Various Provocations: Performance, Amateurism and Professionalism

But it’s important to get to exactly what we mean. Let’s take an excellent Pete Carroll profile that I reread a few days ago (for obvious reasons).

On page 4:

People who know him best invariably seize upon fun to describe Carroll, either saying it’s fun to be around him or that he’s forever having fun. His emphasis on fun comes mainly from his DNA but also from his reading, specifically W. Timothy Gallwey’s The Inner Game of Tennis, a 122-page book with a cult-like following. (The latest edition features a foreword by Carroll.) Using tennis as a prism through which to view all human endeavor, Gallwey says we focus too narrowly on results. “The three cornerstones of Inner Game,” he tells me, “are Performance, Learning, and Enjoyment . Usually people put Performance first, and Learning and Enjoyment are almost absent.”

If we focused more on Enjoyment and Learning, Gallwey says, we’d perform better and we’d be a lot happier: “You look at a child. He learns while he plays. Anything he tries to do, or win at, he’s playing, he has a wonderful time doing it. They’re not separate things for a child. That means to me these things are inherently built into human beings. Most human beings, you have to coach what’s already inherent—that is, the drive of excitement to learn and keep learning, and the drive to enjoy. It gets really covered up when winning is everything. I agree with Lombardi: Winning is everything. It’s just what your definition of winning is.”

via Various Provocations: Performance, Amateurism and Professionalism.

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