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10,000 Hours? - Page 2

post #31 of 106
Earlier posts considered liftline times and lunch but neglected transit time on the chair. If you conservatively estimate that no-one here skis much slower than 3 times the lift speed (more for fixed grip) and add a bit for liftlines, pit stops, and chow, we're down to about 2 hours of actual on-snow experience per day of skiing. And of course that's only possible for 3-6 months a year depending on where we live.

Someone blessed to ski 150 days a year would take half a lifetime to log his or her first 10k-hours of actual skiing. This is why many strong (and even elite) skiers use dryland training to get in more time. Whether it's practicing aerial maneuvers off a ramp into a swimming pool or practicing slalom using inline skates, Harb Carvers, or other dryland ski simulators, off-snow training is important to approach those 10,000 hours.

As for me, I'll never get close to 10k-hours, but I'm sure gonna have fun trying both on snow and on "black snow" with my dryland training devices.
post #32 of 106
Bob,
Good thread. I was immediately reminded of the famous quote:

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: Nothing is more common than unrewarded talent. Education alone will not: The world is full of educated failures. Persistence alone is omnipotent.”
~Calvin Coolidge
post #33 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by olylady View Post
It takes a blend of natural talent, athleticism, coaching and instruction, self-discovery, self-discipline, focus, tactics, and of course lots of practice to become an expert skier. There is no 'one' greater influence.
Oly,
I won't deny anything you said here. In fact I think it is a sure fire path to success. I was thinking of personal experiences where I have seen natural talent exceed the product of all the other criteria. The unconcious competent perhaps.

JF
post #34 of 106
Has anyone touched on natural ability or perhaps coordination. I am in no way bragging but I can tell you right now it would take me less than 10k of hrs to be as good as tanner in the park. Heck you give me 5 years(4 years ago) of hundred plus days in the park at a colorado resort. I will be pro. Its all about time on the snow, that is fact. I don't think setting an hour limit is truly necessary. I a good athlete(or I like to think so), it would take me a lot less time than someone who was uncoordinated and out of shape.

Point is that 10k of skiing is bogus for being "pro".
post #35 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blizzboy283 View Post
I know for one that I became good at skiing after spending over 20 hours a week for over a decade practicing Ice Hockey. I know I've touched upon it as well as others but being a highly proficient skater made me a good skier out of the box.
Ice hockey helps a ton, but skaters tend to make explosive movements on their 'inside' ski. I once had a NHL player in a semi-private lesson...he kept 'leaning-in' and falling over! He did make amazing hockey stops though, and he was gun-hoe to try just about anything.
post #36 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post
Oly,
I won't deny anything you said here. In fact I think it is a sure fire path to success. I was thinking of personal experiences where I have seen natural talent exceed the product of all the other criteria. The unconcious competent perhaps.

JF
No worries , but having natural talent and athleticism only shortens the learning curve. If a person is lucky enough to possess all of the criteria that I previously posted, it will 'lead to greatness'.

Cheers!
post #37 of 106
I'm not buying it.

The 10, 000 hours is probably more a product of the human mind's desire to order the universe. There has to be exceptions. I have seen people progress to the same (high) level in 1/2 the time it takes most other people. He just didn't look hard enough for the exceptional exceptional people.
post #38 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
I'm not buying it.

The 10, 000 hours is probably more a product of the human mind's desire to order the universe. There has to be exceptions. I have seen people progress to the same (high) level in 1/2 the time it takes most other people. He just didn't look hard enough for the exceptional exceptional people.
Well, actually I think he looked pretty hard.

Here's the link to the entire excerpt of which I posted two paragraphs in the original post:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008...tliers-extract

At about paragraph #8, Gladwell writes about some research that was done at the Berlin Academy of Music. They actually tracked the amount of time spent by violin students comparing that accumulated practice time of those who were "world class" versus those who were simply "good". The difference? Hours.

Later in the excerpt, he uses Mozart and Bobby Fischer and Bill Gates and the Beatles as examples. Pretty convincingly, I think.

He also says this about ice hockey:

Sport, too, is supposed to be just such a pure meritocracy. But is it? Take ice hockey in Canada: look at any team and you will find that a disproportionate number of players will have been born in the first three months of the year. This, it turns out, is because the cut-off date for children eligible for the nine-year-old, 10-year-old, 11-year-old league and so on is January 1. Boys who are oldest and biggest at the beginning of the hockey season are inevitably the best. And so they get the most coaching and practice, and they get chosen for the all-star team, and so their advantage increases - on into the professional game. A similar pattern applies to other sports. What we think of as talent is actually a complicated combination of ability, opportunity and utterly arbitrary advantage.

