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Soccer Practice
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  • Writer's pictureDon Draxler

Watercolors or Paint by Numbers?

Fluid or Rigid

Many times, we're drawn to the enchanting world of watercolors, yearning to immerse ourselves in the exquisite beauty they can create. Yet, more often than not, when we finally find the time to delve into the myriad ways colors interplay, offering us a rich tapestry of shades and textures, we strangely discover ourselves reaching for a coloring book and a set of colored pencils. It's as if we're constrained by numbered sections, like in a color-by-number activity.
We find ourselves assigning the blue pencil to every area marked with a number 2, designating yellow for #3, purple for #4, and red for #5. As we diligently sketch within the predefined boundaries, we seem to be locked in this routine during our initial sessions. We end up isolating these techniques, labeling them as skills, when in reality, they are just techniques within a larger artistic game, never devoid of that overarching creative spirit.
This phenomenon can also be observed in the realm of performing arts. Imagine having the opportunity to meet with an agent who can arrange auditions with casting directors, producers, and directors. However, when you step into that room, they request you to perform a monologue or a soliloquy, essentially acting in isolation, devoid of the collaborative energy of a scene partner. It's akin to creating a pencil sketch with no colors. They assess your acting prowess based on this solitary act of sketching with a pencil.
However, when you go out for auditions and land roles where you interact with other performers, it's as if you're working with a vibrant palette of watercolors. You're using colors in the most dynamic sense, engaging in dialogues and responses, akin to a canvas bursting with colors. The initial audition process seems to emphasize pencil sketching when the actual work requires a profusion of hues.

Fluid or Isolation

This paradox may seem perplexing, but it's deeply entrenched in tradition and what's considered normal. It's a pattern we observe not only in the performing arts but also in sports. Athletes are often subjected to isolated technical exercises and unopposed drills, which are quite distinct from what they encounter in actual games. This rigid approach separates them from the fluid and colorful nature of real gameplay.
It's time to break free from these constraints and shift our focus away from regimented "paint by numbers" practices. Instead, let's allow the artistic and dynamic nature of watercolors to flourish on the canvas – be it on the courts, fields, or stages. The lines that once divided colors should now blend, blur, and merge, just as watercolors do.

Immersion is Colorful

Expect moments of messiness and clarity, harmonious blends, and vivid contrasts, for this is the essence of life. We don't need to overwhelm ourselves with a multitude of colors from the outset. Start with a few, and as experience accumulates, gradually introduce a wider spectrum. The same philosophy applies to sports and any craft – the more you immerse yourself in it, the more colors you can bring to the canvas, be it in sports, arts, or life itself.
Let's encourage players to experience the world of watercolors, from the simplest to the most intricate expressions. Let them paint with their own palette of colors, both individually and as a team. Let the team be a constantly evolving masterpiece, a dynamic wash of colors that mirrors the complexity and vibrancy of life.

"It isn't until the painter has no idea what he's doing that he makes good paintings."

- Edgar Degas


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