Mark Gillett

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Potential…. How is it measured?

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I used to get this question so often in the tennis world.  “How good will my son be?” “could my daughter win wimbledon?” “What’s the best I can be?”

I listened to one coach who told me many years ago, “it doesn’t matter how many lessons you have you will just become a player equal to the number of times you play in a week.” I never forgot this and over many years of observing people in competitive sport and being aware of the number of hours put in, he was essentialy right!

When replying to people I was always very aware of my answer until around 10 years ago when it became clearer. Basically I am not in charge of your potential as a coach. That’s in both the sporting and the business/personal development arena. Only you can be in charge. Potential can only be directly related to the  effort or practice put in. In life or work it can be measured by attitude to task which is much the same.  A good healthy attitude to your working day will produce good results and keeping sight of your ultimate goal whilst dedicating yourself to “the now” ( will produce better results still.

Then there is Daniel Levitin’s theory ( that if you put in 10,000 hours of practice you will become a master of your skill. So in sport thats pretty easy to identify, or you would think it is….. In personal development a little more tricky but can still be achieved.

So when it comes to potential and the question of what is yours? is firstly down to how much you practice. Good practice. If you wake up every day and can be positive throughout the day your potential is endless and increases with time. The 10 thousand hours of practice, however, has to be 10 thousand hours of good dedicated time.

Tom Aikens, above is a good example of putting in the hours.  Just check out his restaurant

I leave you with that…..

Written by markgillett

February 19, 2010 at 4:36 pm

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