Mentoring

 This post is about my attempts to get mentoring.

In Matthew Sayed's book, Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice he talks about what differentiates successful people from others. I saw a presentation by him on his book (which I have but not completed). He explained that the main separators were practice and coaching. He gave an example from his own life, where a talented table tennis coach would tutor young players in his Ipswich garage. They attended regularly and went on to win multiple titles.

He gave other examples, such as David Beckham, who was well known for his free kicks - their bend and accuracy. Matthewe learnt that David would stay after the team training to work specifically on this skill. We all remember the stories of Donald Bradman hitting a golf ball with a cricket stump against the wall. There's another clue, the earlier you start the more time you have to achieve elite status.

Are there exceptions? Of course, it's unlikely a particularly short individual would reach the pinnacle of basketball. So is it down to practice and coaching? Yes, that's the take away but even better, targetted practice with coaching. So the coaching provides both feedback for improvement and the practice regimes to improve. One example I remember which you often see, is players perfoming their stock action in slow motion prior to going full on.

And so I've tried to get coaching wherever I can. Initially, through reading along with attending workshops. Along with writing lots - the focus being volume over quality. So I focus on the throughput and expect the quality to improve with repetition. Now, if you keep making the same mistakes, can you improve. Possibly, if the mistake is identifiable. If I was a swimmer that lost races as I couldn't do a tumble turn, I'd soon realise I'd need to learn how to do one. But with writing, it's a little trickier, hence the attempt to find a mentor. Some courses do offer a feedback step, but not many unless you go the MA route.

So, I've tried 3 times through Screenskills to get a mentor but without any luck. They've a high number of applicants. I'll stay on the system but don't expect anything to come through as it's been a year. So in the interim, I've sought my own mentor. We've had our first session and will be working on my skills along side the completion of a film script, The Odds Couple.