Watching someone miss again and again

I recently saw a video clip of someone trying to kick a soccer ball through a hole slightly bigger than the ball. It had dozens of kicks assembled together. all missing the mark by just a tiny amount.

It seemed obvious that the video would end with excitement of finally making it through the goal and solidifying the athletes kick accuracy.

However, the obvious doesn’t always happen.

As I watched the video, and then sat there realizing it was a clip of all misses, the human bias, or at least the healthy human bias, towards optimism seemed apparent. The athlete was optimistic he would reach a skill level to achieve this. I was optimistic I would see him do so in the clips.

Two things are clear takeaways:

  1. If you are doing the work and getting close, but missing just slightly everyone will believe your success is just around the corner.]
  2. Even repeated failure can capture someone’s attention. Even possibly in a positive manner.

For item #2 above, it didn’t seem to me that his constant misses signified poor skill. The goal was ambitious in being only a fraction bigger than the soccer ball itself. Getting so consistently close still made him seem skilled.

We don’t always have to succeed to show our skill, but we always have to make attempts to show it.