This “10000 hours to build a champion athlete” stuff seems to have popped up in a lot of places recently.
Just goes to show how many people in the world can write stuff about sport without knowing anything about it.
The Golden Rule….there isn’t one.
The Golden rule about producing champions is that there are no golden rules.
There are no “always” have to…
There are no “must” do this…
There are no “can never” do that…
And there are no magical, miraculous number of hours required to produce greatness.
The Search for “The Formula”
Everyone in sport is searching for “the Formula” – a set of training routines, skills, drills, supplements, equipment and systems which will guarantee success.
Just look at the recent “power-band” debacle! People wanted something which would guarantee performance enhancement for everyone who purchased one.
The search for a 100% guaranteed, never fail, always successful system which will produce winning athletes and teams is like the “diet” industry: everyone is looking for an easy solution which is guaranteed to work every time for every body but ultimately it takes a lot of hard work and even then nothing is certain.
Ten Reasons Why The Ten Thousand Hours is Rubbish.
- Not all athletes learn, grow, adapt and improve at the same rate;
- Not all athletes learn, grow, adapt and improve the same way;
- Each athlete has a different capacity to recover;
- The level of engagement determines the effectiveness of the training activity;
- Why 10000? Why not 11000? Why not 8000? Why not 83456.72 hours?
- Training environments are incredibly different;
- The Quality of coaching is incredibly variable;
- Potential to perform;
- Passion to prepare, drive, enthusiasm…….
- Being unique, being different, being individual……….that’s what makes champions champions.
There is a secret to success – but it isn’t a piece of equipment, a special diet, a gym membership or a mythical number of hours of preparation.
The secret to success is – as it always has been- is to make the most of every opportunity (i.e. every training session, every recovery session, every competition) and prepare to the full extent of your potential every day.
If it takes 10000 hours, great. Someone will sell a few more books.
Chances are, that if you prepare consistently to your full potential it will take a whole lot less.