I saw some awful Christmas cracker jokes over Christmas.
"What's a ghost's favourite food?"
Maybe you were privileged to pull some better crackers than I.
Let's say you did.
You read some real side-splitters that made your belly ache for days.
If you were to memorise all those funny jokes, would that make you funny?
You may think that would depend on your delivery style, audience and...
You would be correct.
So let's add those into our little thought experiment.
Let's say you could tell loads of 'funny' jokes just like a real funny person does and people laugh at the jokes.
Does this make you 'funny'?
Once again, it depends.
I could make an eerily humaneque robot to do the task...
but the robot wouldn't be funny outside of those jokes.
It couldn't create others.
It couldn't adapt them for it's audience.
It couldn't respond to hecklers or people trying to build on the joke.
The robot doesn't really understand.
It would be like a parrot that could recite Shakespeare.
It would impressively create the illusion of understanding but it wouldn't get it.
Christmas cracker jokes, robots and parrots. What does any of this have to do with your athleticism?
How much are you repeating without any understanding in your training?
More importantly, what is it doing to you?
Building skills you don't really understand or 'own' means you'll be like the parrot.
As soon as you're taken out of a very controlled environment, your skills will be nowhere to be seen.
'Owning it' means that you can apply your skills in novel situations in varied and adaptable ways.
This is important in even the most predictable sports.
As much as every performance may look the same, they each differ. When they differ big, it's worth being ready.
You're not a robot or a parrot. Leave rote memorization for them.
Really own what you do and make your ability to perform, whatever the world throws at you, a real cracker.
Arton "Polly wants a cracker" Baleci