It is commonly said that experience is a great teacher. But, to what extent is it really?
If experience is the only factor to help us become better athletes, then all we need to do is to continue competing and, when we get older, we will be great athletes. As you can see, this does not really make a lot of sense.
In a recent NBA game played between the Los Angeles Clippers and the San Antonio Spurs, the commentator and ex-coach for the New York Knick, Jeff Van Gundy, made an insightful comment: “the value of experience is not in getting older, but in using the experience as a learning tool for the athlete’s benefit.”
The average age of the San Antonio Spurs’ players is the second oldest in the NBA. Despite their “old” age, they beat the younger Clippers’ team. What Van Gundy was referring to is that learning from experience with humility and curiosity in order to improve one’s game is the athlete’s best teacher. We tend to get upset and often blame others, but such an attitude limits progress.
Using the learning lens in each loss will enhance your skills. Your playing time will teach you about you, as an athletes as well as an individual. Embrace both!!
Learn as you play!
1. Use every opportunity to learn from your playing experience, win or lose.
2. Even if you lost, take ALL the positives each experience is teaching you. Your game will grow even faster and so will your confidence.