Passion, meet Skill

Posted by Anthony E. Steele II on 2/27/2019

Passion Meet Skill

Let’s examine the intricacies of passion — there is much to ponder on how it’s born, its value in our careers, and its role in the fulfillment of our lives. In this article, I will illustrate the tremendous achievement that precipitates when PASSION MERGES WITH UNCOMMON SKILL.

Let’s face it, you can be very passionate about something, but that is no guarantee that you will be good at it. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact, it’s the perfect recipe for a great hobby. I applaud anyone who can simply identify a passion, regardless of talent or aptitude within it.

Just consider the millions of mediocre golfers who absolutely love duffing their way through the game, karaoke singers who enthusiastically grip the mic to achieve local fame (or notoriety), and the hordes of shade tree mechanics that love the satisfaction of fixing something themselves even at the cost of a skinned knuckle or two. These folks enjoy their craft. It fulfills them and enhances their lives in incalculable ways even though it’s not likely to yield a pay day, trophy, nor podium finish. To the contrary, the world takes notice on those occasions when passion and skill merge. Excellence is born, and it’s awe inspiring.

Meet Advanced Manufacturing & Fabrication senior, Logan Quinn. He grew up in a family that enjoys recreational shooting and began learning gun safety from his earliest memories with his father. At a young age, Logan became proficient in long gun target shooting. His natural ability was evident as he shot rifle competitively — the first in his family to do so — until age 13.

From there, he moved on to test his skills at trap shooting. His shotgun skills appeared to be even stronger than rifle, and brought him all the way to the State Championships. Just ten months ago, Logan opted to take a pause from long gun competition to try his hand at competitive pistol shooting. At the onset, his coach with some 30 years of experience projected that it would take Logan three years to perfect the techniques required to be competitive in the ultra-precise pistol categories. In a matter of months, Logan’s abilities surpassed that of his coach, and he began a meteoric ascension in the sport. He attended the Winter Air Gun National Championship and will humbly tell you that he placed in the “middle of the pack.” At the esteemed 2018 Ohio Camp Perry Nationals, Logan placed 2nd for Juniors and 6th overall. This January he won the State Jr. Olympics held at MIT and qualified for the Jr. Olympic Nationals being held in Colorado this April.

Logan provides us with an interesting case study on the topic of passion. What started as a basic enjoyment of marksmanship revealed his natural ability. In turn this encouraged him to compete — he joined local leagues, did well, drove harder at his training and practice, and discovered traits and skills he did not know he had. He is one of very few shooters who shoots with both eyes open, and he is ambidextrous although his pistols are gripped for right hand. Many are taking notice, Ohio State University, North Dakota State University, and the Coast Guard Academy are but a few eyeing Logan (and potentially offering scholarships) to be part of their shooting teams. Personally, I can’t wait to see how Logan’s knowledge of precision machining ultimately plays into his budding career as one of the Nation’s upcoming marksman. He has the ingredients to become one of the greatest competition gunsmiths if he so chooses, but at the very least, I know he appreciates the technical precision of his Pardini pistols that most don’t comprehend.

I cannot have an article on the topic of passion meeting skill without mention of a senior from our Business & Entrepreneurship program, Payton Linnehan. Payton is pure fire on the football pitch! She started playing soccer when she was four years old. During those early years, she played for the Douglas Town Soccer program and then moved on to play for the Fuller Hamlets club teams. Her natural ability and love of the game fueled a passion that motivated her to work ever harder on her skills and condition- ing. Clearly this payed huge dividends as she moved on to play for the FC Stars U-13 team. Her talents were evident and she was recruited to be part of the US National Olympic program playing for their U-15 team and now on their U-17 team. Payton was also a member of our Varsity Girls Soccer team for two years. She has played the forward position most of her time on the field and you most recently would have seen her playing for the USA team in the U-17 World Cup in Uruguay.

During her more than 13 years of playing soccer, Payton has distinguished herself with many recognitions and honors, including BVT Rookie of the Year, BVT Most Valuable Player – two years in a row, 2 year Colonial Athletic League All-Star, Central Mass All-star, All-state and All American recognitions, and in the U-15 Concacaf Championship she was awarded the “Golden Boot,” the top recognition at this international tournament. If you’re as interested as I am in following this incredibly talented young lady, Payton has signed on with Penn State to play in the Big Ten Conference next year.

Both Logan and Payton are not only bright examples of excellence at BVT, but also the larger concept of passion merging with skill. Perhaps we are all drawn to watch these young stars because they exemplify something we all strive to do — to find our passion, work hard at it, and savor the fruit of our labor. No matter where we are in that personal quest, we vicariously enjoy their success on many levels. Logan and Payton are truly inspirational ambassadors of passion.