Last weekend my son struck out the side in a Little League baseball game.
On Sunday a friend came over to work out with me. He asked how the game went and I gave him the scoop about how my youngin’ whiffed three batters in a row.
He then turns to my son and says, “You’re a natural.”
I immediately recoiled and said, “He’s a natural at knowing he better practice if he’s going to be good.”
There are two extremes when it comes to coaching kids – or adults, for that matter.
One is to criticize severely and never offer anything positive.
The other is to flatter and praise too early and too often, which can and often does cause the person being stroked to lose interest. After all, if you’re being coddled before victory, what’s the point in striving to succeed?
I prefer the middle path. It’s called teaching those you love and those you coach to practice, practice, practice.
Regardless of who praises you and for what – you practice.
Regardless of who criticizes you and for what – you practice.
I believe in praising others for that which deserves praise and can be duplicated. Telling someone he’s a natural is not one of those situations. It’s feedback that does nothing to move you along the path. It makes you stop and think, “Am I really?” instead of thinking, “What can I DO to get even better?”
Earlier in my life I was told I was a natural writer.
Later on I was told I was a natural speaker.
Neither statement led to anything positive. Neither statement helped me grow in either field. Neither helped me succeed in the slightest.
“You’re a natural,” someone says.
“So what?” I reply.
Show me how you practice – and later still, how you play – and even more so, how you react to victory – as well as defeat – then we’ll see how ‘natural’ you are.
When you are at your best, when you’re most natural at what you do – that’s the day when you know you’ve put in your time and paid your dues via the power of repetition.
That’s the moment in time when you know what it really feels like to be Unbeatable.
Fortunately, I’ve seen those moments – those unbeatable times. And I’ve written about how I got there in a way that will inspire you or your children to overcome the odds and make more out of yourself than any ‘natural’ label can ever bestow.
When you order a copy of my new book you’ll never forget the day you pick up the book and begin reading. You won’t be able to put it down until you’re finished. And afterward you’ll keep thinking about it – and passing this powerful message on.
Order now and as a special bonus I’m going to toss in a copy of an audio CD entitled The Power of Thought Vibration – a $39 value – yours gratis because you went for it NOW.
P.S. You may be born with natural gifts and talent – but as Mark Twain once wrote, “Talent is useless without training, thank God.” I may be compensated for any link you click in this email.