Perspective on Practice

Xcelerate Nike Lacrosse National Program Director, Brian Lalley, discusses, Perspective on Practice:

ESPN writer, Marty Smith, recently posted the article, “Tiger Woods tops our list of the most dominant athletes of the past 20 years.” Tiger has had his ups and downs, but his dominance in the sport of golf cannot be questioned.

In the article, Tiger was interviewed and asked a number of questions regarding his dominance in the sport. He was asked what others might not know about him that helped him be so dominant. His response really struck me as to how important practice and hard work is to performing with confidence:

“It's just the amount of work that I put into it outside of what people saw during the 18 holes of competition that one particular day. I put in so much effort and so much time to becoming good.

I gained a lot of my confidence, not through tournament play, but through practice. And the better I practiced, the better I played, because I knew that's what I was capable of. If I had great practice sessions, I knew I was going to play well because that's how I can hit the golf ball, that's how I can putt, that's how I can chip. If I wasn't practicing well, then what makes you think I could do that in a tournament?”

I get the feeling that so many people see greatness and go immediately to natural talent and gifts. Lebron James is another athlete who is regularly seen as a “freak of nature.” There is no doubt that the most elite athletes have a certain set of natural ability that puts them in a position to be great. However, you cannot convince me that Tiger or Lebron would be as great as they have been without the blood, sweat and tears poured into their craft.

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