Saturday, April 21, 2012

Do it like a Pro, be an "Outlier"

Talk about training for your goals. Man today is an awesome sports day. You have a UFC Light Heavyweight Championship fight, baseball is in full swing (by the way, there was the 21ST PERFECT GAME IN MLB HISTORY TODAY), basketball is approaching playoff time and NONE of the playoff match ups are set with less than a week in the season, and the two greatest soccer players in the world just played against one another (for those who don't follow soccer that would be Lionel Messi and Christiano Renaldo). My TV has four channels on DVR and I need to get in the shower so that I can go somewhere to watch the fight. The Olympic Wrestling Trials are going on today as well. Right now I am streaming the wrestling on my computer, watching the soccer game I recorded, and watching basketball in the picture in picture window. This is awesome. I will be interested to see what is on the front page of ESPN in the morning...

One thing everyone one of these guys and girls has in common is the effort with which they train. Yes, some natural ability is a must for a professional athlete but the difference between those who get there and those who do not is hard, intelligent WORK. Here are two few facts I found floating around on the internet:

There are only ~17,000 professional athletes in the United States and with a total census population of ~301,139,947, thus you have a .0000565/1 chance of becoming a professional athlete.

The average professional athlete spends 10,000 hrs of practice before becoming a professional. If you start when you are 5 and practice until you are 18 that is over 2hrs a day with no days off.

Malcolm Glidwell identifies this as a success metric for ANY occupation in his book "Outliers." This book looks at people who are outliers meaning that they have success well above and beyond the average person. 

So, for the younger guys who think they maybe fighting for the title, throwing that perfect game, playing a hard four quarters to get into the playoffs, launching a long strike for a goal outside of the penalty box, or prepping for that gold medal, are you on track for your 10,000 hours?

I also read the following: Expert Mentors/Coaches are required, to show aspiring athletes what they should spend those 10,000 hours practicing. 

That is an excellent point as well. Training, no matter what the goal, is most effective when it is directed and focused. Just as I have told many people in the gym, I am getting in an hour what you are getting in three. That is the difference. That 10,000 hours? You think it is 10,000 of full court basketball and horse in the park, or directed practice and games designed to improve skills and learn the game? 

Don't have much time to train? Have a plan, go hard, and maximize what you have! Be an "outlier." Need help with a plan? Don't worry, SideMeat has something coming....SOON.



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