Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Practice, Practice, Practice

A new animal inhabits our back yard.

     Two of our guys volunteer at an equestrian center two or three days a week, mucking out stalls, doing odd jobs, working with the horses.  One of the boys loves to rope.  He goes with the couple that runs the local ranch to another ranch once or twice a month where they ride horses and rope cows with four legs and a tail - the whole rodeo chutes and arena set-up.  Very cool.  He always comes home excited and

     He received a new lasso for his birthday, and since we can't have a real cow running around our city back yard, we bought him a plastic cow head to practice his roping skills.


Some days he can loop the rope, sling it, and drop it over the cow horns with a plunk.  Other days, he tries and tries and loops and tosses, with miss after miss.  Frustration.  But, he keeps trying, knowing that sooner or later, the rope will hit its mark.

As with any skill in life, the key is practice, practice, practice.  Repeat and repeat.  Keep trying, keep on keeping on.  Over and over and over.  Then, again and again. Don't give up.

I'm grateful he enjoys this effort, and is learning a valuable lesson: that a skill like this takes hours and hours of work and repeated practice. And especially, that the work can be fun.

Write the words in the notebook.
Run the fingers up and down the piano keys.
Type the letters onto the keyboard and hit enter.
Toss the ball, swing the bat.
Loop the rope, flick the wrist, and throw.  And if it doesn't catch the cow's horns, or make sense, or sound good, or hit a home run, try again.
Practice, practice, practice.

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