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How to become a master

Canadian journalist, author and speaker Malcolm Gladwell wrote about the 10,000 rule where he says if you want to become a master in anything then you must practice for 10,000 hours. Now 10,000 hours is a long time and will require a lot of hard work but let’s break this down and look at some professionals who did this. Afterward, it won’t be such a surprise that they became the best in  their field.

Let’s start with professional golfer Tiger Woods who had a perfect golf swing by the age of three. Or the former number one tennis player in the world, Andre Agassi, was handed a tennis racket when he was a baby. Agassi had his own tennis court in his backyard and ball machine. His dad made him hit hundreds of tennis balls each day before the age of five.

And then there’s the current number one tennis player Novak Djokovic, who started playing tennis at the age of five but was trained daily by a former Serbian tennis champion, Jelena Gencic. Gencic took Djokovic under her wing and coached him into a champion.

If we take these previous examples and look a step further, it becomes clear that it is not only about putting in the hours but starting early in life. For instance, if you’re in your 30s and you decide to put in your 10 000 on your golf game in order to beat Tiger Woods then you better put that dream behind you. Furthermore, it’s about having the best coaches mentor you along the way so you’re receiving immediate feedback and so that everything you do is done with quality.

Lastly, it has been proven that the best people in their field are the most talented but they are also the ones that work the hardest. For instance, let’s look at pianists. Some pianists practice the piano an hour a day. But in reality they are just playing material they already know and then only in the last five minutes do they work on new material.  In reality they aren’t practicing whereas other pianists spend the entire hour working on new material. As a result their training is more exhausting. The same can be said for the best athletes.

In order to master anything, whether it be a chess master, violinist or soccer player, you’ll need to put in 10,000 hours. And as a result of this, other areas of your life will receive less attention and so there will be consequences. However, these are some of the sacrifices people take in order to master something and become the best.

With the summer 2012 Olympics in London fast approaching, the world will see the best athletes in competition and even though there can only be one gold medalist, they are all masters and you can bet they each put in 10,000 hours with the best coaching support from a young age in order to take part in the games.


By Philip MacDonald

The idea for Goalden is to help other soccer players of all ages improve the many different aspects of their game. We began coaching youth teams and watching youth soccer all over Ontario. We watched semi-professional and professional teams and noticed how far the game still has to develop here. From that, we decided we want to help others obtain the best information as early as possible in their soccer careers. We want to educate readers about the game of soccer and the fine details that are often overlooked by coaches in North America.

One reply on “How to become a master”

This is utter rubbish. Take a look at The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips to improving your skills. By Daniel something can’t remember his last name. He knows exactly how talent is made. Not some 10000 hours nonsense. By the way that 10000 hours thing is merely a thesis.

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