Don’t Teach Me a “Strategy”

Don’t Teach Me a “Strategy”

Nov. 15, 2019

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Anytime I watch sports, inevitably an athlete will do something amazing and the announcer will scream,

“Whoa, you can’t teach that!”

That is followed by a brick being thrown at my TV screen.

Of course, you can teach that.

Everything is learn-able.

You can’t teach height or other freakish genetics, obviously.

But everything else can taught.

There isn’t any limit to what we can learn, except for this.

If a student says, “Teach me a strategy,” it’s over.

There’s almost no coming back from that.

When a student says, “Teach me a strategy” what he’s really saying is, “I’m not listening and I’m not going to try.”

Somehow, strategy-seeking students have gotten into their heads that there’s a magic strategy out there just waiting to be discovered.

They don’t bother attempting to get better now because they don’t have the secret they need.

So he fails (practically on purpose) and the failure only cements the need for the super strategy.

And so he wanders from coach to coach, seeing if that mentor has found it. When he determines the coach hasn’t discovered it, it’s time for a new coach.

Of course, there is no “strategy”, so no coach can find it.

And the impossible journey continues on indefinitely.

In tennis, for example, The Strategy is to hit the ball in.

That’s it.

Hit it in all the time and you’ll beat 80-90% of the people you play almost immediately. Then a coach can help you conquer the last few percent.

But strategy-seekers never do the first step. They hit the ball out because they don’t have The Strategy. They lose because they don’t have The Strategy. They never learn anything, because why should they? It’s pointless without The Strategy.

On the other hand, if a student tries as hard as she can to hit the ball in, she will. Even without coaching.

Once the ball is going in, she can ask specific questions that will lead to easy solutions: “Can you help me be better at getting out of trouble in the corners?” “Can you help me get more spin on my serve?” “Can you help me hit my backhand volley deeper?”

The answers to all of those are: “Sure, we can get that figured out today. No problem.”

There is no magic strategy out there.

Everything we need, we already have.

Commit to being focused. Commit to trying.

Don’t seek an imaginary strategy.

Then have a coach help with the details that are hard to figure out by yourself.

It won’t be long until you’re so good, people will think you’re a natural.


My book is called The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.