Thursday, January 29, 2015

Swing to Bat

Not knowing anything about baseball and its terminology, I looked up the phrase ‘swing to bat’ in the web, and this is one of the explanations I liked:

Swing to bat: Successful competitors are not lucky. They simply make more attempts (in other words, they make more calls – they swing more bats).

I liked the idea. It makes sense to me. I often tell my quilting students an anecdote from the book “Art and Fear” by David Bayles and Ted Orland: at the beginning of term, a teacher of ceramics divided her class into two groups. To the first group, she told to make as many pots as they could in the time available; and not to worry about quality.  To the second group, she asked to produce just one pot during the whole term, but they had to aim for perfection.  At the end of term all the pots were compared.  And the best ones came from the first group, and not from the second.

"Map Fragments" 
are small affordable pieces I make for sale in exhibitions.
They are matted and their overall size is 10" square.

“Practice makes perfect” is another phrase that comes to mind, which may be applicable here, but it’s not my favourite.  Practice makes things a lot better, but I’m not one to aim for perfection – I think we can get better all the time.  The fun is in the process rather than in the goal.

This "make more attempts" explanation also reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers”, where he talks about people needing 10,000 hours practice to get good at anything.  Both great books, worth reading.

1 comment:

  1. Good advice - swing more bats! Must put that to the test….