Regular followers of MOJO Downunder will recognise the term, 'everyday sportsman'. It's a straightforward, self-explanatory phrase but it contains a powerful secret. A secret that has shaped the career of almost any successful athlete you could name. What does it take to compete at an elite level in a sport? Dedication, willpower and the drive to win are surely key elements. What about focus? Once you've chosen a sport you should to stick to it with obsessive focus. If it's tennis then you'd better be up at dawn whacking tennis balls against a wall and spend your days practicing, planning and playing tennis. You need to live, breath and love nothing but tennis. Right?
Malcolm Gladwell's 2008 book, 'Outliers: The Story of Success', made a strong case for something he called the '10,000 hours' rule which claimed that the key to achieving world-class expertise in any skill is a matter of practising the correct way, for a total of around 10,000 hours. It sent chills down the spines of parents everywhere. How does anyone achieve that level of practice in any one thing? If hyper-specialisation is the sole pathway to success what hope does any of us have in a world of multi-tasking, competing interests and activities?
It turns out that in the real world, specialisation may not be the best way to achieve success. A new study, "Deliberate Practice and Performance in Music, Games, Sports, Education, and Professions" by Princeton University, shows that deliberate specialised practice in a sport leads to an 18% increase in performance. Nothing to sneeze at obviously, but hardly the key to success.
What do recruiters seek when assessing the merits of the potential superstars of tomorrow? Pete Carroll, former USC and now Seattle Seahawks Football coach, says, “The first questions I’ll ask about a kid are, ‘What other sports does he play?" Steve Nash, an eight-time NBA All-Star and a seven-time All-NBA selection, got his first basketball at age 13 but credits his soccer background for making him a great basketball player. Being multi-sport literate might even protect you from injury. In a study of 1,200 youth athletes, Dr Neeru Jayanthi of Loyola University found that early specialisation in a single sport is one of the strongest predictors of injury.
The 'everyday sportsman' that MOJO Downunder aims to support is exactly that. A man who seeks the benefits and sheer joy of sport in everything they do. By keeping the 'play' in playing sport they naturally improve in other areas of their lives too.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo played soccer and nothing else from a young age. However their early hours in the game consisted of free, deliberate play. In free play, you play multiple positions, and focus solely upon the enjoyment and fun of the sport.
By seeking enjoyment in multiple sports and multiple areas of interest, each activity supports the other and success comes more surely and more easily. Being ready to grab the opportunity to play a game of touch footy or take part in a marathon means wearing the right gear. You won't find that in a pair of Calvin Klein underwear or Aussiebum.
MOJO Downunder designs all their clothing to meet the needs of Aussie men. Men who take play seriously and look for the joy of competition in the everyday activities of life. Men who aren't afraid to buy their underwear online.
Long live the everyday sportsman, MOJO has got your back.