Practice Quality + Heart Can Speed Up The Process of Attaining World Class Expertise
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell sounds like an interesting book which is achieving the author's goal of inspiring & provoking people.
Originally Posted by olylady
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.
Assuming that one has the minimum talent/ability level, practice quality + heart can speed up the process of attaining world class expertise in less than 10,000 hours.
Practice quality is great coaching of the appropriate fundamentals & tactics assisted by high level movement analysis video tools like DartFish, etc. plus advanced training environment including high level competition at NDS (National Development System) camps, JOs (Junior Olympics), Topolino, Whistler Cup, Junior Worlds, NorAms, Europa Cup, etc.
Heart is the deep love of the sport that keeps one motivated during this journey to world class level expertise.
I have quoted some interesting parts of two WSJ articles about Outliers - book review & author interview. The complete WSJ articles can be found by entering Malcolm Gladwell in the Search box at http://online.wsj.com/public/us
"The Elements of Success" by David A Shaywitz WSJ 11/15/08
...Talent and hard work, yes, but plenty of other ingredients seem essential to achievement
The point of "Outliers," more generally, is that success is terrifyingly contingent. Intrinsic qualities are required, but a lot of things also need to break just right, and a prodigious amount of luck is necessary.
Ultimately, he isn't trying to provide a prescription for individual success; this is not a self-help book. Rather, he seeks to focus our attention on a much more profound question: How much potential out there is being ignored? How much raw talent remains uncultivated and ultimately lost because we cling to outmoded ideas of what success looks like and what is required to achieve it?
The question Mr. Gladwell encourages us to ask: How many John Irvings are still out there, discouraged before they were ever discovered?
Mr. Gladwell passionately emphasizes the need to cultivate great minds that might be limited by their circumstances or environment.
Outliers" offers an implicit message for companies as well: There is great competitive advantage for the organization recognizing that the work environment can nurture talent -- and also suppress it. The best companies will not only seek to provide their employees with enrichment but will also have the insight -- and courage -- to identify and recruit exceptional though neglected talent that could flourish under the right conditions.
"Malcolm Gladwell's Method" by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg WSJ 11/15/08
...The writer on talent, curiosity and the importance of practice
"People don't rise from nothing," he writes. "They are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot."
At one point you suggest that the difference between a professional and a talented amateur is 10,000 hours of practice. How did this become the magic number?
A group of psychologists who study expertise looked at a variety of fields. There is a threshold of preparation for greatness. Nobody has been a chess grandmaster without having played for 10 years, or composed great classical music without having composed for 10 years. When classical musicians were asked when they felt they achieved a level of expertise, the answer was 10,000 hours. It's an empirically-based finding that seems consistent across a number of different fields. It also helps you understand why opportunities are so important. An opportunity is basically a chance to practice.
Do you worry that you extrapolate too much from too little?
No. It's better to err on the side of over-extrapolation. These books are playful in the sense that they regard ideas as things to experiment with. I'm happy if somebody reads my books and reaches a conclusion that is different from mine, as long as the ideas in the book cause them to think.
I'm not out to convert people. I want to inspire and provoke them.