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Author Topic: Getting To The Top  (Read 3856 times)
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chilese
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« on: June 18, 2009, 12:43 AM »

Yesterday at the gym, I met 2 time Mr. Olympian Jay Cutler:
http://www.mesomorphosis.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/2007-mr-olympia-382-jay-cutler.jpg

Then tonight, Bambi and I watched "The King Of Kong": a documentary on these 2 fellows who are arguably the best players of Donkey Kong ever.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0923752/

And in common these people, to be at the top, have dissected, analyzed, and maximized every facet of their chosen field of expertise. They also spend a huge % of their awake time on that chosen task.

When I started kiting about 8 years ago, I gave myself 1 year until reaching the lofty goal of "best kiter in the world".

Now, I'm glad I'm not that person, whoever they are. Just happy to be somewhere along the line of kite flyers: better than most, not as good as thousands. And content in my place.

It looks like being the best at anything comes at too high a price. Although Jay's stomach muscles were righteous even if his upper legs did look grotesque in a good way, if that makes sense.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 12:46 AM by chilese » Logged

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Bob D
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2009, 09:12 AM »

To be really great at something, you have to make sacrifices. I wonder about the quality of their relationships.
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Bob D.
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2009, 09:55 AM »

John, you will always be the tops to me ...
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Gamelord
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2009, 09:59 AM »

**GASP*** Wha.....John, your not the top?  LIES I TELL YA...LIES!!!

And here I had such a high regard for you and your talents.....I am crushed.....

Thats IT!  I'm selling all my kites and moving to Siberia to find me a new mentor.  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

Nah....you're tops to me bud!  It's a sincere privilege to know you and share the field with ya....and to learn a thing or four from you from time to time.

I would bet your tops in the kite picture category though....

My dreams have me flying kites and someone behind me yelling "To the right and about 2 feet up!!!" LOL

See ya Friday my friend.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 10:02 AM by Gamelord » Logged

ainokea
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2009, 12:13 PM »

**GASP*** Wha.....John, your not the top?  LIES I TELL YA...LIES!!!

And here I had such a high regard for you and your talents.....I am crushed.....

Thats IT!  I'm selling all my kites and moving to Siberia to find me a new mentor.  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

Nah....you're tops to me bud!  It's a sincere privilege to know you and share the field with ya....and to learn a thing or four from you from time to time.

I would bet your tops in the kite picture category though....

My dreams have me flying kites and someone behind me yelling "To the right and about 2 feet up!!!" LOL

See ya Friday my friend.

Yep, everything Kent said!!!  Smiley

And in my dreams your telling me, " can you hold it here?" Smiley

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Take a S.W.A.G. at it.
John Welden
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2009, 02:00 PM »

John,

You just haven't found the right kite yet.  It's all about the kite. Debray and those french gurus have secret mods on their kites.

I liked that donky kong movie.

Read Malcolm Gladwell's latest book called outliers.  He has a lot of interesting things to say about people who are the best.
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chilese
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2009, 07:58 PM »

Thanks JW. I should have known it's just the kite and not the flyer. I'll keep looking for the right one with the right mods.  Grin
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Adicakes
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2009, 09:34 PM »

This is an interesting post by John and the topic is something I've thought a lot about in relation to kiting.

I started out in this hobby purely by chance when one day I was at a Sunday market and saw a guy selling generic two-line kites for $30.  I bought one and expected it to be a bit of fun for a month or two at most.  During the first few months I was having enough fun just flying around in semi-random directions and trying not to crash (as most newbies do), but what I found was that instead of the novelty wearing off, my interest and enthusiasm for flying was getting stronger each outing.  To cut a long story short, I became unexpectedly and intensely obsessed with kiting - I was wheeling and dealing kites weekly, triangle boxes were arriving at an alarming rate and I was trawling the web for any sort of information whatsoever.  The information stuck because I was so keen to learn and my mates (who aren't into the scene) still laugh at how obsessive I was during that first two year period.

When I was learning a new move, I would say to myself "Alright, Im not going home until I've done five good executions in a row, in each direction".  One winter night I didn't get home until nearly 10pm when it was completely dark and freezing cold.  Every time I botched a move, I mentally evaluated why it happened and put it into one of two categories: "there was a valid excuse why that happened (e.g. I got distracted by a passer-by or dog)" or "it was purely my fault and there's no excuse".  The former I'd let go, but the latter made me annoyed and Id go back and redo the move until it worked properly.  If I generally wasn't flying well, I'd get very angry with myself and there were some very angry times out on the field indeed. Wink  At the end of the day, I'd go home re-watch DVD and downloaded videos, and search through forum archives for any sort of tid-bit that I might've missed before.  I'd be thinking about flying before I went off to sleep and it'd always be in the back of my mind at work.

