“A study of figure skaters found that sub-elite skaters spent lots of time working on the jumps they could already do, while skaters at the highest levels spent more time on the jumps they couldn’t do, the kind that ultimately win Olympic medals and that involve lots of falling down before they’re mastered.”
In this book Mr. Colvin doesn’t bring us any new scientific knowledge on high achievement, but he does a superb job of synthesizing for the reader all of the components of “getting it right” and “spot on” performances. He tells us stuff we already know, but he delivers us to this self-knowledge in a way that clarifies, emboldens and invigorates.
It is all about the power of deliberate practice. He shows us how any individual who is willing to focus intensely on his/her weak areas – whether trying to write a book, run a 5 minute mile, or achieve mastery on a musical instrument – has the power to be truly outstanding.
My strongest take-away from this book was this: Don’t keep practicing that which you can already do well. Force your way into your weakest area of performance, and with knuckle-down minute by minute practice in this space, every day, you can become the best.
This book was a true call to action and for home educated kids, because they are more free to find the time to build a spike of expertise, it is a must read.
“Great performance is in our hands far more than most of us ever suspected.”