I’m an Olympics junkie. I especially get a kick out of the winter sports that involve jumping, bumping, and—often—falling.
Shaun White’s half-pipe snowboard run (I call it a performance) on Wednesday night had me transfixed. By the end of his second run, I was grinning ear to ear for someone I’ve never met in a sport I’ve never participated in.
After much thought, I figured out what I learned from White.
White didn’t just start snowboarding and think it might be fun to make a career out of it and go to the Olympics. He trained long and hard. He knows that all of the visioning, affirming, and hoping are worth nothing without the work required to make it all happen.
White also had the tools he needed to help him become expert and even surpass his previous goals. He went to great expense to build his own “Secret Halfpipe” so he could perfect his bag of tricks. Of course, it helps that lots of money and endorsement deals came with the fame. He just reinvested some of it in his career.
Are you investing in furthering your artist goals? Are you dedicated to the hard training and long hours it takes?
I’ve never seen any athlete look like they have as much fun as Shaun White. Granted, snowboarders have fun almost by definition. But White takes it to another level. It might be the curly red mop on top of his head to go with the giant smile always gracing his face, but he seems like someone I’d enjoy hanging out with. I’d like his magic to rub off on me a bit. He loves what he does and that’s infectious.
It's easier to be a fan of someone who has fun and is fun to be around.
Are you having fun? Is your delight in art evident to others, or are you caught whining and complaining too often?
Create a Signature Trick
Shaun White created his Double McTwist 1260 in secrecy and debuted it right before the Olympics. He owns it! No one else in the Olympics’ Halfpipe competition did this move and everyone in the crowd was waiting to see it.
Art Purists may crucify me for this, but no one can argue that having a trick (you can call it a gimmick if you must) can really work for you if it’s done right. A signature trick is one thing you’re known for—whether it’s the special framing you add to your art, the stylish pedestals you make for your pieces, or the irreverent email blasts you send about your art.
Let ‘er Rip!
The participants in the Halfpipe competition get two runs and keep the best score of the two. At the end of the first round, Shaun White—who hadn’t yet used his Double McTwist 1260 signature trick—was leading, which meant that he was last to go in the second round. By the time it was his turn he had already won gold. No one bested his first-round score.
In theory, White could have cruised right down the middle of the Halfpipe in his second run without doing a single trick. But, nooooooo. He proved to be a true champion.
White let ‘er rip on what was essentially a victory lap. He did every trick and even added his Double McTwist 1260! He gave his fans what they came to see. He held nothing back in his second run even though he had already won gold!
Have you been holding back? Have you been playing it safe?
PS: There were images on Shaun White's site, but I didn't see any marked for media or press use. Not wanting to violate any terms, I opted for a copyright-free image. Remember to put this info (for media use) on your own site!