Without a Teacher, Your Potential Will Always Be Limited.
Here’s a Story About One of the Greatest Ones on the Planet
I’ve been doing quite a bit of research on talent development, overachievers, underachievers, greatness, etc.
After hours and hours of reading and annotating, a major principal jumped out at me.
Here goes: Game changing improvement becomes possible when one realizes the need for proper technique and how best to acquire that technique.
In other words, while it’s important to believe in your natural ability, you must believe more strongly in putting forth the effort required to perfect your craft.
And without the watchful eye of an instructor, you scale of improvement will always be limited.
I was reminded of the importance of a great teacher this past Sunday as twenty-three year old Jordan Spieth won the British Open — one of professional golf’s four major champtionships.
One of the first people he hugged after sinking the winning putt was his teacher, Cameron McCormick. That’s to be expected.
What was truly amazing is that Spieth wasn’t McCromick’s youngest pupil to perform well in the Open that week. That distinction would go to twenty-year-old Austin Connelly. The 5'7" 140 lb. Canadian started the final day tied for third before finishing tied for 14th place.
Therefore, this one teacher had two students that beat out competitors with many more years of experience for one of golf’s most hard-earned trophies. (a third student of MCormick’s finished in 37th place).
This was not happenstance. Instead, it’s an achievement that highlights the prominent role a teacher plays in greatness.
Perhaps this is why Angela Duckworth, when talking about the variables such as luck, work ethic, etc., play in achievement, said “…having a great coach or teacher…matter tremendously…maybe more than anything about the individual.”
Simply put, one can have all of the natural ability in the world, but it takes the oversight of a master teacher to develop the level of technique — both mental and physical — required to be great.
I’m not saying all you have to do is hire a great coach and all of your wildest dreams will come true. High levels of achievement are far more complicated than that.
But one sure way to limit your rate and scale of improvement is to practice in obscurity.
Call to Action
Have you been working hard but seeing few results? If so, have you considered getting input from someone whose skill level exceeds yours?
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