It's all very interesting stuff.

We in America seem to dislike thinking of anything that can't be mastered quickly. We have an incredibly short attention span compared to other cultures. Suggesting that it could take a massively long time to actually master something probably isn't a very popular idea here.
post #39 of 106
Logging the hours of something you're passionate about is one part of the equation. Having an open heart to improve is another key part, as well as self awareness.

If you have no idea you suck, you won't open your heart to improve.
post #40 of 106
Cause or affect?
How many people are going to spend 10,000 hours doing something they are not cut out for?
post #41 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by olylady View Post
Ice hockey helps a ton, but skaters tend to make explosive movements on their 'inside' ski. I once had a NHL player in a semi-private lesson...he kept 'leaning-in' and falling over! He did make amazing hockey stops though, and he was gun-hoe to try just about anything.

Sounds like me when I first started. No lie, from my first day on skis I was making hockey stops. It really is unbelievably similar.
post #42 of 106
James you triggered a few thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
In general I agree that Outlier type greatness comes from combination of much practice and great natural talent.
Last year in a seminar on World Class Teaching with the PGA's former Director of Instruction he offered an opinion that I'll leave open for discussion. The other presenters in the seminar were a leading instructor of PGA Tour Pros, a physical trainer and a sports psychologist with a Phd-the latter three work as a team with the tour pros.

Talent limits how far you can go-your top line

Technique lets you go up to the limit of that physical talent


The question is how to you develop the technique that lets you reach the apex of your talents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
I also think that somebody like the golfer Jim Furyk can still be an Outlier with enough practice and talent despite imperfect mechanics.
The interesting thing is that in spite of the distractions of his mechanics, at the 4/1,000 of a second the ball is on the club face, the only time that ultimately matters in a golf swing, he is as picture perfect as any other tour player. And he can repeat that over and over which is the real crux of the matter. How did he get there? A very specific developmental plan, continual reinforcement and hours of focused practice until he was able to take those moves to his competitive arena-which happens to be tournament golf-starting as a junior and ultimately the PGA Tour and major championships. His natural talent made his top line a lot higher but his work got him there.

This is a facinating subject because it starts to delve into how humans learn and develop motor movement skills-something we don't explore enough. Far to often, as instructors or students, we get caught in the duality of performance vs. results. I skidded vs. the movements that caused the skid or the ball sliced vs. the factors and movements that caused the slice. Or put another way, I am down in south Florida working on my golf game. Tomorrows assignment from my coach is to hit 7 irons through the 3rd, 4th and 5th floor windows-do I focus on the outcome of whether I hit the chosen window or focus on the movements that will allow that (sure Eric-I've got those shots in the bag-gag) to happen? I'd better be focused on the latter.


James, thanks for the thought triggers.
post #43 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
In general I agree that Outlier type greatness comes from combination of much practice and great natural talent. I also think that somebody like the golfer Jim Furyk can still be an Outlier with enough practice and talent despite imperfect mechanics. I'm thinking you have to be careful about putting a precise number on the required practice hours though especially in fields of endeavor where natural talent can trump practiced skills. I think there are athletes (and others, including musicians) who have achieved world class distinction without 10k or even 5k hours of practice; perhaps tennis stars, runners, actually many sports where a 20 year old can be near the best in the world. 20 year old Andrew Wheating of University of Oregon represented the US in the 2008 Olympic 800 meter run despite only turning seriously to Track in his senior year of High School: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...layden.column/

Can anyone think of an Olympic caliber skier who had very little background in the sport?
I've heard this 10,000-hr thing as related to tennis. I don't think you can compare tennis and running. Tennis requires a very highly developed skill set and incredible amount of muscle memory, like golf, whereas running does not.

A 20-yr-old tennis pro has been putting in 3 or 4 hours a day for 10 or 12 years, easily. You do every once in a while hear of someone who didn't start seriously until they were 12 or 13, but it's fairly rare.

But I guess "expert" isn't necessarily "professional" in this discussion? I think pretty much anyone would be an "expert" after spending 5 years of 40-hr weeks at anything. It's the innate level of athletic and mental ability that pushes you to professional status, and there isn't that much you can do about that, IMO.

For example, there is a ceiling. I've figured out that my athletic ceiling is college-level sports. I was a college-level soccer player, I'm now a college-level tennis player, and I am pretty sure that with any training at all, I could have been a college-level ski racer.

