic Einaudi.

  • Ralph

    Thank you Sion, great response,

    Although I think the Path metaphor is weak, it’s way more complicated than go this way or that. Your youtube proves that (thanks by the way, excellent, not seen that before) In other words they are the same number of paths as there are human beings. Why?

    “Everybody is a genius. But if you keep judging a fish on it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live its life thinking it’s stupid.” Albert Einstein

    There’s the famous story of the Eagle, who was brought up in a chicken farm and as he looks up at an Eagle flying over head, he wishes he was an eagle, then carries scratching the ground from worms, like all of his fellow chickens.

    It’s what is mean by, “Search for the hero inside yourself.”

    And if a coach believes not every child has that hero, you have no business being a coach or at best, you’re a poor coach and don’t even know it. Unconscious incompetence.

    Don’t like “take victory in defeat” it sound a bit delusional, how about, positive gain from every defeat, or learn from?

     “The chase to achieve greatness has a greater bearing on an athlete than the greatness itself.” Sion Kitson

     I’ve put this in quotes because I know this is one of the most brilliant statement I have ever read… (but get rid of the IF).

    Love Ludovic Einaudi by the way, few have heard of him, doesn't stop him being great.

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