Hmmm, mistakes! At that level of football play, Kelly is NOT talking about the mistakes of the unprepared, undisciplined, nor those lacking intensity, desire, focus. No, these mistakes, the ones that make winners, come from risk, action, thinking outside the box, giving it all, laying it out there.
Interesting that, though Coach Kelly stirred it up in his pre-game interview..... these words have been uttered by basketball coaches that have gone before. "The team that makes the most mistakes will probably win" These are the words spoken by Piggy Lambert, former college coach at Purdue, and then spoken again by John Wooden, former master college coach at UCLA. John Wooden continues to say, “the truth is that the doer makes mistakes, and mistakes come from doing – but so does success. The player who is mistake free is also probably the one who is doing nothing to guarantee success, which is the biggest mistake of all.” Dr. Haley goes on to say, "Mistakes are made when an athlete pushes his/her boundaries. The more comfortable an athlete is in training, the less they will improve. The more they challenge themselves, the more mistakes they will make. The more mistakes they make, the better chance they will have at realizing their true potential."
When it comes to dogs, I've heard Scott Glen say, "I want a dog that is not afraid to make mistakes." There it is again.....mistakes being made and wanting that try! Funny, I've had conversations with Jack Knox about this very same idea. Me, well, I'm a perfectionist. I battle that.....Buck Brannaman says, "there is a difference between being particular and being picky". I've run myself through that sieve a few times over....trying to get to the particular while leaving the picky behind. I think I have become more forgiving of my dogs...enjoying the mistakes, seeing the improvement from them, embracing those mistakes as not a year-end grade but more an evaluation. But I struggle with myself....I fight the stumble in my head, bumps in the road from mistakes battling perfectionism.
Recently I have had the opportunity to start a few young dogs. I filmed each dog's first go on sheep; wanting a base from which to begin to see the dog's progress, as well as being able to evaluate my training and skills of communication. I've watched those videos a few times over, thinking, "why did you do that?" "what did that do to the dog?" "what could I have done better to help give understanding?" It's been amazing to let go of perfectionism and embrace my mistakes.....it really is about pushing boundaries, learning more and becoming. I find my fluidity of training comes from not being so worried about mistakes and more focused on my response to them. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I am begining to believe that mistakes, when learned from, are truly the key to becoming.
Here's to taking risks, making mistakes......
Seize the Day!