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1000 Failures - A Sign of Greatness

Coaches - do you know how many failed experiments Thomas Edison conducted before he discovered the light bulb? 1000. Stop. Think about that...1000 failed experiments. On his 1001 attempt in the laboratory, he discovers the light bulb. A life-changing, world-changing discovery.

There's also a saying in music, arts, or sports suggesting it takes 10,000 repetitions of practicing your craft to perform at an elite level. Wow...another big number isn't it? Or in the game of baseball, a batter with a .300+ batting average is doing quite well...of course that's also stating missed bats of .700.

In sports we are enamored with numbers aren't we? We keep stats on almost anything and in many cases, we use these stats to determine starting lineups, among other things of course. But here's my question...where's the main focus of our stats mentality?

Experience tells me the focus is on comparing one player AGAINST another player. While I see the logic in using stats this way, could there be equal value in keeping stats for individuals to track their OWN progress. I realize some coaches use stats in this healthier manner. I would still encourage all coaches to push it even further down the "healthier"continuum. If you keep stats on each of your players and use that information to help them track their improvements, also remind your players about the bigger picture. Remind them of the 1000 failed "experiments" before greater discoveries are detected.