Tweet In an earlier post, I linked to an article on recovery-based training. Here is a more accessible version from the same swimming and triathlon coach and leading authority Wayne Goldsmith. At coaches’ infoservice, golfers will even find out how core stability training will get them driving further. Goldsmith highlights some of the complex variables […]

Tweet Seventeen-year old South Korean Park Tae-Hwan’s upset win on Sunday at the world swimming championships in Melbourne says a lot about the broad philosophic approach of his Australian coach both towards training for elite athletes and encouraging children in sports. In the 400m freestyle, Park also beat his hero, Grant Hackett, the Australian who […]

Tweet Most days I drink tea from a mug with a quote from Winston Churchill: “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” Churchill’s quotation is about attribution, or what labels we put on things. Behavioural science blog The Situationist, in an excerpt from Stanford University’s alumni […]

Tweet More from knackered downunder One explanation for American and Australian sporting achievement is their preparedness to look at new methods and throw away the old. It’s all about the search for the next revolution. Milt Nelms – an American performance enhancer and with whom former champion Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe trained last year – […]

It’s not a shark but the blank page that can induce a sense of failure in a writer, observed US singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman today on BBC Radio 2 (about 75 minutes in). She said the hardest work you may do as a writer is staring at that blank space for two hours when nothing is coming through.

But achieving nothing concrete in that time is not failure. “You just lifted 2,000 pounds in the gym of creativity,” she said. She also used a marathon metaphor: “People don’t run out the door and run 26 miles. They create the muscles first.” You do that by making sure you turn up and try, even if you don’t write something.

Nielsen Chapman teaches creativity and songwriting and believes creativity exists within everyone, but in many of us this is blocked. It’s like a fine white linen towel on a high shelf waiting to be reached and pulled down, she said.

Perhaps, as well as latent talent, it is knowledge of how to persist that separates the elite athlete or the Nielsen Chapman from the rest of us. They persist until they can reach.

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