This week’s article is a fascinating look at the concept of deliberate practice written by James Clear. Pay particular attention to the story framed around this quote from the article about Kobe Bryant.
“Putting in a lot of time might make you tired, but simply working a lot (even if it’s 10,000 hours over the course of your career) isn’t enough to make you a top performer. It’s not the same thing as practicing deliberately. Most people who think they are working hard are merely developing the skill of being in the gym, not the skill of making baskets.”
I’ve told this story many times before, but I knew a guy in high school who was a player for a rival school. He and I worked out at the same facility. I’d be there working on my game for two hours or so every day. I always had a plan for what I wanted to do that day. I had a certain number of shots I wanted to make each day from different spots on the court or using different moves to get me into my shot. I worked the entire time, maybe taking a quick break to grab a drink of water once or twice during my time in the gym. Meanwhile, my friend would saunter into the gym shoot a few free throws, take a few shots, walk out to talk to people riding the exercise bikes, sit down for a five minute water break, talk to a few girls that were working out. I’d see him the next day and he’d tell me how he worked out for 4 hours the day before. I always looked at him sideways and laughed to myself. Little did I know that I had learned the concept of deliberate practice way back in the late 80’s before anyone had ever coined the term!
James Clear does a great job in the article of helping players, parents, and coaches understand that there is a difference between “being in the gym” and “practicing deliberately”.
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