Home > Uncategorized > Achievement, 10,000 hours, Grit and why you’re not a pro athlete…..

Achievement, 10,000 hours, Grit and why you’re not a pro athlete…..

First things first, your best predictor of lifetime sporting achievement is your parents….Genetics matter, a lot. the talent pool at the truly world-class level is deep and wide. Those without the basic prerequisites, height, size, strength, speed etc. will not make the cut. Just trying hard doesn’t get you a $120 million dollar contract.

Tried realllly hard?...Yeah, ummm, he still wins...

That said, practice can go a long way to getting the most out of the abilities you do have.  the old

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

has a lot of truth to it…but lets face it there are not too many 5’6 point guards in the NBA or 5.5 second 40yrd dash guys playing cornerback in the NFL…genetics do play the largest part.

But what does account for the “overachiever”? Those athletes on the fringe who overcome and make it? The ones who are a tad too slow, short, weak, but they overcome  and become professional level performers. The Doug Fluties, the David Ecksteins. What allows them to overcome their fringe (for the professional level) talent and still excel? What accounts for the can’t miss prospect who never develops their talent, who seems distracted, aimless and lost?

Some  suggest that it’s 10,000 hours of directed goal oriented practice based off of this guys research….some says this is not an adequate way to discern talent vs. practice. Any way, there’s a lot of practice involved with achieving world-class performance so there must be something that allows these people to continue on in this race when others stop, slow down or become distracted…the answer might be akin to what I wrote about in this (unpublished, only for a grade in grad school) paper, How Mental Toughness and Hardiness Interact to Provide the Necessary “Will and Skill” in the Development of Elite Athletes.“.

Then I saw this video today, hat tip Kevin Neeld.

Seems like “Grit” is exactly what I was looking for when I wrote that grad school paper…..it appears “grit” is what allows us to make the “most” of our innate abilities…It’s majic really, if you stick with something long enough and you are willing to work hard enough, good things happen……sooooo obvious, yet so many miss the boat.

It looks like that’s probably what separates the top end performers (regardless of the field), relative to their genetic equals, from everyone else.

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