How the 10,000 Hour Rule helped me

In the last few days I had a short discussion about Coaches asking players to pass and follow your pass in training exercises because you wouldn’t want your players to do that on game day. One Coach replied correctly ‘if they had good reason for doing it and understood what they were doing’ then why not follow your pass in a game. He is right and it set me thinking that often I dismiss everything that is associated with something I don’t agree with.

Personally ‘Pass and follow your pass’ is very much associated with mindless drills for me just as ‘Stop, Stand Still’ is associated with Coaches constantly interrupting training to talk. However I have to remind myself that just because I don’t agree with something a Coach does doesn’t mean everything they do is of no value to improving me.

The 10,000 Hour Rule is a classic example. It was the hot topic around 5/6 years ago with many articles discussing it. I even bought ‘Outliers’ by Malcolm Gladwell as this was the book that brought it to everyone’s attention. Now all articles on the topic written seem to contain the phrase ‘Debunking the 10,000 Hour Myth’. It is certainly no longer a hot topic.

I don’t agree there is a 10,000 Hour Rule but it did introduce me to the concept of ‘Deliberate Practice’ which can be defined as practicing with the intent of improving. I began to think differently about my coaching after reading about this because it made me consider for the first time that all practice wasn’t equal.

I could relate this concept to my own experiences. My previous training as a freestyler was very ‘deliberate’. I was always looking to improve, I evaluated why mistakes happened, I designed ways to train to allow me to learn new tricks easily and I practiced repeatedly. Whereas at the same time I played loads of golf with my brothers and got absolutely no better whatsoever because I played for fun and although I had lots of practice made little effort to improve.

I started to consider what can I do to make my players more consistently practice with the intent of improving. I realised a starting point would be to let them know the topic of the session so they could focus their effort on the topic from the start. Embarrassing as it is to say now before then I didn’t really give much importance to letting the players know the topic or it might be better to say I never considered the relevance of letting the players know the session topic.

An extension from letting the players know the session topic is that now I often let the players know what I want to see them doing in a session to improve at the topic (as a discussed in the Blog – Session Plans ). Again this can easily be linked back in my coaching to the 10,000 Hour Rule which I disagree with.

My point being although I disagree with the 10,000 Hour Rule I still feel it has improved my coaching and there are plenty of Coaches out there who I disagree with their methods but it doesn’t mean I can’t learn something from them that will improve me.

I just have to keep reminding myself of this.

Again thank you to all the Coaches who leave comments or retweet the blog it is very much appreciated.

Follow me on Twitter @SeanDArcy66

Till next time


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