”Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.”
It has been said that “It is not whether you win or lose that counts, but how you play the game ” . This statement , while useful in soothing the pain of a recent loss , is very true . Engraved in the cement header above the northeast entry way into Memorial Stadium in Lincoln , Nebraska are these words “Not the victory but the action; Not the goal but the game; In the deed the glory.” These noble thoughts resound like a mantra.
It seems as if practice is ingrained in us from birth. In an effort to turn stumbling to walking , and mumbling to talking , repetitions morph into habits . The idea is that there is an end in mind , some sort of finish line . The thought of learning , and perfecting a skill , a movement , or ability for no forward gain seems like a form of blasphemy. Those that engage in this practice are called names . I have personally been referred to as “The Practice All American , or Thursday Night Hero ” . My quest for perfection has also led me to be called “Winner , Champion ,Animal , Beast ” …
My belief that you are what you do has led to the greatest career anyone could ask for . As a Performance Trainer , I spend my days creating functional practice sessions to make runners faster or ACL patients walk correctly. Teaching movement through mechanics , I try to put the driver in control of the vehicle . My days are filled with deconstructed steps , walks , leaps , and bounds . Regardless of the patient/client , there is a countless repetition of repetitions . “Again ” , I belt out as one perfect cycle is completed . The loud buzzer noise that I make during imperfect attempts is not quite as convincing. In my attempt to determine whether positive or negative reinforcement will work best , my ultimate goal is to create a perfect practice environment .
Looking at my past , it was never the games that I enjoyed . Mastering skills and enhancing my ability has always been what attracted me to athletics . I swim , bike , run , golf , and play tennis . I shoot hoops , guns , bows and arrows , and the breeze always expecting better results than in my past attempts . What was almost accepted as a lack of dedication , a loss of passion , I now recognize as a LOVE FOR PRACTICE .
When everyone else cringed at the dreaded “RUN IT AGAIN !!! ” command from an impatient football coach , I always felt relief . Run it again ? How easy is that , I’d think to myself . To me , again means another chance to get it right. If it’s right , this is the opportunity to make it perfect . And so on , and so on . Game days , track , and swim meets , or head to head competition lacked the round for round feeling tht one gets during practice . Practice . That is where I am most comfortable .
Through a constant pursuit of excellence , through embracing the long hours of toil , winning becomes inevitable . Though victory is not guaranteed , progress is certain , and progress is the best we can ask for. To control the balance of progress by one’s willingness to endure has always seemed “right” to me . Even though I have witnessed the talented be praised before the more diligient , the internal satisfaction of out working the competition can be reward enough .
When I ran for the commercial above , I had no idea that PRACTICE would play such a large role in my life . The filming took place almost ten years ago , but the message is still the same . The service that I provide is one of motivation , of accountability . I offer myself as a catalyst and then a friend , in that order. My promise is to create and maintain an environment that allows you to reach your goals through PRACTICE .
Whether perfection , mediocrity , or silence is your goal , success is inevitable when you practice . The efficacy of practice will depend on how you practice . The truth in your words will be reflected in what you practice . Because life is what you make of it , answers the question of why to practice .
So , the ANSWER (Allen Iverson) is…
“Yes . We are indeed talking about PRACTICE “.
Peace and Love are abstract without PRACTICE ! – Larry