Coubertin Quote for Nov, 17
Among those who have (the sporting instinct), not all reach the limits of what they can achieve. Not all seek out fear in order to overcome it, fatigue to triumph over it, and difficulty to master it.Share
As he analyzed and reflected on the precepts of a new emergent branch of psychology, the psychology of sport, Baron Pierre de Coubertin recognized that not all people possessed competitive motivations, not all desired to excel or conquer on the field of play. There were clearly limits to the number of people that sport appealed to. And yet, there was no denying the rising social phenomenon of sport, which provided clear evidence of the desire for mass participation in games and competition. The Baron often said that the revival of the Olympic Games was a necessary response to the trends of the time. But in his article, “The Psychology of Sport,” which appeared in his 1901 book, Notes on Public Education, Coubertin acknowledged that sport was not for everyone—and that even those with the gifts to compete did not all push themselves to their limits. The latter became a mystery coaches puzzled over then and are still puzzling over today.
“The sporting instinct is always unevenly distributed; not everyone who wants it has it. Among those who do have it, not all reach the limits of what they can achieve. Not all seek out fear in order to overcome it, fatigue to triumph over it, and difficulty to master it. Yet there seem to be more of these individuals than one might think, at first glance. As a result, one can draw this conclusion: today, as in times past, the tendency of sport is toward excess. It aims at more speed, greater height, more strength ... always more. That is its drawback, in terms of human balance, but so be it! That is also its nobility—and its poetry.”