The very first sentence on my nerdy notepad under the words finding mastery is “work on your weaknesses.”

I think it is the hardest thing to do. I think it’s called “finding mastery” for a reason.

I don’t think mastery has a destination. I think it’s a search. This constant learning and seeking.

If you’re constantly trying to master yourself, that is mastery. I think there’s a difference between mastery and greatness.

“It’s fun to work on the things you’re good at, but to be great, you have to work on the things you’re bad at or the things that are not as fun.”

It’s not fun if you’re a right-handed batter to practice swinging left-handed, but there is a benefit in that.

If you’re a gymnast who always spins one way, you [need to practice] spinning the other way.

Same with action sports– if you’re really good at a certain trick in the half pipe, [there is a natural inclination] to want to just keep working on that trick [but that doesn’t make  you better.]

I remember sitting in a room once with Shaun White, one of the greatest snowboarder’s in the world.

He started playing the guitar and he didn’t sound very good.

One of us asked him what he was doing and he said, “I am so bad at [whatever it was that he was working on] and he said, “I obsessively work on my weaknesses,” and I was like, “Ok, you make more sense today.”

Today, Shaun plays the guitar in a band.

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A senior writer at ESPN, Alyssa published her first book in 2007. She joined ESPN’s TV broadcast team in 2012 and can be seen regularly on X Games broadcasts.