Sunday, June 30, 2013
John Danaher on what makes a great athlete
Many top level athletes sometimes just seem to have an effortless feel to their game. Partly it is due to massive amounts of practice, but also the letting go of tension and just having a sense of playfulness to their craft. Georges St-Pierre is the most famous athlete that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu wizard John Danaher has coached, and GSP often does look like he's getting everything done in effortless fashion. Jon Jones, the UFC light-heavyweight champion, he also exhibits this trait. Perhaps more than anyone in mixed martial arts, Anderson Silva epitomizes this concept. Anderson has a lot of playfulness to him in the cage to the point where you see him do things that you just couldn't imagine were possible, and were only reserved for simulated greatness in movies. This concept of having a sense of play can relate to any sport, and some of the greats in other athletic domains have demonstrated it. Wayne Gretzky, who is arguably the greatest hockey player of all time, and has smashed several NHL records, always had a very calm, effortless flow to his game. He seemed to just be flitting around aimlessly, but was always able to know where the puck was going, be able to make a brilliant pass, and know the precise moment to shoot on goal.