Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How to raise a superstar

Click Here for a link to an interesting article written by Jonah Lehrer, the author of an excellent book I've been reading called 'How we decide'. The article discusses evidence suggesting that most elite sports people in the U.S come from small towns, and investigates potential reasons behind this.

Evidence suggests that the most important skills for success – the traits that allow us to persist in the face of challenges and perform under pressure – are more likely to emerge when we pursue a variety of athletic activities at a young age. This tends to happen more in smaller communities.
We won't be good at all of these sports, but that's probably a good thing. The struggle will make us stronger

The lesson here seems to be that the reason behind someone like Tiger Woods' success as a golfer is less to do with the fact that he's been practicing his golf swing since he was 2 years old (as per the theory that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master a specific activity). It's more likely to be because he has been developing discipline and focus since he was 2 years old (he could have been doing any sport, and still turned to golf at a later age and had the same success in it).

1 comment:

Knowlsie said...

Dude, that book looks great. I'll lend you another one called "Bounce" by Matthew Syed from the Times, same argument, which is sportsmen (or other elite people in their field) are made, not born. Fascinating.