I just finished reading Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.
I liked it. I have a few thoughts on it.
The first one is about how standouts approach the day to day hard work of practice. She comes to the conclusion that they just do it because they are motivated by the reward it brings later when they win a competition.
While I agree that stand outs are motivated by the eventual glory, I think there’s more to it.
Rather than just grunting it out, I think they may be more creative in their approach to the daily grind and more directed about what they work on.
They gain a good sense of where they are headed by observing in fine detail the folks they idolize. If they like basketball, they develop an affinity toward a few players and observe in detail how those players play and try to emulate them.
So, when they go to the driveway to practice, it isn’t just about generic hoop shooting. It’s about emulating the style of their favorites. A specific goal (shoot like LeBron), rather than a generic goal (practice for 45 minutes).
They are more creative about making the practice interesting while achieving small goals that build to their overall success.
Instead of taking a 100 random shots because their coach said to, they make small games out of it. They see how many free throws, jumpers or hook shots out of 10 they can make. When they get bored with one game, they alter the rules or change it up to keep it interesting.
They are also on the top end of objective evaluation and responding to their own performance. When they miss a few easy layups in a game, they go back to the driveway and do 200 layups to make sure that doesn’t happen again.