Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Thursday, March 02, 2006

No excuses


At her training camp presentation in January, Sandy Hott Johansen's last slide was, "No Fear, No Limits, No Excuses."

I was reminded of this when I was reading something Malcolm Gladwell wrote about why people (in particular athletes) don't work hard when it is in their best interest to do so. Here is what Gladwell wrote:

This is actually a question I'm obsessed with: Why don't people work hard when it's in their best interest to do so? Why does Eddy Curry come to camp every year overweight?

The (short) answer is that it's really risky to work hard, because then if you fail you can no longer say that you failed because you didn't work hard. It's a form of self-protection. I swear that's why Mickelson has that almost absurdly calm demeanor. If he loses, he can always say: Well, I could have practiced more, and maybe next year I will and I'll win then. When Tiger loses, what does he tell himself? He worked as hard as he possibly could. He prepared like no one else in the game and he still lost. That has to be devastating, and dealing with that kind of conclusion takes a very special and rare kind of resilience.

You can read the rest of the interview at ESPN.com.

posted by Michael | 7:39 PM


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