But I also know I would never ever have been any better than that, even if I'd trained 100,000 hours.

So to the original question: I agree with those who say that, while training is important, it isn't nearly as important as the raw material and hours spent.
post #44 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
...Sport, too, is supposed to be just such a pure meritocracy. But is it? Take ice hockey in Canada: look at any team and you will find that a disproportionate number of players will have been born in the first three months of the year. This, it turns out, is because the cut-off date for children eligible for the nine-year-old, 10-year-old, 11-year-old league and so on is January 1. Boys who are oldest and biggest at the beginning of the hockey season are inevitably the best. And so they get the most coaching and practice, and they get chosen for the all-star team, and so their advantage increases - on into the professional game. A similar pattern applies to other sports. What we think of as talent is actually a complicated combination of ability, opportunity and utterly arbitrary advantage.
I had two kids that grew up ski racing. January 1st is the cutoff date for USSA as well. J3 Boys with January birthdays who also happen to 'mature' sooner were 'always' thought of as having more talent and often received more coaching, practice, etc. My son's birthday is in March...did he have an advantage?

Below are two photos of my son taken in 1999 at age 15.





Quote:
We in America seem to dislike thinking of anything that can't be mastered quickly. We have an incredibly short attention span compared to other cultures. Suggesting that it could take a massively long time to actually master something probably isn't a very popular idea here.
Agree! Yes, this is all very interesting and very complex.
post #45 of 106
olylady,

Interesting thread, in terms of the other one that we've been on and the concept of the difficulty of the late start, and catching up on lost time. At 21, I think my son has his 10,000 hours in {if you count ski specific dryland and gym time}.

My son was not a 1Q birthday, but he was pretty big for his age, a good athlete, and a good skier as a J3-J5. He was about 5'8" and 150-160 lbs as a J3. At that age, I used to joke that they came packaged 5 to 6 feet, and 80 to 180 lbs. Evens out later on. I don't know if he got any special attention or not.

Seems like the kids who were the most coachable, and were perceived to have the most potential got the most coaching attention.

Interesting stuff.
post #46 of 106

10,000 hours to Perfection

Interesting posts. Some good point and theories.

Academic studies are almost always interesting and usually partly true and contain an abundance of generalizations and non-empirical facts and conclusions.

Obviously to anyone who pays attention to human behavior, there is almost an infinite number of variables that act as a pro/con or catalyst to human performance and behavior. It is easy to say 10,000 hours will produce excellence and yes that is usually probably true although obviously rare. To be non academic and bring this hypothesis to reality anyone who is an expert at anything will spend a lot of time to his/her endeavor but time alone does not guarantee expertise. The human factors that compelled the person to achieve the expertise are more important than mere repetition.

Drive, persistence, coordination, inherited genes, psychological makeup, stature, strength, size, vision, coordination and heart all are influences.

Maybe simply put - could you take a real klutz and turn him into a world class Ski racer on the WC circuit? Academia would say by all mean yes, real life says thats ridiculous. If this was a realistic idea and theory, then the 3rd Reich would have been right and Jesse Owens would have been very Slow.

Is the premise True?
Sure it is. Sometimes. Depends on the variables.
post #47 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muleski View Post
...Evens out later on...
True, but it is interesting at the J3 level you often see 'little boys' racing against 'grown men'. I remember one boy in particular that was very small until the age of 19 or 20. He never did very well in racing, but now he's a 'Big Mountain' star. Go figure.

Like you said, by the time they reach J1, it usually evens out. We should start a thread "At what age does a WC racer peak in they're career? (men and women)"

Quote:
Seems like the kids who were the most coachable, and were perceived to have the most potential got the most coaching attention.

Interesting stuff.
Yeap, I guess it really had to do with passion, commitment, and the athletes coachability...but I still think that 'size' made a difference. How much? Who knows...

As a pro, I too find myself spending more time with athletes who I feel have more potential...I guess that's just human nature.

Thanks for the thoughts!
post #48 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post
...Obviously to anyone who pays attention to human behavior, there is almost an infinite number of variables that act as a pro/con or catalyst to human performance and behavior. It is easy to say 10,000 hours will produce excellence and yes that is usually probably true although obviously rare. To be non academic and bring this hypothesis to reality anyone who is an expert at anything will spend a lot of time to his/her endeavor but time alone does not guarantee expertise. The human factors that compelled the person to achieve the expertise are more important than mere repetition.

