Ten Thousand Hours?

Photo by Aditya Joshi on Unsplash

The time needed to develop the specialization
— The 10 Year Rule

Many experts believe that it takes around ten years and at least 10,000 hours of training to reach elite levels. In the study by Tim Gibbons and Tammie Forster for the Athletic Development Program of the United States Olympic Center, “The Road to Excellence,” they provide a detailed view of the development of American Olympic athletes who competed between 1984 and 1998.

Take a test. Ask a friend how long it took them to reach the level they are today. In any area. Sports, medicine, engineering, whatever. — US Olympic athletes began their specific participation in sport at the average age of 12.0 for men and 11.5 for women.

The majority of Olympic athletes reported 12 to 13 years of talent development from the introduction to their sports to the formation of an Olympic team.

During the first five stages of development, Olympic medalists were 1.3 to 3.6 years younger than non-medalists, suggesting that medalists received specific motor skills development and training earlier. Nonetheless, care must be taken not to fall into the trap of early specialization in sports of late specialization.

It has been demonstrated that the 10-year rule also applies to the development of expertise in other fields, including music (Ericsson, Krampe, and Tesch-Römer, 1993; Hayes, 1981; Sosniak, 1985), mathematics (Gustin, 1985), swimming. (Kalinowski, 1985), long-distance running (Wallingford, 1975), tennis (Monsaas, 1985), football, and field hockey (Helsen, Starkes, & Hodges, 1998).

Most data suggest that golf is a sport that takes 20 years to develop. On the other hand, the 10,000-hour rule is still highly debatable in the research field (some surveys show 4,000 hours, some show 6,000 hours), but all studies suggest that a significant investment in time is needed. Much of the debate over how many hours are required is due to the lack of agreement among experts on what they consider to be practical.

Tiger Woods started to practice and play golf when he was 1 and 1/2 years old. The first time he won in international competition as a professional was 17 years later, ok, we found someone who broke the 20-year rule for golf. Bobby Fischer won his first American championship at age 12 and is considered one of the best chess players in American history.

All of this is about becoming an expert.
An expert by definition is when someone competes internationally or wins at a professional level.

Another interesting fact is that it matters a lot what the athlete did before reaching the expert level. When you are young, other sports practice is essential for motor development and contributes to avoiding early specialization.




Certfied Bike Fitter. TPI Certified Junior 3 and Golf 3. PE Student.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Mind, Thy, Master

Wilkerson races to 2nd Funny Car win in 3 weeks

Is it time for Memphis to move on from Chandler Parsons?

Life is a journey of twists and turns, peaks and valleys, mountains to climb and oceans to explore.

The Day the Reds Lost

Why doesn’t the University help?

You must practice 9 yard pitch shots. Here’s why...

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Fernando Riego

Fernando Riego

Certfied Bike Fitter. TPI Certified Junior 3 and Golf 3. PE Student.

More from Medium

Sales Territory Management Software | WeMapSales

Adapting net zero strategies to the remote work life

4 Actions to Take BEFORE an Employee Hands in Their 2-Week Notice

Screenshot of Kahana software for knowledge transfer.

Greatest Ultimate Bag — Greatest 30 Backpack Review