Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by HunterST, May 14, 2011.
are some ppl more talented than others?
We think we know talent when we see it, but often we are not as good at recognizing talent as we think. When I was an instructor with the Navy test pilot school, they were perplexed because even though crashes were rare, most of the ones that occurred were flown by pilots considered to be the best of their peer group. There are many explanations for this, but it gives you reason to consider if we really understood what it meant to be a very good pilot.
I'm sure some were, but mostly they felt the better pilots were pushing the envelope harder and got bit eventually.
IMO they didn't have it figured out quite right and did not consider they might be poor judges of talent.
Heck no; great story!
I think the averages are "reasonable" but the deviation would be enormous.
For example, take a professional athlete (let's say a pro baseball pitcher) who takes 1 hour lessons 2 times a week and practices another 6 hours per week could likely reach 4.0-4.5 in 6-12 months. So, athletic ability in similar sports could make an enourmous difference in the averages. Pitching is very much like serving and I would wage that a pro pitcher could develop a 4.5 server in 6 months or less. Most pro pitchers were outstanding hitters in college and/or high school and hitting requires great hand eye coordination similar to groundstrokes, and bunting a baseball requires a compact small stroke like a volley. My money says a pro pitcher working this intensely beats most 4.0 players in 6 months.
Even not considering stroke technicals, some adults are simply more skilled at crafty shot selection compare to others. It is a talent and is clearly seen in club play. There are some men who instinctively know what the most annoying stroke is at any given moment, and play that.
It doesn't seem that talent and the quality of coaching are considered in your analysis.
BTW, when I was in music school, the motto was that it took 20 years of total dedication to be a jazz musician. For me, total dedication was practicing 8 hours per day, every day. 8)
Just a side note to this dialogue: If we have 100,000 people (let's even say they are all gifted athletes, with similar aptitudes and potential) and they all put in 10,000 hours, train within the most effective, proven, and optimal environments, then they all play tournaments...
Assuming all of those 100,000 players stay with the sport, there will be players who will finish at the bottom...at the 100,000 spot.
Is that player less talented than say a player who finishes in the 10,000 spot? The 50,000 spot? The 900 spot? Obviously, using competition as the measurment tool, the answer would be yes. But that player at the 100,000 spot would probably still be far superior to players who did less or learned wrong, or practiced ineffectively, or who practiced less.
There are so many factors and variables...but, someone will always win and someone will always lose.
They ALL may be rated a 6.5 or a 7.0 in terms of skill; but in terms of finish, out of 100,000 players someone will be last.
Just something to consider in this discussion.
The 10k hours thing I think is a good tool to help people to know that things like tennis take some amount of time, but I don't think anyone should be engraving it in stone. It kinda makes everything very daunting. I don't see that as helpful.
I really like the philosophy that Dave uses in his Tennis Mastery book, and his posts here, of just trying to build a foundation of advanced fundamentals for folks learning the game. Spend a little time and learn the proper grips and swing paths.
At that point you can be about as good as you want. If learning the basic strokes (correctly) is all you want to do then that's cool. You can go out and hit with friends and have a good time. If you want to get better you have a basic foundation upon which you can build.
roberto alomar on talent
"As a little boy, all I wanted to do was just to play the game. I didn't play for achievement, I didn't play to win any goals, a silver bat or gold glove - none of that. All I did was to play the game because I had a God given talent,"
No amount of practice will turn a 5'8" guy into a 6'1" guy.
Real life example:
I started playing seriously 6 months ago. I play everyday and usually average about 2-3 hours playing/practicing. I estimate about 350 hours of experience, mostly playing games(maybe 100 hours of that is "deep practice"). I am 6 ft tall, fast, and I would say well above average in athletic ability.
I play my buddy from high school who is 5'8, played since childhood, played on the high school team, and is average to slightly above average in athletic ability. I can't say how many hours he has but I would guess somewhere between 2 and 5k.
About a month ago I started beating him
maybe this can clarify
good point. the article specifically adress that.
"We agree that expert performance is
qualitatively different from normal performance and even that
expert performers have characteristics and abilities that are
qualitatively different from or at least outside the range of those
of normal adults. However, we deny that these differences are
immutable, that is, due to innate talent. Only a few exceptions,
most notably height, are genetically prescribed. "
Yeah genetic talent always wins, be it height for tennis and basketball, lung capacity for aquatics, or some special twitch muscles for marathons and running.
There is a reason that Norgay and other Sherpas were probably scaling Everest (or close to it, since the summit was tabboo I think) long before Sir Hillary came by. They are short (for climbing slopes, like the animals like mountain goats in the area) and have something like 1/3rd more lung capacity. This is evolution in action, though we do not normally say this in the human context.
