[CQ-Contest] Are contesters born or made?

Lee Buller k0wa at swbell.net
Tue May 11 06:25:48 PDT 2010

Yes, the are born...and Yes, they are made.  I view contesters as an athlete.  Athletes have natural abilities...some better than others from A to Z or from 0 to 10.  In a sense, we are all athletes.  We can train for an event.  We can work at getting better at our event.  

Am I the best contest athlete?  At one time, I thought I was but the numbers as I age do not show that.  Athletes not only have to be physically fit...but mentally fit as well.  They have to love what they are doing.  They have to be driven by a goal.

With that said....

Are golfers athletes?
Are NASCAR drivers athletes?
Are Poker players athletes?
Are people who knit and sew athletes?

Good question.  Hard to answer.

Lee - K0WA

 Ham Radio Operators:  Kansas QSO Party is August 28-29, 2010.  See www.ksqsoparty.org for details

In our day and age it seems that Common Sense is in short supply.  If you don't have any Common Sense - get some Common Sense and use it.  If you can't find any Common Sense, ask for help from somebody who has some Common Sense.  Is Common Sense divine?

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From: W7VJ <w7vj at millerisar.com>
To: cq-contest at contesting.com
Sent: Mon, May 10, 2010 9:23:14 PM
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Are contesters born or made?

While not posed as a solicitation for comment, I will note this at the risk
of waxing philosophical:

In my mind, contesters are made, but are made based on what they are born
with: one's DNA, if you will.  The desire to practice and compete comes from
something deep within - who we are.  Ostensibly we practice to perfect our
stations and our skills. Yet it is an innate desire to excel at something -
professionally or personally - that drives us to do pursue our goals.  

The more one wants "it," the more one will practice.  And for those who are
driven to become the best, "practice" is not something that one thinks
about, e.g. "I think I will practice contesting for an hour."  One just does
it out of the pure desire to improve and the love of the doing.  Winning is
just the end product of what drives us.  

There are those who love to do something, but maintain there is not enough
time or resources to put in the effort.  Yet for those who have an
intractable desire to achieve, they will pay the price in terms of time,
cost and lost opportunities, to do what is necessary to achieve at the top
levels.  We need only look at Olympic athletes to find this is generally



Message: 5
Date: Mon, 10 May 2010 12:26:36 -0000
From: "Randy Thompson K5ZD" <k5zd at charter.net>
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Are contesters born or made?
To: <cq-contest at contesting.com>
Message-ID: <991EB50967444308B390D1534396F56D at k5zd1>
Content-Type: text/plain;    charset="us-ascii"

I just finished listening to a fascinating interview with Matthew Syed,
author of the book Bounce.  The book explores the idea that practice is far
more important than talent at achieving in the upper levels of sport.  

Link to show: http://www.onlyagame.org/2010/04/bounce/
Follow the Download the Podcast link to get the interview in various forms.

We don't talk about practice much in relation to contesting, but I believe
it does make a difference.  I owe much of my success to having spent hours
and hours during my teenage years working traffic nets, chasing DX, and
competing in contests with a very small station.

Very thought provoking interview.  Check it out.  

Randy, K5ZD


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