Becoming Competent

Becoming Competent ThinkingOutLoud DonaldNoyes 20080306.20100831

The starting line is before the finish line

Almost anything we as humans do, we begin to do with diminished abilities. Until we get our legs under us, we are destined to drag ourselves on the ground, or crawl. In order for an olympic athlete to become champion, a number of barriers must be broken. As an infant, the barrier of low travelling is broken when, anywhere from 8 to 18 months, walking begins. As a child, the skills of being a two-legger include the ability to run as well as to walk. When breaking the barrier of average motion, the athlete must train not only in abilities to run, but also to endure in running. Learned in the process is the need for concentrated effort as well as continual effort. To become competitive, the athlete must give up some other things in order to become good, then better and then perhaps, the best.

The AthletePatternOfAchievement might be shortened to the AchievementPattern?. It is a pattern which can be applied to many different areas which a human decides to occupy and one in which it is decided to become competent.

In the process, one may fail once, twice, or many times. In the process of becoming competent, the thing that is important is to follow failure with one more attempts to succeed. In failing, one learns lessons about what not to do as well as what to do better.

The athlete needs friends

The importance of support cannot be minimized. Whether support comes from a knowledgeable coach or the family, friend and peers, it is a necessary ingredient in all but the self-sufficient and all-knowing. When one tries and fails, the reinforcement of someone coming alongside and saying "keep trying, you'll make it. You can do it." [can really help].

An individual can make the difference

Story: A few years ago, I was in the stands during the championship game in Toluca, Mexico. The game was a close one and the cheering was extremely loud. I noticed that toward the end of the game a little boy sitting next to the PA announcer got hold of the microphone and began to cheer "Si Se Puede, Si Se Pueda" over and over again. The crowd soon joined in, and it soon became all you could hear. The effect on the team could be seen, since at the end of the game the Toluca team was triumphant, scoring on all of the kicks to decide the game. What part did the little boy have in the victory? An important one to be sure. When we reach the limit of our resources, it is often the support and encouragement of those who believe in us that can make the difference. Especially when it is expressed so that we can hear it.

The extra ingredient

This is not to diminish the training and discipline of the athlete, for without it, the contest would not have been entered. But it can safely be said the difference between achievers, and high-achievers is often measured by the presence of those who believe in the athlete, and who let the athlete know it.

Support helps athletes, but do the best poets, surgeons, mathematicians, economists, historians, chemists, sculptors, etc., all need it to excel?

I think they do. When a person moves from a level of competence to another level, rather than being satisfied with the status quo, especially after experiencing failure, the intervention of another person or persons can usually be found. The intervention often takes the form of suggestion or a helpful aid. Of course, many people are supported by others. That doesn't imply that such external support was needed.

One can readily see the difference when it occurs, regardless of presumption of need. One can check out any Psychology book on SanctionsAndReinforcement?, and see the effect of each. For me, I prefer reinforcement, when it comes to BecomingCompetent.

Many fiction-writers successfully completed their first novel or book of stories without any publishing contract. Their main encouragement was presumably simply their own enthusiasm for their writing. Many students who obtain particularly good academic results have not had unusual amounts of external encouragement. Instead, they are more able than their fellow students, their main encouragement being their personal enjoyment of what they are studying.

You speak of self-actualization: More detail on "The Theory of Human Motivation":
Competence is something that is achieved best if you:

Poets encouraged: Many others encouraged: Achievement Strategies:
For me there is a link here to the DreyfusModel as discussed in PragmaticThinkingAndLearning. Competence is there one of the stages towards becoming an expert. -- JohnFletcher
CategorySuccess CategoryLearningMethods

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