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Deliberate practice: what separates the merely good from the great


Stumble it!

"He's just a natural" is what people always say when trying to explain the greatness of a Tiger Woods or Pete Sampras. This belief that you have to be "born" to the sport is both commonplace—and wrong.

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review by some noted researchers totally debunks the myth of "the natural."* Studies by more than 100 scientists consistently and overwhelmingly proved this: experts are always made, not born.

Moreover, the studies show that the great ones in any field do something the average ones don't: they achieve greatness by hours, days, and years of always practicing deliberately.

To achieve success, you not only have to work at it, you have to work at it on purpose. You don't get better just by playing. As the authors of this article say, "Living in a cave doesn't make you a geologist." Just playing a couple of sets or a few rounds several times a week isn't going to make you a better player either. You have to continually set goals for yourself, and you have to put your entire self into it.

Putting your whole self into your practice means getting your mind into it too. Why? Because, Tiger Woods recently said, "The mind controls the body, so if the mind tells the body what to do, it will just do it. It's a matter of getting the mind under control, which makes your body respond."**

So what do you do to learn how to get in the zone mentally and stay motivated to continue to improve physically? Hiring a private coach would be awesome, but not practical for most of us. After researching various methods, we think we've found a great answer: audio hypnosis.

Getting in the zone has never been safer, faster, or more effective. Dr. Jack Singer, a nationally recognized sports psychologist, has created a powerful program called Core Sports Performance to give you that mental edge that will spur your increased prowess in whatever sport you choose. And, because the program's on CDs, you've got your coach whenever you need him.

The program comes from The Hypnosis Network, a company that works only with licensed mental-health professionals like Dr. Singer. And this company is so sure of the effectiveness of its programs that it gives you a one-year money-back guarantee. Check it out at http://www.hypnosis.../hypnosis/sports.php .

  • "The Making of an Expert," Harvard Business Review, July—August 2007, authors K. Anders Ericsson, Michael J. Prietula, and Edward T. Cokely.

** Golf Digest, November 2006.

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5 Responses to “Deliberate practice: what separates the merely good from the great”

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