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Beating the Odds

Just Get It Going

Today marks the finish line for Dr. Rob Gilbert’s 106-Day Challenge, a diet he put forth on his motivational telephone hotline (973-743-4690).

Dr. Gilbert, a sports psychologist, invited his callers to go from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend without chips, cookies, cigarettes, etc.

Yesterday he asked those who accepted the challenge to ask themselves this question: At what point did the DISCIPLINE of the challenge turn into the DESIRE of the challenge?

In other words, when did the “HAVE TO” turn into the “WANT TO?”

This is an important question because it governs the acquisition of skill.

Let’s say you’re a high school basketball player who is committed to practicing every day. Chances are that you will not FEEL like practicing every single time. But if you do the hard work of getting to the gym and taking a few shots, eventually your resistance to practice will break down.

You can act yourself into the mood.

Runners experience this all the time. They don’t always feel like running when they wake up. But once they get out on the track, the feeling comes.

This is what separates champions from others. Champions do it when they don’t feel like it. They know that once they begin, the feeling will come.

You can bet that the remaining stars at the U.S. Open — Melanie Oudin, Serena Williams and Roger Federer — don’t always feel like practicing. But they don’t let that feeling stop them.

So whether it’s practice, or writing your practice plan, you don’t have to get it perfect. You just have to get it going.


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