First, there is no magic number for the number of hours required to become an expert. It varies by field. 10,000 hours could be a good approximation but nothing more than that. Second and more important, experience does not result in expertise. Spending thousands of hours “practicing” golf by yourself will not make you an expert. Spending all those hours in “deliberate practice” under an expert coach is what you will need. It isn’t about the time you spend – it is about what you do with it.
This, then, leads us back to innate talent. Ericsson conducted years of research with expert violin players in Germany only to find that there was no visible link between innate talent and the performance of the best violinists. Instead, the two predictors were (you guessed it) – hours and intensity of practice.
If this is the case, perhaps there is a case to be made against the idea of innate talent?
People always said I had a natural swing. They thought I wasn’t a hard worker. But when I was young, I’d play and practice all day, then practice more at night by my car’s headlights. My hands bled. Nobody worked harder at golf than I did. – Sam Snead – once called “the best natural player ever” from Anders’ article on HBR
Source and thanks to: Peak by Anders Ericsson
(The 200 words project involves sharing a story from a book/blog/article I’ve read within 200 words)