Life is about practice

Bird Droppings May 19, 2013
Life is about practice

On a wet cloudy and stormy Sunday morning in Georgia with a high school graduation only a few hours previous I am thinking ahead. I often wonder at how to tell graduating seniors to ponder and think about the future. How do you build upon what you have and go further? It seems to always come down to practice get better at what you do. Is it studying or reading work at it does it as the NIKE ads spell out so clearly. I am a poor one to speak sitting on my dissertation now for several summers procrastinating writing yet writing daily in volumes. Sometimes we need to be specific and get to the dirty parts of work and life and move on.

“There may be more to learn from climbing the same mountain a hundred times than by climbing a hundred different mountains.” Dr. Richard Nelson

I went out several days ago to get photos of football practice at our school. We have a scrimmage game with our offense and defense playing each other. This has been a tradition for a few years now. Watching the coaches and players interact and drill the same play again and again it dawned on me maybe enough times and you will get it right. But then as I thought not really if you practice a play a thousand times perfectly and know each step engrained in your mind and body you can now focus on what may change as you actually run that play. Your thoughts will not be occupied with the play but with succeeding with the play.
As I read Dr. Nelson’s thought earlier I wondered and then it hit me so many times I will in my daily routine go through the same motions same processes and yet each time something new will hit me. On my way to school a new house or tree I never saw. It might be a hawk I missed or the angle of the sun as it filters through the trees. It is those minute details that add so much more to life. Several years ago I found a quote from an athlete who is listed in the ESPN list of top twenty five records that will never be broken. He has been called the great one and in his day and even today there is no other greater ice hockey player.
Wayne Gretzky held or still holds every scoring record in professional ice hockey but his combined points will more than likely never be equaled. ESPN has Gretzky’s all-time scoring record as the number two record in the top twenty five least likely to be broken. Why was he great? He will say practice and from the time he was a small child and just learning to skate he made shots on goal. It amounted to thousands upon thousands of shots even tens of thousands of shots till his playing was near automatic.

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it is.” Wayne Gretzky

Gretzky had an uncanny ability to know anticipate where the play was going from practicing not only shooting the puck but watching and understanding people. There is another aspect to his great ability as a player reflected in his next statement

“You’ll miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Wayne Gretzky

Procrastination was not in Wayne Gretzky’s vocabulary. Gretzky’s believe in practice and perseverance which also happens to be two keys to success in life and in school. On the job and at home practice and perseverance can significantly make a difference. We all cannot be as successful as Wayne Gretzky perhaps not at Ice Hockey but at being a teacher, a parent, and a friend and for me I would be rather remembered as the dad whose record of being a great father will go down in the record books. Please keep all in harm’s way on your minds and in your hearts and to always give thanks namaste.

Wa de (Skee)

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