"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And THAT is why I SUCCEED." - MJ
We overemphasize talent. We want to believe our superstars are superheroes. They're not. We want to believe that because it helps justify why we CAN'T do something or why we SHOULDN'T even try. Because we don't have the "talent."
Not only are our superstars NOT superheroes, they became superstars because they had a relentless work ethic. They put in the work. That's even more impressive than us thinking they were destined to be great, that they were born with some magic gift. Was MJ gifted? Of course, yes. You would be foolish to believe he wasn't. But how many gifted people do you know that "never make it." It's more romantic to think he just stepped on the court and it was effortless and easy. But do you know how many shots he took to make it look that easy? How many 6 am morning workouts in the gym improving his game? How many days he was the first player in and the last player out? It took an incredible amount of effort for him to make it look "easy."
The last thing we need to do is praise talent. As coaches, teachers, and parents, all we are doing is creating a mindset in which people believe they are "destined." That things should be easy and effortless. And when it isn't easy and effortless, than I guess I wasn't "destined" to do this, so why put in the work?
We need to praise EFFORT. We need to praise risk taking and failure. You become destined by working harder than everyone else. By doing 10% more. By understanding that failure means growth.
Let's stop telling our youth that they are talented. Instead, let's praise them for their effort. When they work hard and fail, let's make sure we tell them THAT is how they will be successful. Only then will we create the mindset of a champion. Instagram: @CoachVito44