As a society, we often focus on what is bad or wrong, and this is no more evident than when listening to the evening news, looking at comments on our work reviews, or watching a televised sports event.
Regardless of the sport, how often have we heard the sports commentator critique a basketball player’s free throw form, a gymnast’s landing position, or a golf professional’s swing mechanics?
Over and over, we hear what is wrong with an athlete’s performance, while much less of the conversation is about what is right.
For example, who has ever taken a golf lesson and, let’s say, you make one swing in balance and another swing off balance. Which swing does the instructor typically focus on? Of course, they generally focus on fixing the swing that was out of balance versus building on the swing that was in balance.
My perspective is that there is another way to go about coaching which will ultimately unlock any individual’s or team’s best performance. And that is to start by guiding learners of any age through a process of self-exploration and ultimately helping them to find the genius within!
As I once heard a famous coach say, “How do I not know they’re Mozart, and I’m trying to teach them chopsticks?”
Several years ago, there was the first in a series of “Hole in the Wall” experiments by educator, Sugata Mitra, that exemplifies this point.
The story goes something like this: In India, a group of kids who had never seen a computer and didn’t know what the internet was, were placed in a room with a computer connected to the internet and given no instructions. Within four hours they had the computer working and were exploring the world through the internet. The genius was clearly within!
I am not suggesting that everything is always easy or that we all can be experts or elite performers in anything. But I am suggesting that we are not broken and in need of fixing. In fact, we are incredibly talented human beings with extraordinary potential for learning, performing, and rising to achieve excellence.
We all are blessed to varying degrees with skills and strengths.
What matters less is how great our strengths are to begin with. What matters more is that we identify our strengths. Then we need to consistently build on them within a sport, activity or proession we are passionate about.
“Everybody is a genius.
But if you judge a fish by its ability
to climb a tree, it will live its
whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Start by finding the genius within, and I promise you the pathway to being the best performer you can be will be more enjoyable and much more achievable!