Brooke Macnamara, David Hambrick, and Frederick Oswald reviewed a large number of studies since Anders Ericsson’s seminal 1993 paper. They found that a sheer amount of deliberate practice does not explain all variation in expert performance. They also found that it varies by context – more applicable for more predictable activities like games and sports.
While this can seem discouraging, it ties into an intuitive idea – deliberate practice alone doesn’t explain all expert performance. There are many other personal and environment factors that interact with each other in making experts. However, “innate talent” is not one such factor.
What does this all mean for us? First, stop using innate talent as an excuse. Second, where possible, actively find ways to integrate the principles of deliberate practice into how we teach and learn – take the help of a coach and push ourselves beyond our comfort zone. For example, we could use regular meetings to try out new ideas and practice taking initiative or test our presentation skills.
At its core, deliberate practice is about learning how to learn and to approach what we do as enthusiastic and committed students. So, here’s to that.
This is not a pie chart (above) of talent vs. practice. All traits, including the ability to deliberately practice, involve a mix of nature and nurture. In fact, there is no such thing as innate talent. That’s a myth that is constantly perpetuated, despite the fact that most psychologists recognize that all skills require practice and support for their development– even though there are certainly genetic influences. – Scott Barry Kaufmann
Source and thanks to: Peak by Anders Ericsson, Practice alone does not make perfect – Scientific American
(The 200 words project involves sharing a story from a book/blog/article I’ve read within 200 words)