Drive, persistence, coordination, inherited genes, psychological makeup, stature, strength, size, vision, coordination and heart all are influences.

Maybe simply put - could you take a real klutz and turn him into a world class Ski racer on the WC circuit? Academia would say by all mean yes, real life says thats ridiculous. If this was a realistic idea and theory, then the 3rd Reich would have been right and Jesse Owens would have been very Slow.

Is the premise True?
Sure it is. Sometimes. Depends on the variables.
Bottom line...
post #49 of 106
I doubt that anyone who had a career in racing, freestyle, or big mountain skiing would doubt the wonders of coaching. Those pros (and by the way a pro competes) spend countless hours in the gym, on the slopes, crosstraining, and watching video to enhance their performance. They use coaches to bolster their techniques and they have a natural ability that already sets them apart.

Now an interesting take is that top athletes in one field tend to find success in other athletic endeavors. Intellectuals find transitioning form fields to be relatively easy compared to the masses. Those who absolutely rise to the top spend years practicing. The eat, sleep, breath and live their chosen endeavor

I think the Outlier theory definitely holds some water. In whatever aspect of life you look at you see people who are absolutely operating at a higher level.
post #50 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by skierhj View Post
...Those pros (and by the way a pro competes)...
'Pros' are 'Professionals', someone that makes money at their chosen career, not necessarily competitors.

Nice post though...
post #51 of 106
You know I find it interesting that no one has mentioned the age at which these experts started. Its been proven that younger children are faster learners. Take a 10 year old and a25 year old put on skis for the first time given them 3 days and see who has learned more it will almost always be the 10 year old. So, while I agree with the 10k hour statistic I would find it very interesting to also see a comparison of the age at which they started.

Another important factor I think is also the support which the person recieves. Humans are very social and all it takes is one or two people discouraging something and that can undermine an entire persons passion. There is also the scenaerio of parents/coaches caring to much which puts immense pressure upon the athlete who than associates the sport with anxiety and comes to dislike it.

While the time is immensely important there are so many factors that add to it that its not the only predictor. I also think that one reason that the time is so long is that it takes experts a long time to break from what they were taught. Many of the experts created breakthroughs in their sport/proffesion by breaking from the conventional and being different. I think that it takes a long time for someone to break from the convention of "listen to the coach he knows best" to being different and realising "you know my way is really better."
post #52 of 106
sorry but instructors are not professional skiers, they are professional instructors big difference
post #53 of 106
Well you can compete without taking money. A professional is someone who accepts money when competing, there are people well above the masses that don't necessarily compete for money or to make a living.
post #54 of 106
Olylady,

After I wrote my post, I realized that I had meant to add that size and strength at a young age does surely matter. The boys in particular, who are the man-children, can do things with a ski that smaller boys just can't pull off. And if they develop a real touch, they glide faster. I think it becomes just as big an issue when they hit the J2 ranks, and the ski sizes jump. A big kid has an advantage. If a big kid has the drive, the inquisitiveness and the "coachability", along with some good athleticism, they're ahead of the game. The game of ski racing is based so much on strength and power these days that it does make a difference, I think.
post #55 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos View Post
I thought we were talking about "extremely gifted" skiers, not just "good" skiers. Anyway...

You can practice for decades and end up looking pretty good coming down the hill. But excellence in skiing requires precision. A person can analyze themselves and only get so far, but having a person who possesses information on proper technique analyze and give you feedback will insure that your practice is truly beneficial.

That's why we have coaches and instructors.
Bull Hockey....there are many people who become world class with little to no formal instructions whatsoever in many different activities.

One can learn many things from the people who have gone before but nothing makes up for effort and time spent practicing. Not every person who spends 10,000 hours skiing will be Bode and not every person who spends 10,000 hours and gets professional coaching will be Bode. Some who get professional coaching will excel and some who don't will excel. The ones who do get coaching are a self selecting group. They choose coaches because everyone else at their level does.....which may or may not mean it's actually effective.
post #56 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
Tennis requires a very highly developed skill set and incredible amount of muscle memory, like golf, whereas running does not.
The audacity. A guy who plays tennis and golf makes disparaging remarks about the track team.

The sports are very different and require different skills and capacities. It's fairly obvious that you hold runners in low regard. Take a week off from your game and go hang out with the middle distance (800 meter and milers) for a week of track practice.

I find it interesting that most world class middle distance and distance runners are between 25 and 30 years old at their peak. Ten thousand hours?

Anyway, it's good to see that the attitude of the tennis guys hasn't changed in all these years.

