10,000 Hours

April 8, 2014

I recently finished the book “Outliers” by Malcom Gladwell. If you have not read it, I suggest you pick up a copy ASAP. The book is full of interesting things, but the one I want to focus on is his 10,000 hour theory. Gladwell states it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in your craft or skill. He goes on to tell stories about some of the most successful people in the world and the work they put in to get there.

 

Bill Gates was lucky enough to attend Lakeside, a private school with its own computer. At this point in time, having a computer at a school was almost unheard of. The school also shared a network with a larger university downtown. Gates would spend upwards of 8 hours a day coding and working on the computer. By the time he went to college, he had thousands of work under his belt. He was more advanced than some of his professors. With thousands of hours of more work than others, it's no coincidence Gates became who we know today.

 

The same type of story applies to the rock band the Beatles. In 1960 as a high school rock band the Beatles were invited to Hamburg, Germany to play in local clubs. At first they were very bad. They were underpaid and the audience was very small, almost non existent .They kept getting better and practicing everyday. As they became better, the crowd grew and the demand become higher. Pretty soon they were playing 8 hours a day 7 days a week. By the time 1964 came around the Beatles had played over 1,200 concerts together…Most bands do not play 1,200 concerts in their career. The point in telling you these stories is that it is no coincidence they become the best at what they do. The same thing goes for basketball players. Too many players confuse talent with skill. Some player are born more talented than others, that is just the way it is. But skill catches up to talent eventually. The other day i was working out a high school AAU team doing some pretty basic ball handling drills to warm them up. When I looked around, I saw a few of the older kids coasting. By their body language I could tell they thought they were too advanced for the drill. The thing that upset me the most about this, was the people that were coasting were probably the ones that needed to be busting their butt the most. Unbelievable.

 

Too many players walk in the gym with an ego. Usually because they have more talent than others and have been told since they were little how good they are. Kevin Durant’s quote has never been more true… “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

 

It takes 10,000 hours to become the best you can be at your craft. If you were to work 4 hours a day, 5 days a week with 2 weeks off for vacation that would put you at a whopping…1,000 hours. No player should ever walk into a gym feeling entitled. No player should think they are too good for any drill. If you want to be the best, you really do have to outwork everyone. It’s a simple phrase, but it has been proven time and time again.

 

I am going to finish this post off with one of my favorite quotes about talent and skill.“The separation of talent and skill is one of the greatest misunderstood concepts for people who are trying to excel, who have dreams, who want to do things. Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating on your craft" - Will Smith. You might be more talented than others, but if you do not put in your 10,000 hours, someone with skill will catch up to you. Stop feeling entitled. Get in the gym and get better. 

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