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    #146894 - 01/23/13 01:36 PM Completely wonderful story about a ski lift
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3289
    Loc: California
    This article is wonderful. It's about becoming an elite athlete as a consequence (not a goal) of enjoying yourself and without getting pathologically focused on WINNING!!!! shocked shocked shocked

    It tells the story of a guy who built a ski lift in his back yard in Vermont in 1960 and taught his kids how to ski. All four of them ended up at the Olympics. And the first paragraph I've pasted here makes it clear that the man was a giftie.

    Originally Posted By: New York Times
    Their father was their coach and, they said, an innovator. Relying on his engineering background, he introduced scientific methods to racing tactics, turning a mountain descent into a conversation about vectors and ski path velocity. He taught his children to chart the number of gates in a racecourse and to memorize it using visualization techniques. He was also a master sports psychologist, an underappreciated part of coaching at the time.

    “He was a teacher at heart, and he knew how to keep you focused on your performance and not the outcome,” Bob said. “He was years ahead of his time.”

    If there is a shared trait from generation to generation of Cochran Olympians, it is the powerful benefit of basic homework, or time on the snow in ski racing parlance. The emphasis has always been on the value of dedicated, enthusiastic preparation, even in modest circumstances. The Cochran race training course is far from steep and only several hundred feet long. But Cochran racers for multiple decades have completed lap after lap, smiling as they go.

    “There was never pressure on us,” said Ryan Cochran-Siegle, who is now racing at the highest levels of the World Cup circuit, a path his cousins blazed before him. “I never felt any expectations. I wanted to do well, but winning was never the central goal. We were urged to just get better and better.”

    Marilyn, who became a World Cup giant slalom champion, recalled that her father always deflected questions about success, even as it became common to the household.

    “Acknowledging medals and things like that seemed arrogant to him,” she said recently, sitting with her sisters and brother. “Although I know he was proud of us.


    I absolutely love the message in this story. I think it can be applied to classrooms (and GPAs, standardized test scores, etc.) as well.


    Edited by Val (01/23/13 01:45 PM)

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    #146895 - 01/23/13 01:54 PM Re: Completely wonderful story about a ski lift [Re: Val]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2277
    This line really spoke to me: "We were urged to just get better and better.”

    Thanks for sharing, Val. This article highlights, for me, the true meaning of achievement. As these obviously very talented folks demonstrate, it's not about self-aggrandizement or outside recognition. Love it. smile
    _________________________
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

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