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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2022 8:08 pm 
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The Mundanity of Excellence
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When I made cuts for Regionals, I started thinking about Regionals; when I made cuts for National Junior Olympics, I started thinking about National Junior Olympics. I can't even think about the Olympics right now...Things can overwhelm you if you think too far ahead.
I thought I found this article from here, but I remember I actually found it from a book. So I'm happy to share it here. Really interesting 'old school' article that is going in the opposite direction of mainstream in terms of being effective.

Link - The Mundanity of Excellence


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2022 1:34 pm 
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Thoroughly enjoyed and well worth a read

The groups thing for sure, have seen this in different areas. Came across this myself in multiple similar settings.

With the increased openness in interviews and commentary and having athletes doing commentary while still active becoming more common, i've found some of this being discussed by athletes as well, esp over the last few years.
was watching the vault at the world championships over the weekend and this came up repeatedly in the commentary, about the groups and the jumps between them and the psychology of it, mainly in relation to people who had not made the cut and how they could.

The discrete rather than continuous.

Recommend a read

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In building a statue, a sculptor doesn't keep adding clay to his subject.He keeps chiseling away at the inessentials until the truth of its creation is revealed without obstructions. Perfection is not when there is no more to add,but no more to take away.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2022 4:59 pm 
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Thanks for sharing. I was struck by the following part:
Quote:
Attitude: At the higher levels of competitive swimming, something like an inversion of attitude takes place. The very features of the sport which the "C" swimmer finds unpleasant, the top-level swimmer enjoys. What others see as boring swimming back and forth over a black line for two hours, say-they find peaceful, even meditative, often challenging, or therapeutic. They enjoy hard practices, look forward to difficult competitions, try to set difficult goals. Coming into the 5.30 AM practices at Mission Viejo, many of the swimmers were lively, laughing, talking, enjoying themselves, perhaps appreciating the fact that most people would positively hate doing it. It is incorrect to believe that top athletes suffer great sacrificesto achieve their goals. Often, they don't see what they do as sacrificial at all. They like it.
Reminds me of the science of motivation:

1. Set Goals, Not Chores
2. Set Goals, Not Means: Focus on pursuing goals rather than working on means
3. Set Challenging Goals
4. Intrinsic Motivation: Pursuing an action as an end in itself (predicts persistence)

Ayelet Fishbach "Get it Done: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation"

Also reminds me of loving the process and "Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it."

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2022 12:29 am 
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zogler wrote: *
Quote:
Attitude: At the higher levels of competitive swimming, something like an inversion of attitude takes place. The very features of the sport which the "C" swimmer finds unpleasant, the top-level swimmer enjoys. What others see as boring swimming back and forth over a black line for two hours, say-they find peaceful, even meditative, often challenging, or therapeutic. They enjoy hard practices, look forward to difficult competitions, try to set difficult goals. Coming into the 5.30 AM practices at Mission Viejo, many of the swimmers were lively, laughing, talking, enjoying themselves, perhaps appreciating the fact that most people would positively hate doing it. It is incorrect to believe that top athletes suffer great sacrificesto achieve their goals. Often, they don't see what they do as sacrificial at all. They like it.
That was a good quote. Same work just different mindset and approach.

It's amazing at the higher levels they're working on such small details that have small impacts, but at that level they make a difference. It's like a narrowing of vision until they're letting go of everything that isn't working to a point where there's nothing left to leave out.

That's a special place to be and takes a lot of honesty to know what's working or what's not.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2023 3:24 am 
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bump

Quote:
In the pursuit of excellence, maintaining mundanity is the key psychological challenge. In common parlance, winners don't choke. Faced with what seems to be a tremendous challenge or a striking unusual event such as the Olympic Games, the better athletes take it as a normal, manageable situation.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2023 3:57 pm 
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One of the things that resonated when I read this again was how mundane or boring excellence really is (hence the title). :idea:

Something that's come up more times than I'd like to remember in my work is how many times I felt the urge to do more than what I was. And I'm pretty sure it always came back to bite me in the butt. After a while I started to notice that I'm just getting in my own way; ie burning out or dip in work quality.

I think it stems from a lack of patience and thinking too short-term. It's also about trusting the process and letting it happen. Something I'm seeing more and more in my life.

So back to what resonated...excellence is just doing the important things over and over and over again and adjusting when I need to. Pretty simple, but not easy.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2023 12:53 am 
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Exactly. At 49K+ practice hours, my guitar gently mundanites. :lol:

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