Crazy amount of practice

gerryf

Well-known member
The 10,000 hour number has an interesting history. Ericsson has an explanation and IIRC in general that number was picked as much as it was calculated (it was age-limited at 18 I believe ... if you used 21 year old "masters" then the number might have been 14,200 or some not-round/remember-able number).

Here is a page that has practice efforts of some rather famous and talented musicians ... they practice a fair bit :


Dave
I agree that the 10,000 hour concept is just another 'rule of thumb'.

I always interpreted it as a rough estimate of about five years of dedicated study to develop some expertise in a subject. i.e. 40 hours / week x 50 weeks/year x 5 years = 10,000 hours

A university degree, an electrician apprenticeship, etc.
 

livemusic

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Love Tommy Emmanuel!
Also love watching and listening to Lucas Imbiriba.

Of course none of this is pool related, but it sure as hell shows what dedicated practice can achieve. Check this guy out...


Holy cow, that is friggin unreal, thanks for posting that. He has a new fan, I was not aware of him. The strength in the fingers/hands of players like him and Emmanuel is just unbelievable. He's slaying me bending notes while chording.
 

BC21

Poolology
Gold Member
Silver Member
Holy cow, that is friggin unreal, thanks for posting that. He has a new fan, I was not aware of him. The strength in the fingers/hands of players like him and Emmanuel is just unbelievable. He's slaying me bending notes while chording.

Yes, he is definitely an incredible guitarist. I also like Billy Strings, a great flat picking bluegrass player. He will boggle your mind also.

What we're seeing with players like this, worldclass performers, is no different than watching the greatest pro pool players or golfers or baseball players or tennis players, etc... It's the result of hard work and a crazy amount of practice.
 

Jaden

"no buds chill"
Silver Member
Yes, he is definitely an incredible guitarist. I also like Billy Strings, a great flat picking bluegrass player. He will boggle your mind also.

What we're seeing with players like this, worldclass performers, is no different than watching the greatest pro pool players or golfers or baseball players or tennis players, etc... It's the result of hard work and a crazy amount of practice.
My Papaw was one of the best dobro players. They've been trying to get him into the bluegrass hall of fame. His band was one of only two non-union bands to EVER play the grand ole opry. His name was Berl Barnes. I can't fathom how many hours he had spent playing dobro and guitar. He played by ear though and could pick out anything. I guess that's where I get it, although I'm not really close to as good at guitar as he was at dobro.

Even though I play by ear and always have, I still had to put in the time and I did. There's some youtube videos linked in NPR to me playing if anyone's curious.

Jaden
 

BC21

Poolology
Gold Member
Silver Member
My Papaw was one of the best dobro players. They've been trying to get him into the bluegrass hall of fame. His band was one of only two non-union bands to EVER play the grand ole opry. His name was Berl Barnes. I can't fathom how many hours he had spent playing dobro and guitar. He played by ear though and could pick out anything. I guess that's where I get it, although I'm not really close to as good at guitar as he was at dobro.

Even though I play by ear and always have, I still had to put in the time and I did. There's some youtube videos linked in NPR to me playing if anyone's curious.

Jaden

I will definitely check him out, and I hope he gets into the hall of fame.

I play by ear also, and too many people think it's a born talent, as in a magical music gene. I've done quite a bit of research on how we develop skills and talents, and though it's true that we can be born with certain talents, they are due to environmental development in the womb. In other words, not genetic wiring.

When I was in my mama's belly, she was always singing, always listening to music. And my dad played guitar every night, at least on the nights when he was home and not out at McCoy's tavern getting drunk. And every weekend my uncle would come over with a banjo, and he and my dad would sit around for hours scrubbing off one tune after another while bottoming out a few bottles of Jack Daniels.

Of course I don't remember any of this stuff from when I was kicking around in my mother's womb, but my little baby ears were picking it all up, sending those frequencies to my little developing baby brain. And so I was born with a good ear for music because of the environment I was in before I was even born.

And then that same environment kept on provided me with even more sensory information in the form of vision and touch, allowing me an advantage over someone not nurtured or raised in such an environment. A few years later, when I wanted to learn how to play guitar, piano, drums, banjo, etc... my mind was already primed for part of that process - I had an ear for music and rhythm.

I'd say anyone who was raised in a musical environment, from the womb, has an advantage when it comes to developing musical skills/talents. Having a good ear for music, for listening to and recognizing what you're doing, probably makes it easier to learn the physical skills needed to play an instrument. But we aren't born with the physical skills needed to be able to play these instruments, or to able to play pool or tennis or golf, or whatever else. Those skills are developed through conscious learning and practicing, each skill requiring its own crazy amount of practice.
 
