28 Feb When heroes make for bad role models!
A few weeks ago I did what dads do and took my son down to the local oval, into the practice nets and we had some fun with a cricket bat and ball. My son had specificially asked me to help him because although he was fantastic at fielding and batting (modesty isn't one of his top strengths!) he was struggling a bit with his bowling. So, I watched him for a few balls and noticed pretty quickly that his problems were mostly due to a strange position he got his bowling arm into when taking it back just before delivery. I asked him why he twisted his arm around like that and he responded that he'd seen one of the Australian bowlers do it like that on TV.
This reminded me of a more personal experience I had several years earlier. When playing tennis with my brother-in-law, who is a very good player and has done some coaching in his time, I similarly asked for some tips. As I'd done with my son he watched me serve and hit a few balls and within minutes asked whether John McEnroe was one of my heroes growing up…which he was!
The problem is, John McEnroe was a freak; a brilliant player, one of the best of all time, but terrible in terms of his style and technique. It worked for him, but unless you were freakishly talented like he was it wasn't necessarily a good example to follow. And although I'm not sure who my son had seen bowl I'm guessing something similar was going on.
The point is, we all have heroes, whether they're sportsmen or politicians, writers or actors, uncles or aunties, parents or siblings…and these people have become great and successful because they've found an approach that works for them…
…but this doesn't mean that same approach will work for others! In fact in these examples I hope I've shown that they can actually work against the success of others.
My point? Look to heroes, find role models, learn what you can for others but for real happiness and success in life…tread your own path!