A few years ago, I worked with JK on this story for our sponsor’s website at the time and when I happened across it, I thought it would make a great blog. We often talk about the different things we can do to promote darts and get more people playing, but we never really talk about what you can do as a player to inspire people to play. I came across a great quote the other day and this is what prompted my look into the world of inspiration. The quote was “how can you inspire love and passion for something in someone else if you don’t believe it yourself?” And it is so true! Most people that have a passion for something want to share it with the world.
I came across another series of random quotes that had to do with inspiration and once they were all put together, they became a compelling dialogue to share in parts of this blog that really gets the point across. It has been said that success is no accident. It is a combination of hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, and sacrifice. But most of all, it involves a love of what you are doing. You are the main character in your life story. Give your audience not only something to look forward to, but something to be inspired by. Take the time to reach out to those other players and create one of those moments where you are influencing the future.
When I started my own website and began talking about and promoting darts, it was because I truly loved darts. I was blessed to have a lot of experience and I was able to get to know a lot of great people. I don’t think I really did anything to try to inspire anyone with it. I just wanted to share my love of darts. Of course, in these later years, I have heard from others that have told me the things I have done have inspired them and it was truly a humbling experience. Gets ya right in the feels.
Obviously, JK has a lot more experience than me and generally a lot more words of wisdom to share with other players than I do. You would be surprised if I had told you how many comments, thoughts and ideas I have shared in my writing over the last few years that have stemmed from conversations I have had with JK. There has been many times where he will say something and then tell me I should put that in my next blog. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. For now though, here is one from him….and his thoughts on inspiration.
I have been playing darts for many years at many different levels. When I was younger, I always thought about playing and winning, but I never really thought about the image I portrayed to other players or if my actions had any effect on them. As I got older, the kids would get me every time. There was nothing greater than having a little kid come up to you and say that they thought you were a great player and they hoped that they could work hard and play just as well someday. I can’t tell you how many times I came home and had my wife mail out a set of darts to those kids.
I had a fantastic and memorable career in darts in the 80’s. And as many of you know, a few years ago, I suffered a stroke. While it was minor in comparison to most, I completely lost the ability to hold and throw my darts the way I used to. I have spent a very long time learning how to hold a dart again, dealing with finding a grip that would now suit the changes, as well as working on my stance and throwing mechanics. It’s been a very long journey with so many frustrations that there were times I really thought about quitting and never playing again. But then I would get home from a tournament and start all over again.
Since our move to New York, we were able to travel so much more, and see many of the top players all the time. One of those top players would always take the time to talk to me on how my progress was going, and offer words of encouragement along the way. To him, it probably didn’t mean much. But for me, and all my struggles, it was very nice to hear. It gave me the incentive to keep trying.
Just the other day, I received a message from someone who said they had looked up to me as a player for many years. He recalled how we had played each other in a final of a tournament and he beat me. At the time, he thought I would be mad, but he said I shook his hand and told him “great darts, you’re really going to be someone in the dart world, keep it going.” Such a simple thing, but it obviously meant the world to him as a player that he still remembers it to this day.
So I decided to write this article to make other players think about being an inspiration to others. It really doesn’t take much but your time, and a few kind words, which can make all the difference in the world to another player.
And this still holds true today. You never realize how a few simple words can make the difference to another player. You never know what type of struggles a player may be facing and a few simple words from a better player could make the difference for them and help them overcome an obstacle they never thought they would get over. One of the most commented on topic in my book was the advice section. Countless people have told me that I could probably write a few more books with just advice from players all over the world. It is the one common theme that everyone wants to read about. Most people don’t really care what the favorite food of a top player is, but if that top player were to sit down and have a drink with them and talk about a practice routine that helps or a tip on how to focus during a game, and it could create a future champion.
So to my fellow players and future champions, always remember that to be inspired is great, but to inspire is incredible. If you can inspire someone to go in a positive way and pursue a dream, it can only be good. Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life; it’s about what you inspire others to do. The best way to inspire people to superior performance is to convince them by everything you do and by your everyday attitude that you are wholeheartedly supporting them. Be somebody who makes everybody else feel like a “somebody”.
Aspire to inspire before you expire. Now get out there and be an inspiration.
Anne Sleepy Kramer www.sleepykramer.com
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