When I'm not writing blogs or a book (my first should be available in around a month), I can create good likenesses of pictures. I've had many say that I am quite the artist. I would never describe the pictures I create as art or myself as an artist when it comes to drawing. They are copies drawn with something approaching the rigour of an architect or an engineer, often with a ruler and calculator.

Take the ruler and calculator away from me and my attempt to copy the Mona Lisa would look more like Lisa Simpson.

So my art technical skills aren't great. On top of that, my abilities to create purely from memory or imagination are even worse.

Surely original conception plays some part in the definition of an artist?

It's easy enough to cook something edible following a recipe. What about cooking something that you've eaten before with no recipe? What about creating a completely new dish?

It's easy enough to learn to play a piece of music with sheet music. What about repeating a piece after only hearing it? What about conceiving a new piece?

You know what I'm saying.

Anybody can learn to fake artistry in anything. With an elaborate enough Paint by Numbers and a steady hand, it would be fairly easy to imitate the Mona Lisa. In sport I call it "Playing By Numbers". There are athletes playing at the highest levels in all kinds of sports like this. But in situations where the numbers become blurred or are removed, their lack of deep artistry is exposed. They don't know what to do.

Anybody can learn fake it by Playing By Numbers.

I also believe that anybody can learn to ditch the numbers and be more and more like real sporting artists who can memorise and, more importantly, create and improvise.

It just requires a different sort of practise altogether - one that builds sporting intelligence. If you want more on the type of practise that I'm talking about, let me know.

Ditch the aids. Make real sporting art.


Arton "More Bollock than Pollock" Baleci
Float Sting - Sports Performance and Rehab