It’s pretty straightforward, according to the experts. If you want to be great at something, you have to practice it for 10,000 hours.
This could be playing the piano or trading hedge funds or shooting a basketball. It’s all about refinement of the skill, repetition compounded by more and more and more repetition.
This principle, detailed in Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Outliers, holds for other less worthwhile and sketchy pursuits such as writing sports blogs. Theoretically, if some guy — let’s call him Sammy Sportface — wants to be good at writing sports blogs, he needs to spend 10,000 hours practicing the craft.
At the rate he’s going, sometime more than three decades from now Sammy will reach that 10,000-hour milestone. So far he estimates he has spent 71-73 hours writing sports blogs. The math tells us that he needs to write for somewhere in the range of 9,927 to 9,929 more hours before he gets good at it.
At the end of this blog writing session, he will be able to add seven more minutes to his current total so he will be up to 71-73 hours and seven minutes. Tomorrow he plans to spend about five minutes writing a sports blog, upping the total to 71 to 73 hours and 12 minutes.
This is going to be a long and arduous haul. But people have always had to start somewhere and this is where Sammy Sportface now stands. This is his lot and burden in life. There are other trades he could pursue, and NGSCSports editor Ralph Garcia prays that he will.
“It would be a great day for me if Sammy Sportface decided to stop writing sports blogs,” he said. “The amount of time and aggravation he puts me through to read his drivel is tedious and a massive time suck. I wish Sammy would figure out something else to do with his life.”
If I were Sammy’s adviser, I would counsel him not to get all caught up in the numerical goal because it could be discouraging. Ten thousand is a daunting number especially when you’re only at 71.
What’s worse, who knows if the theory is really true or not? This could all be a pack of lies. Whose theory is it, anyway, Ralph Garcia’s?
There is no guarantee that if Sportface practices that much, his blogs will get good. It seems like a crapshoot to me. It’s chasing vaporware. If Sammy were to ask me, I would do him a solid and be
blunt about all this. “Sammy,” I would say, “don’t waste your time writing sports blogs. Besides Garcia, no one reads them. Get a job in software programming or horticulture or rock climbing. Integrate yourself into society. Go fly a kite.”
— Sammy Sportface
Sammy Sportface is possibly America’s best blogger. He is only mildly interested in the truth. To read his new book, Wipe That Smile Off Sammy Sportface, go to Amazon.com.