I’ve become a little obsessed with Michael Jordon since watching the Last Dance doco on Netflix.
(if you haven’t watched it you must do so immediately)
A lot of comments about his game have been around what some people are calling pure athleticism.
He ability to stay in the air for what seems like an eternity as he made his shots was incredible.
Clearly he had a gift.
A natural talent, you might say.
But genetics will only get you so far.
The other remarkable feature of Jordan’s story was how the environments he found himself in nurtured his athleticism.
It started young with a lot of play and added in purposeful structure over time.
Be it luck or planned fortune, the important lesson is that in sport, or any domain for that matter, elite performance is always a combination of nature and nurture.
Why is this important?
Well, it teaches us to focus on what we can control.
The environments we design for our kids? Absolutely.
Back to athleticism.
We’ve all seen the naturally athletic athlete. The one who floats past the opposition with what seems like no effort at all.
What’s interesting, is that they’re also the one who spends very little time honing their athleticism.
They don’t have to. Physical dominance is already theirs.
Until they get hurt.
Or the level of competition ramps up and they meet others of equal ability.
And by the time they realise they’re falling behind, it’s too late.
Athleticism is not just something you’re born with.
It’s also a skill.
And like any skill, with the right attention, it can be developed.
Why not start now?