Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Skill of the Talented & the Poise to Perform

Weddings always hold surprises in store. At one recent wedding I attended, guests were treated to an impromptu performance of Michael Buble’s, Sway. What transfixed us was the total performance; from the voice, to the timing and rhythm, and overall singing skill of this relative of the groom’s.

Whenever I see someone so talented perform, whether it’s in the sporting arena, business or the arts, I’m left in awe of not simply their skill, but their ability to harness all the technical aspects of performing with the softer psychological, emotional-spiritual issues--quite simply, the mental game. Performing, I’m sure comes ninety percent from the mind.

And this relates to the fact that skill alone is only fifty percent of the deal in life, if that. We all see people with tons of skill that never make it, and never reach their potential--each one of us, in fact, knows this personally. We’ve all had things we’ve been really good at, but couldn’t somehow harness other qualities to make it all gel as we or others desired.

Performance, especially ‘in anger,’ i.e. the heat of the moment on the real stage, is light years away from simply skill alone. I recall struggling as a young batsman in regional senior cricket; I had all the shots but simply didn’t have the self-belief to perform consistently out in the middle. And it took years really to grasp that; eventually it came, and at last I could succeed consistently.

We focus upon skill and that is important. But how often do we focus on the softer aspects of our games? How often do we visualise ourselves positively and motivationally--succeeding with that blend of unique performance factors in harmony, in unison?

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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