Have you ever undertaken a sport, activity, or something else and found you had very little ability to accomplish that activity or sport with the degree of proficiency necessary to be modestly successful? Such as hitting a golf drive from the T-box, or a tennis serve, or even casting a lure with a bait casting reel?
Now I am using sports activities, but this could apply to almost any other activity or skill you wish to achieve, whether at work or play when you first attempt a new endeavor. I remember being very frustrating when I began trying to drive a golf ball from the T-box. If I hit the ball squarely it would sail off in a sharp curve to the right, or what is called a slice. Sometime so radical that I could not even find it in the rough. This was very frustrating because of the extra time it took to find the ball, then to get out of the rough, all the while my team partners were having to wait, and possibly even other teams behind us, patiently waiting to tee off.
I finally decided, or my ‘self-talk’ was something like this, ‘you are a reasonably intelligent man, you are reasonably strong and athletic, so why are you doing this so poorly?’ I decided that regardless of the time and effort, I was going to solve this deficiency. Now driving a golf ball takes a coordinated effort of the proper position of your body, and then moving in such a fashion that the club head comes into contact with the golf ball in such a fashion as to drive it in the right direction, and then the follow through so the ball starts off in the proper direction and continues in that direction, not to curve radically off to the right in a slice.
It took a lot of practice and effort, but I did finally learn just how to place my feet and then swing the driver in such a fashion that it met the ball just right and then travelled on through so the ball travelled in a straight line. I finally was able to hit the ball and do a reasonably good drive straight down the fairway. I even learned how to do hit a ball with a hook when it was called for, which was to make it curve slightly to the left.
Now you are probably thinking I became a scratch golfer and played in tournaments. No, I never was that good nor dedicated to have gone that far. I could not devote the extra hours of practice to get that good at the sport, and frankly didn’t want to. I had solved the immediate problem of a slice and that was all I had wanted. I have said all this to impress upon you that you can learn to do difficult tasks if you are willing to both analyze the problem and work out the solution. Keep at it until you find the answer, it is there, you just have to find it. Just Saying….RJS
Yessir, dogged determinism has solved many problems.
Every time I read your posts I think you would be a helluva interesting guy to fish (or now golf) with.
Practice doesn’t make perfect…perfect practice makes perfect.
Robert J Samples wrote:
Have you ever undertaken a sport, activity, or som... (
Robert, I agree with you that you should be able to become reasonably proficient at something with practice and effort. Of course there are sometimes limits due to physical or mental limitations. I like your sports analogy. I have always wondered why some pro basketball players have trouble making 50-60% of their foul shots. These guys are being paid an inexorbitant amount of money. They practice every day and probably shoot 100-200 free throws every day in practice. I am not a great athlete but I would think if I practiced the same shot from the same exact spot 200 times every day I would be able to make more than 50% with my eyes closed! Just sayin...
Mr. Samples once again you intrigue me with your short stories, when I was in high school in a little town ,Woodlake Ca., I was a sophomore playing Varsity SS, in my junior year Coach Leo Robinson told myself and our catcher we were being scouted by the sf giants, after the game against exeter I went went 3for 4 craig our catcher went 1 for 4, they chose him in Round #12 the end of our season and told me to keep playing like I did and keep practicing which I did for awhile and then lost interest when I thought I was it for being with a senior (gal) ,lost my brother to Nam, and joined my beloved Corps in 73, yet I'd practice playing ball ,my last year in Naples Italy I had the honor of playing for the USS Piedmont , and still have the plaque they gave me for MVP that season what a thrill !
Robert, I agree with you that you should be able t... (
Larry Bird,,,,Indiana State, free throw machine, practice, practice practice, and then do it again,,,,,
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