After about three years of flying, I thought I was a decent enough pilot - not great, but not an embarrassment either.  At that time, a pure stroke of luck hit me - Steve Rayner (SMR, Robertshaw sponsored) migrated from England to Melbourne and started flying at my regular park.  Suddenly it was completely clear - the top pilots from the European scene were in a whole upper league and I was crap by comparison.  For the months that Steve was in the area we became mates and I learnt at a faster rate then than ever before.  He brought a wealth of new ideas, a whole new super-sharp and aggressive style of flying, and a level of accuracy and consistency that continues to surprise me.  I was given a second-wind (no pun intended) and I scrambled to bring myself up towards the level of Steve's flying whilst still retaining individuality.  Im not sure he knows it, but he was a great, great help and an inspiration.

Interestingly, in talking to Steve, it appeared to me that he had also gone through a period of obsession and he mentioned others that he knew who had done the same.  All of this leads to a little theory I have: obsession goes hand-in-hand with striving for the upper levels of any pursuit and there's no two ways around it.  Even with a heap of talent, someone like Steve didn't just cruise to the top - it took hours of practice and dedication to reach his skill level.  Whether its yoyos, video games, or playing the guitar, I'd be surprised if it happened any other way.

Regards,

A.


PS: Please don't interpret this post as me claiming to be amongst the top pilots because I most sincerely don't think that at all.  I think I'm doing okay for someone 4.5 years into the game, but that's all.  When looking at the videos I've put out, I tend to mostly see the things that should be better (transitions that should be more fluid or more "square").
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tpatter
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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2009, 09:44 PM »

Practice makes perfect...

http://abundance-blog.marelisa-online.com/2008/11/17/outliers-10000-hours-for-success/
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2009, 07:04 AM »



It's important to do all that practice with a good foundation. If your technique is flawed, all the practice in the world doesn't mean much.  I've worked with machinists who have 40 years of experience and still pretty much suck.  It's possible to get really good at being really bad.

Sometimes you have to get lucky and have good mentors and teachers who know what they're talking about.
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2009, 07:20 AM »



It's important to do all that practice with a good foundation. If your technique is flawed, all the practice in the world doesn't mean much.  I've worked with machinists who have 40 years of experience and still pretty much suck.  It's possible to get really good at being really bad.

Sometimes you have to get lucky and have good mentors and teachers who know what they're talking about.


Hear, hear!!
No matter how many times you practice doing something the wrong way, its still wrong.


Denny
« Last Edit: June 19, 2009, 07:22 AM by DWayne » Logged

I always wanted to be a procrastinator..........
I just never got around to it.
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2009, 08:44 AM »

Adicakes,
That sounds like me now Tongue I'm at that point where you were at the beginning
I know the frustration of not being able to execute the move smooth enough or on a consistency.
But I will Continue to Practice, Practice, Practice. In fact I'm headed out the door to go Practice some more
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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2009, 08:48 AM »

All of this leads to a little theory I have: obsession goes hand-in-hand with striving for the upper levels of any pursuit and there's no two ways around it. 

That's it right there. All the decent kite pilots I have ever seen are *hooked*. You see some people who fly kites, and even compete, but they aren't hooked or obsessed, and they will never get very good, and haven't after several years.

Just like anything in life, to get good at it, you have to spend time doing it. And you aren't likely to spend the time needed to get really good at flying if you aren't a bit obsessed.

See ya,
Bill
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Steve
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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2009, 12:50 PM »

I aspire  to just not embarrassing myself on the kite field.  A plan I developed at one of the early kite parties when flying surrounded by Tinkham, Graziano, Benson and Wardley.

For the most part I have been successful. 
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2009, 01:50 PM »

I aspire  to just not embarrassing myself on the kite field.  A plan I developed at one of the early kite parties when flying surrounded by Tinkham, Graziano, Benson and Wardley.

For the most part I have been successful. 

Nah, everyone's just being poilite because you have all the toys...

 Smiley

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Allen, AKA kitehead
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