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Cornerman

Cue Author...Sometimes
Gold Member
Silver Member
I saw something recently where SVB purportedly said he practiced 7-8 hours/day 7 days/week. Also that his fave game is 8-ball. If that is true, for someone to practice that much you pretty much have to be addicted to it. I can't imagine giving that much time. To anything. I know it takes crazy amounts of time for many years to get to top level but to maintain that amount of practice over a long period of time, it just seems super-human. Maybe it's such that the ones at the very top truly are freaks of nature. One-in-a-million talent, yes, but practice dedication that seems unreal?
I did live interviews on some players for CSI a few years ago. Just about all of them at one point were practicing or playing 8 hours a day or more for years. Talent can only get you so far. You need the 5 D's (or at least 3 D's).

Freddie <~~~ no D's
 

gerryf

Well-known member
I did live interviews on some players for CSI a few years ago. Just about all of them at one point were practicing or playing 8 hours a day or more for years. Talent can only get you so far. You need the 5 D's (or at least 3 D's).

Freddie <~~~ no D's
I read autobiographies of Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, and other snooker players. They all said they had to train like it was their job. 8 hours a day and five or six days per week.
 

BC21

Poolology
Gold Member
Silver Member
I read autobiographies of Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, and other snooker players. They all said they had to train like it was their job. 8 hours a day and five or six days per week.

I read Stephen Hendry's. Loved it.
 

filerunner

New member
I saw something recently where SVB purportedly said he practiced 7-8 hours/day 7 days/week. Also that his fave game is 8-ball. If that is true, for someone to practice that much you pretty much have to be addicted to it. I can't imagine giving that much time. To anything. I know it takes crazy amounts of time for many years to get to top level but to maintain that amount of practice over a long period of time, it just seems super-human. Maybe it's such that the ones at the very top truly are freaks of nature. One-in-a-million talent, yes, but practice dedication that seems unreal?
If you really enjoy gaining new skills and honing current ones, you can look forward to practice sessions without any feelings of drudgery. And that time flies.
 

gerryf

Well-known member
I read Stephen Hendry's. Loved it.
Steve Davis' was interesting as well. He spent his early years focusing on fundamentals before becoming competitive. He also described himself as more of a mechanic who excelled through hard work, rather than being gifted like Hendry or O'Sullivan.
 

Phil Carr

New member
I saw something recently where SVB purportedly said he practiced 7-8 hours/day 7 days/week. Also that his fave game is 8-ball. If that is true, for someone to practice that much you pretty much have to be addicted to it. I can't imagine giving that much time. To anything. I know it takes crazy amounts of time for many years to get to top level but to maintain that amount of practice over a long period of time, it just seems super-human. Maybe it's such that the ones at the very top truly are freaks of nature. One-in-a-million talent, yes, but practice dedication that seems unreal?
Oh, I don't know. Concert pianists practice for 6-10 hours, EVERY day, especially before a concert. 6-time World Snooker Champion, Steve Davis, said he would stroke the cue ball up and down over the spots on the table for at least an hour every day, to the point of wearing a groove in the cloth! The end result of course was history making, with the (then) straightest cue action in the world.
Arnold Schwarzenegger won more titles than anyone else simply because he trained harder than anyone else, with iron-like determination.
I think anyone who wants to seriously be the very best, will endure as many hours of hard practice as can procure the results they are looking for. We all know that playing is NOT practice as well so this makes it even more remarkable as you say. Personally, I have put my time in on the piano (my profession) because I was hooked on it and loved it, and my pool game, though benefitting from regular (proper) practice, would not yield the results in the time I have left (I'm 62) were I to commit to so many hours per week, so I practice to the point where I'm tired and then..... you get the picture. (I did practice on just my break for at LEAST 45 minutes for FIVE days - that's a LOT of re-racking! - and it had an AMAZING effect on my breaking accuracy, timing and confidence, so it really DOES work. Other players even commented.) It's up to you. Dedication breeds success - it's all a matter of degree.
 

Phil Carr

New member
Steve Davis' was interesting as well. He spent his early years focusing on fundamentals before becoming competitive. He also described himself as more of a mechanic who excelled through hard work, rather than being gifted like Hendry or O'Sullivan.
Yes - very true.
 

Phil Carr

New member
I'm sure a lot of the Filipino players are doing that - and not just practicing but in action most of that time. It's their job.
AND their major pastime! They play a form of rotation at all their recreational hang-outs. No wonder they are amazing players.
 

Phil Carr

New member
Yup. Everyone thinks if you put in the work, you're a champion. Think of how many former minor league baseball players that played for 20 years, busting it every day, cages, lifting, running, etc and never got the call to the Bigs. I mean, they played little league, HS, college ball, drafted by a Pro team and sent to the Minors.... played in the minors for years. It's tough, you can get better, but without that "special" something, not gonna happen. It's tough in any sport to be among the elite let alone being the best at it.
Nothing personal, but it's all a question of how badly you want something. We can all find excuses for NOT doing something, but what makes the elite special is that they have that special drive and determination to succeed - NO MATTER WHAT (negative comments, injury, disability, etc). They are truly an inspiration and lesson to us all. Many are called, few pass the test! (I do agree that possessing special talent does ease the journey considerably. That's why it's so important to nurture talent as much as possible. Remember the tortoise and the hare proverb?)
 

