Megan Gilles Music Studio

Willmar, MN
Phone:  320-220-4006
Email:  [email protected]

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10,000 Hours of Practice

Posted by Megan Gilles on February 20, 2016 at 12:55 AM

My husband Doug shared this blog entry with me from his parent company Hormel Foods.  This can easily relate to piano practice.  Even though my students won't be hitting the 10,000 very soon it is very easy to see who practices on a regular basis and who doesn't.  Enjoy this read! 

Bob Rosburg was born on October 21, 1926 in San Francisco, California. He

attended Stanford University on a golf scholarship. In 1953 he turned

professional winning six tour events including the 1959 PGA championship.

Following retirement as a professional golfer he became a television

broadcaster and pioneered the idea of roving the fairways allowing the

viewer a birds eye view of each shot and every putt.

 

 

None of this meant anything to me in 1977. All I knew of Bob Rosburg was

that his name was on the set of Ram golf clubs I ordered from the Austad's

catalog. My first set of golf clubs. Turn the clock forward and I have been

playing golf for 37 years. That's a long time. It seems like I should be a

better player. If I played an average of one round a week (assuming 4 hours

per round), 20 weeks each year (remember, I live in Minnesota) for 37 years

that means I have played 2,960 hours of golf in my lifetime. Now it really

seems like I should be a better golfer. Plus, I had clubs made by Bob

Rosburg, the PGA legend.

 

 

What went wrong.

 

 

It turns out there is something called the 10,000 hour rule.

 

 

In 1992 psychologist K. Andres Ericsson studied the violinists at the

Berlin Academy of Music. The students were broken into three groups - the

stars, the merely good, and those "good enough to teach in public school".

All of the students had started playing violin around the age of five. All

practiced roughly the same amount in the first two to three years. Starting

at age eight differences began to occur in the amount of time dedicated to

practice. The study discovered that those students who would later become

stars practiced significantly more, often up to thirty hours per week. By

the age of 20 these students had accumulated 10,000 hours of practice time.

The lesser skilled students had totaled slightly more than 4,000 hours by

the same age. Interestingly, there were no students who were able to reach

star status without logging 10,000 hours of practice - in other words,

there were no "naturals" in the entire school. Likewise, there were no

students in the "good enough to teach in public school" group who were

grinders (put in 10,000 hours of practice) yet were unable to break into

the star ranks. This type of study has been repeated for hockey players,

composers, basketball players, chess players, etc. and the common

denominator is 10,000 hours of practice is required to become really,

really good.

 

 

Everyone knows someone they consider to be a natural athlete or someone who

is innately talented. Everyone seems to believe that achievement is the

combination of talent plus preparation. However, the closer psychologists

look at the careers of the gifted, the smaller the role of innate talent

seems to play and the bigger the role of preparation seems to play. In

fact, in almost every case, preparation seems to take about 10,000 hours.

 

 

I guess my questionable golf game rests in this learning. Even with the

best clubs, getting good required more time and preparation than my 4,000

hours spread over 37 years. I can no longer blame my game on sub-par

equipment or the lack of natural ability. Instead, I can say with

confidence that the only thing holding me back from becoming a better

player is the amount of hard work I put into the sport. While this is true

for golf, it is also true in my work, my parenting, the way I manage my

relationships and every other aspect of my life. Hard work and commitment

make a difference.

 

 

Time to head to the driving range.

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