Recently I was driving my husband's truck around town
(truth: we missed trash day after Christmas and had to take care of that). Per normal, sports radio was playing and, because I like to have an occasional informed conversation about sports, kept listening.
After a former NFL pace kicker, Shayne Graham, started chatting with a local radio host, I almost turned it. "This is not helping increase my sports knowledge," was the thought that flitted across my mind before traffic distracted me and the channel stayed where it was.
As it turns out
what this guy shared was lots better than random sports knowledge. Somehow he started talking about the mental game and the pressure that is tied up in the position of the person responsible for kicking the extra point. The phrase, "The pain of missing is ten times more intense the high of making it 100 times in a row," made me stop and pay attention. "Wait," I thought, "I'm not the only one that puts much more weight on negative occurrences?"
He went on to say that when it's time to actually go out and make that high stress kick, he had music going through his head. He explained that pre-game was the time for analyzing the wind speed and direction, the location of his target points and knowing the quirks of whatever stadium he happened to be playing. But when it's time to actually put that information to the test, he can't overthink it, which is the reason for the music.
Just a disclaimer, I am the least sporty person I know.
I will occasionally do yoga, kayak, and snow ski but even these are outdoor activities, definitely not major sports with teams and rules and, most importantly, competition. Certain sorts of competition make me crumble. I really dislike that pressure.
Which makes it even more interesting that, after hearing how this Pro Bowl level football kicker talk about his process, I totally related to what he said. Over-think, over-analyze, research research research: and then totally just let go and let your body, muscles, and spirit do what it knows what and how to do.
But the bigger story for me was this:
There is always something to learn.
I give curiosity and learning lots of lip service but then discount things that don't quite hit my "standards" (sports radio). Here's to ignoring those standards and staying curious.
Ps. I wanted to link to the audio of the original interview but can't find the file. I will update it something changes.