Remember High School dances? There was no learning the dance at the party. If you didn’t already know before you got there, you were sorry. You had to step out already a superstar–it had to look natural. The idea of “I’m not good at this; maybe it’s not for me” is also pervasive. That’s opposed to the attitude of “stick with it, you can make it!” We don’t tend to believe this kind of talk. But, the thing is, this kind of talk creates champions. I read about professional swimmers who weren’t always the star of the swim club. They kept working on it. Their hard work paid off. It seems counter intuitive to keep plugging away in the pool even after you lose race after race. You begin to think you’ll never win. But you already win if you don’t give up. Part of winning is tenacity.
Talent doesn’t matter a whole lot if you don’t stick with anything long enough to get proficient.
In the book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell puts forth the theory that it takes 10,000 hours to get good at something. That would be a mind-numbingly long time in the pool. It would be durn near impossible to accomplish if you weren’t really feeling swimming in the first place. So how do you keep yourself encouraged while you’re not yet good? That’s the $64,000 question.
cross posted at: http://imswimming.net/2010/04/21/are-you-supposed-to-be-born-good-a...