Ken
post #57 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by KenE View Post
The audacity. A guy who plays tennis and golf makes disparaging remarks about the track team.

The sports are very different and require different skills and capacities. It's fairly obvious that you hold runners in low regard. Take a week off from your game and go hang out with the middle distance (800 meter and milers) for a week of track practice.

I find it interesting that most world class middle distance and distance runners are between 25 and 30 years old at their peak. Ten thousand hours?

Anyway, it's good to see that the attitude of the tennis guys hasn't changed in all these years.

Ken
Uh, I sense an inferiority complex. Disparaging remarks? Low regard???

You said: "The sports are very different and require different skills and capacities." That's exactly what I was saying, you can't compare the two. The previous poster referenced a runner who did something after only a few years of training. There has never been a tennis player who won anything of significance after playing for only a couple of years. Period.

But you can be a relatively slow person and still succeed at tennis if you have great eye-hand coordination (aka skill), and that is something that can more easily be improved by repetition than speed can be. You won't be a touring professional (unless you're a woman, maybe), but you can definitely be an expert.

Running does not require hours and hours of eye-hand coordination training. That isn't a putdown. It is what it is. It requires a lot of other things, for sure.

I love watching it, and I respect the hell out of it (more than I do tennis), partly because I suck at it. I'm much better at running a short distance and changing directions, over and over again.

From what I understand, the reason runners peak in their late 20s into their 30s has more to do with the fact that a "middle-aged" athlete has both the young athlete's capacity for recovery plus the older athlete's strength and endurance, not solely because he's reached X hours of training.

By that time, tennis players (professionals) are winding down. They definitely peak before runners, generally about 26 (younger for women), because rapid recovery starts to trump everything else when you're playing tournaments with matches every day in the heat.

These types of lists are justly subject to all sorts of criticisms, but as a reference:
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/sportSkills
post #58 of 106
Hey running my not be hand and eye coordination but it sure as hell isn't just strength and speed. Running has something called form and it takes quite a bit of time to get this down. Watch a world class runner and than look at how you run big difference. Also all those they do for warm ups they aren't just stretches many of them are form drills to build muscle memory.
post #59 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
Uh, I sense an inferiority complex. Disparaging remarks? Low regard???

You said: "The sports are very different and require different skills and capacities." That's exactly what I was saying, you can't compare the two. The previous poster referenced a runner who did something after only a few years of training. There has never been a tennis player who won anything of significance after playing for only a couple of years. Period.

But you can be a relatively slow person and still succeed at tennis if you have great eye-hand coordination (aka skill), and that is something that can more easily be improved by repetition than speed can be. You won't be a touring professional (unless you're a woman, maybe), but you can definitely be an expert.

Running does not require hours and hours of eye-hand coordination training. That isn't a putdown. It is what it is. It requires a lot of other things, for sure.

I love watching it, and I respect the hell out of it (more than I do tennis), partly because I suck at it. I'm much better at running a short distance and changing directions, over and over again.

From what I understand, the reason runners peak in their late 20s into their 30s has more to do with the fact that a "middle-aged" athlete has both the young athlete's capacity for recovery plus the older athlete's strength and endurance, not solely because he's reached X hours of training.

By that time, tennis players (professionals) are winding down. They definitely peak before runners, generally about 26 (younger for women), because rapid recovery starts to trump everything else when you're playing tournaments with matches every day in the heat.

These types of lists are justly subject to all sorts of criticisms, but as a reference:
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/sportSkills
Hmm, a very close friend did say once that I was an egomaniac with an inferiority complex. And, yes I'm an old 880 guy. Gotta watch it when I get on my "high horse".

I did go to that site and found it very interesting. Your reference to why runners peak in that age range pretty well nails it from what I know.

Segbrown. Tear them up this year on the courts.

All the Best,

KenE
post #60 of 106
I think assimilation over time could be the main factor involved. Example in theory: If we had two skiers with exact equal talent and coaching - skier one skis 5,000 hours over 10 years and skier two skis 10,000 hours over tens years, they may actually end up having equal ability. So I guess I am disagreeing with the their theory. Brain assimilation continues after the actual hours of practice.

It's a similar concept to studies that have shown that more frequent but shorter practice sessions are more effective than less frequent longer sessions. So in theory a skier that skis 6 days a week for one hour could be better than a skier that skis 3 days a week for three hours.

I also think progress can be accelerated or repressed depending on what you are practicing (i.e.- bad practice equals loss of those practice hours AND the resulting ongoing assimilation).
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