Sports Gene

FASCINATING READING!  If you enjoyed Malcom Gladwell’s “Outliers“,  you’ll love a new publication called “The Sports Gene” by David Epstein.  While the title refers to athletic performance, the concepts discussed apply to any venture in life, much like Gladwell did with “Outliers”.  Epstein expounds upon “the 10,000 hour rule” Gladwell dwelled on, and offers some really cool insight and perspective into human performance.  Following are a couple of excerpts:

“…studies that track the eye movements of experienced performers, whether chess players, pianists, surgeons or athletes, have found that as they gain experience, they are quicker to sift through visual information and separate the wheat from the chaff.  Experts swiftly discard irrelevant input and cut to the data that are most important in determining their next move.  While novices dwell on individual pieces or players, experts focus more attention on spaces between pieces or players that are relevant to the unifying relationship of parts in the whole.”

“The result of expertise study can be summarized in a single phrase that played like a broken record in interviews with psychologists in the field: “It’s software, not hardware.”  That is, the perceptual sports skills that separate experts from dilettantes are learned, or downloaded (like software), through practice.  They don’t come standard as part of the human machine.”

Here is an interview with the author David Epstein on ABC News:

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