JerryOhio

New member
I know SVB very well, he stayed at my house in Vegas many times for a week or whatever. It was a huge compound with separate houses and one room was set up like a commercial pool room. Didn’t feel like a home table. It was far away from any “living” parts of the house. Those who have been there know-lots of ppl here in AZB know.

Anyways to my point, when SVB stayed with me for one Rum Runner tourney he would come back to the house and hit balls between matches if there was time. He hit balls 8-12 hours a day on days he wasn’t playing. I’d stand there and set balls out for him to shoot-we never spoke as he was practicing. I’ve never played SVB the time I spent with him at the pool table was helping him work(that what he refers to it as). And I agree woth that choice of words as he’s the hardest working pool player I have ever saw. His discipline & work ethic are solid as it gets and the results show. He’s earned the game he has, I don’t believe he’s the most talented player, he’s the hardest worker that started young and paid his dues TWICE.

It’s not a exaggeration, he still works as hard as ever. I know him well and ain’t going to put any of his biz in public but it’s a fact he does play & practice that much(when he doesn’t it shows). But that’s another topic and rarely he takes much time off.

Best
Fatboy
Ted Elias a famous pool player from Central Ohio used to wake up every day at 5:00 am and head down to his pool room in Fostoria and practice till 8:00 am by himself. He would open his pool room and wait for any friend to show up to play straight pool (his best game). He would then play all day long till closing the place at 10 p.m. That's from 12-15 hours per day. When you got a game from him to say 125, he would run 90 or so, then miss a tough shot (we always thought it was on purpose) and you could then shoot till you missed. That didn't take long and you could get back to your chair and watch him run out. You only go up to go pee or rack another rack of straight pool for Ted.... Love it!
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Yup. Everyone thinks if you put in the work, you're a champion. Think of how many former minor league baseball players that played for 20 years, busting it every day, cages, lifting, running, etc and never got the call to the Bigs. I mean, they played little league, HS, college ball, drafted by a Pro team and sent to the Minors.... played in the minors for years. It's tough, you can get better, but without that "special" something, not gonna happen. It's tough in any sport to be among the elite let alone being the best at it.
I’m not a religious person, but you can’t train in what God left out. I could have played 15 hours a day starting in 1985 and I’m positive I still couldn’t beat Johnny Archer-period.

best
Fatboy
 

DaveK

Still crazy after all these years
Silver Member
I’m not a religious person, but you can’t train in what God left out. I could have played 15 hours a day starting in 1985 and I’m positive I still couldn’t beat Johnny Archer-period.

best
Fatboy
I believe that you can. Many have proven it. Laszlo Polgar and his wife set out to train their yet unborn children in an endeavor they picked in order to show that genius can be learned ... they succeeded. In Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice Mathew Syed tells about the table-tennis prowess of his neighborhood ... these people were not born with talent they trained properly. Sorry but yes if you started early and practiced properly you could have been a match for Archer.

Just putting in the time (or HAMB) does not guarantee success. The training must be done properly.

Dave
 

ChicagoRJ

EEEEEXCELLENT ;)
Silver Member
I’m not a religious person, but you can’t train in what God left out. I could have played 15 hours a day starting in 1985 and I’m positive I still couldn’t beat Johnny Archer-period.

best
Fatboy
Hired an outfield coach for my son when he was 15. Mike Huff, played for the White Sox. He gave private and group lessons out of a Sox training academy in the burbs of Chicago.

I just had surgery to replace my ACL and he asked me what happened cause i was on crutches. He told me he completely tore his ACL in HS playing football and never had it fixed. He played pro baseball, in the bigs, for several seasons. I asked how the hell can you do that. He said he's just a "freak" but most of the folks in the bigs are a freak in some way or another. He adapted, most everyone else would have zero chance to play on that. lol
 

Poolmanis

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I believe that you can. Many have proven it. Laszlo Polgar and his wife set out to train their yet unborn children in an endeavor they picked in order to show that genius can be learned ... they succeeded. In Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice Mathew Syed tells about the table-tennis prowess of his neighborhood ... these people were not born with talent they trained properly. Sorry but yes if you started early and practiced properly you could have been a match for Archer.

Just putting in the time (or HAMB) does not guarantee success. The training must be done properly.
I believe Judith Polgar came strongest woman ever in Chess and was even in top 10 of whole world. That maybe not happening again . Polgar sisters also excelled another studies than Chess. I think they speak nearly 10 different languages fluently.
 
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