Any idea how many hours of training it takes for an athlete to perfect their sports skills? The Soviets believed in the 10 year/ 10,000 hour rule. They felt that it took an athlete 10,000 hours of practice spread out over 10 years to achieve their maximum potential. That works out to about 20 hours per week for 10 years. That doesn’t take into account school, work, family, friends, travel, vacations, and all of the other stuff that seems to fill up our time.
What motivates you through all the hours of practice?
So, where does an athlete get the motivation to endure all these hours of practice and keep going?
While all three of these can give some external motivation, the fact remains that the athlete had better be able to provide their own source of internal motivation. If they can’t, they won’t be able to achieve much. If the athlete doesn’t want it bad enough, no coach, parent, or teammate can get them to put out 100% effort every day. We all have days when we feel sluggish or unmotivated. That’s where external motivation can help. We all reach points of frustration in our development. Again, that’s were external motivation from others can help. However, if the athlete can’t motivate themselves to go all out, to put in extra practice time, to get plenty of rest, to eat right, and to do all of the other things that are necessary to excel,then they will NEVER achieve their fullest potential.
If you work with young athletes, it’s never a bad idea to find some time for teaching about life. It doesn’t matter if the kid grows up to be an athlete, a salesman, a DJ, a teacher, or anything else, they need to learn the importance of giving 100 % effort so that they can excel in their chosen field. That’s one lesson that is more important than sports.