Perfection and motivation

As someone who has been around women’s college basketball for a number of years and currently has the honor and task of being a voter in the Associated Press Top 25 poll it is both my enjoyment and my job to watch games whenever I can.

And I can not tell a lie — it is very difficult to watch the University of Connecticut play. At least for an entire game.

I can enjoy watching the Huskies for a half. I appreciate the smoothness of their offense, the ease of their shots, their tenacity in rebounding and defense. There really is a beauty in the game played well.

But from a competitive sports standpoint, it gets, um boring. This is not to say that UConn is boring but that the games are boring because as of yet this year no one has made the Huskies work for a win and only a handful of teams have kept it close in the first half.

During last night’s broadcast of UConn’s win over Duke, the on-air talent discussed coach Geno Auriemma’s take on perfection. Because really, how do you keep a team motivated which is on a 57-game winning streak and beating other ranked teams by an average of 27 points?

For Geno, you talk about perfection. The idea, as was paraphrased, was that you strive for perfection not to be perfect but to obtain excellence.

In more poetic terms — shoot the moon and even if you miss you will land among the stars.

This year, one of my resolutions was to let go of perfection as something which is obtainable — as the only standard by which my actions mean anything. Taken too far, perfection can be as much an albatross as sloth. But perhaps in the right tone, in the right way at the right time, it can be a motivating factor.

As I enter crunch time for the ING Miami Half Marathon, the right frame of mind, the right source of motivation, is a key component of my preparation. Is the pursuit of perfection part of that motivation plan?

Perhaps. It all depends on how I choose to define to perfection. And if for me, perfection is running the best 13.1 mile race I can on that day, then I may not be perfect, but I will have reached a new level of my own excellence.


~ by amymoritz on January 19, 2010.

2 Responses to “Perfection and motivation”

  1. And what is the BEST? Good run? Fast run? Feeling great and smiling the whole time? So many layers to that onion! Here’s to the best (whatever that means for you) race you can run!!!

    • Absolutely … many layers to “perfection” and I think the key if using “perfection” is to be a positive motivator (at least for me) is how in define perfection. I can even define “good run” and “fast run” differently than someone else! In the end, I think the best or perfect run for me is one that leaves me feeling good, whatever the numbers may say!

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