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Luck Over Talent!

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Luck Over Talent!

By Lance Smith on 20th June 2018 Advice

Luck Over Talent!

Lance Smith, IAAF Elite Coach

Everyone here is talented.  So why are you not a world class athlete?  It could be luck. Or desire. Or patience. But desire and patience depend on luck, not talent.

Let’s take an example I am rather familiar with. Hannah Miller. I am familiar with her because I coached her.

Luck one, is she loves to run. She was just as likely born with a love of dressing up or taking apart diesel engines or triple jumping so she could be something else now.

Luck two. She met me.  If I or another distance coach wasn’t here her love of running would have gone nowhere.

Luck three. She went to SGHS and stayed at the hostel. She might have stayed at home and gone to Gore High, so wouldn’t get to training to practise and learn more about her love of running.

Luck four. There was a girl there who was in the running squad and introduced who brought her down and introduced her.

Luck five. She had a good and competitive support team here that pushed her.

Luck six. She had parents that could afford to send her to championships, classic meets and young Olympians Camps where she faced the best and learnt from them.

Luck seven. Her parents weren’t super rich, so she didn’t spend her time overseas, travelling or skiing or whatever rich people do so instead she was able to run over Southland farmland and hills and develop her love of running.

Luck eight. She was born patient. She won her first championship medals (silver, NZSS champ) in school year 13 and won her first New Zealand championship after leaving school. Imagine if she gave up after 3 or 4 years having achieved very little

Luck nine. Her SMU coach in Dallas has similar outlook and approach to me, so for Hannah it was a continuation of her development.  She didn’t feel she was starting again under a new system.

Luck ten. Her mental skills coach is an enthusiast for SDT – Self Determination Theory, an approach to psychology than underpins my own coaching philosophy - accordingly she was familiar with expectations and approach.

Now she is SMU’s top distant runner, an Oceania champion and WUG representative. And all because of luck, or if you like, circumstances

The luck that allowed her to use her talents.

So if you think you lack talent, think again. You are talented, it’s just your talents, by luck or choice, took a different path.

But one thing is beyond debate: the harder you work the luckier you get.

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Lance Smith is a Southland based IAAF Elite Coach with a huge reputation. If you have any questions with regard to this piece he is more than happy to hear from you. Email Lance


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