Sports

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The Four Seasons of Mastery; How Swimming is the Mother of All the Arts.

The Four Seasons of Mastery

The following is an excerpt from Budo Secrets – Teachings of the Martial Arts Masters by John Stevens

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Water is the source of wisdom; swimming is the mother of all the arts.

Children should be introduced to the sea as early as possible.  Rather than being strictly “taught” how to float and swim, they should be unobtrusively guided at first in order to allow them to gradually acquaint themselves with the mystery of water. Continue reading

“For me the joy of athletics has never resided in winning.  I derive just as much happiness from the process as from the results.  I don’t mind losing as long as I see improvement or I feel I’ve done as well as I possibly could.  If I lose, I just go back to the track and work some more.” ~ Jackie Joyner-Kersee

“Often called the best woman soccer player in the world, Mia Hamm says she was always asked, ‘Mia, what is the most important thing for a soccer player to have?’  With no hesitation, she answered, ‘Mental toughness.’  And she didn’t mean some innate trait.  When eleven players want to knock you down, when you’re tired or injured, when the referees are against you, you can’t let any of it affect your focus.  How do you do that?  You have to learn how.  ‘It is,’ said Hamm, ‘one of the most difficult aspects of soccer and the one I struggle with every game and every practice.” ~ Carol Dweck, Mindset

“I read an article a few years ago that said when you practice a sport a lot, you literally become a broadband: the nerve pathway in your brain contains a lot more information.  As soon as you stop practicing, the pathway begins shrinking back down.  Reading that changed my life.  I used to wonder, Why am I doing these sets, getting on a stage?  Don’t I know how to do this already?  The answer is no.  You must keep doing it.  The broadband starts to narrow the moment you stop.” ~ Jerry Seinfeld

“If you want to play the game and win, you’ve got to play ‘full out.’ You’ve got to be willing to feel stupid, and you’ve got to be willing to try things that might not work – and if they don’t work, be willing to change your approach. Otherwise, how could you innovate, how could you grow, how could you discovery who you really are?” ~ Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within

“What you do in practice is going to determine your level of success. I used to tell my players, ‘You have to give 100 percent every day. Whatever you don’t give, you can’t make up for tomorrow. If you give only 75 percent today, you can’t give 125 percent tomorrow to make up for it.‘” ~ John Wooden

“When I was teaching basketball, I urged my players to try their hardest to improve on that very day, to make that practice a masterpiece.  Too often we get distracted by what is outside our control.  You can’t do anything about yesterday.  The door to the past has been shut and the key thrown away. You can do nothing about tomorrow.  It is yet to come.  However, tomorrow is in large part determined by what you do today.  So make today a masterpiece…  This rule is even more important in life than in basketball.  You have to apply yourself each day to become a little better.  By applying yourself to the task of becoming a little better each and every day over a period of time, you will become a lot better.  Only then will you be able to approach being the best you can be.” ~ John Wooden

“I have an addictive personality. Sport is my drug of choice these days. It’s one of the best drugs there is. It keeps you fit and healthy, even if, in the case of ironman, it pushes your body to the limit. The word “addiction” comes with negative connotations, but it doesn’t have to be a damaging impulse. It’s all about channeling your craving into something positive.” ~ Chrissie Wellington, A Life Without Limits

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Matt Hogan with Lily Rose

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