^^^Genetic talent always does win - but in a skill sport like tennis it can take longer to really 'kick in' so to speak. That's because the skill sport takes alot of practice and some counterintutive learning..
For example I don't give a rat's ass how long I spend practicing sprinting. Contrary to common belief its not a pure athletic sport - it absolutely takes skill and training at the highest levels. Some very 'fast' guys would seem slower then the should be at the start. (Though coaches can easily see this and recognize the talent).
But back the the point - sprinting has a very strong clear genetic component. Some guys just aren't fast - they are never going to be. The simply aren't built to sprint. 10,000 20,000 it just doesn't matter.
Tennis because its more a skill sport makes practice a bigger factor. We dont know precisely how much (I have seen alot of guessing in this thread)...but most feel you can't practice your way to a 7.0. The same way many men cannot practice their way to a 5.4 50 meter..
Personally I think people got things all ass-backwards. The take away from learning that people could become world class violinists from 10,000 of practice shouldn't be that you can do likewise in sports. It should be that becoming accomplished in a MUSICAL INSTRUMENT (not composing just playing) is more about practice then talent.
It's a knock on music - and a truly surprising ones because people that don't play well though it was all about 'talent.' I think we will eventually discover that mathematics might be a bit similiar.. It's ABUNDANTLY clear its not true at all in sports. Body type is a huge factor in every 'athletic' sport.
Fixed it for you..
Such a stupid thing to say. So many successful top level pros of short stature it isn't even worth making a list!
Also, non-musicians often seriously underestimate the amount of physical capacity (endurance/fast twitch muscle balance/sheer strength etc) required to play at a high level.
You actually CAN'T just practice your way to the first violin seat at the Vienna Symphony any more than you can practice your way to the top 10 on the ATP tour.
This 10 000 stuff is such a crock, smacks of an excuse for the less successful.. ("I coulda been a contender, but I didn't have time to practice")
*citation needed. That's the whole point of the original study that you COULD practice 10,000 and become a violinist. And how this 10,000 hour stuff got started...<g>
I'd say intutively it makes sense that you can practice your way to the violin much better then playing tennis. If you can't meet certain absolute requirements (like the ability to run) you aren't making the ATP tour. End of story.
OTOH you could play violin with one leg. Tennis is like any other sport. Are you very big and strong? Could you be big and strong? If the answers to those questions are no - you aren't going to be an olympic shot putter.
Vision is a subtle advantage but one that frequently comes up in sports. People with superior vision often do better at various sports. Baseball batters regularly have better then 20/20 vision - and so do fighter pilots. If you are partially blind (its more common then you think) you aren't going to become a great fighter pilot..
Any sport that has clear physical requirements is going to be seems more likely to be genetically bound then activities that mostly rely on mental aspects. This of course is how the Chinese and other countries have picked their athletes for generations. They study the physical components necessary for elite success in the various sports. Then they seek out children which show those aspects at a young age and then cultivate them.
Need to be double jointed and very tall to swim like Phelps? Go find guys like that for the swim team.. etc etc.
So maybe being a violinist is bound by practice and not talent (For the most part - I got to imagine its hard to be a top violinist if you have a serious cognitive deficit). I am sure violinists don't like this idea - but its not something we can say with any certainty that its untrue. It's seems very likely the mind is more plastic then the body.....
you don't play an instrument, then?
Silly question, really, because clearly you don't. The hand eye co-ordination required to play, say, Flight of the Bumblebee, makes learning a kick serve look like child's play. I know this 'cos I used to be a music teacher and I am still an open player and coach. Tennis is a lot easier, I can assure you!
The original study proved that 10 000 hours of practice could make a person a competent violinist. In the world of classical music, however, these are ten a penny and equate to a tennis 5.0.
Wanna try the pro tour as a 5.0? Didn't think so...
I'm not really sure where you stand on this issue, but things like above are always way over played.
Using that theory, Bolt would have not likely become a sprinter with his build, given how different it is than the normal world class sprinters of past. Phelps is today's darling, but just as soon as some little thin, short person beats his records, all the talking heads will be saying how important the smaller body is for less drag and overall efficiency or some related garbage. Physical attributes are way over rated in most cases if not all for full bodied healthy folks and many who have disabilities as well.
I have played trumpet since I was nine. Way more than 10,000 hours. The closest I ever came to playing professionally was making 50 bucks + tips playing weddings and bars in college. Oh and I played in a big band with a guy who was in Nightcoach, I was the 4th trumpet
I don't think you read the study - we are talking about world class musicians - not 5.0 level. Most of us would have little issue with the idea that any almost any young reasonably healthy adult could achieve the 5.0 level in 10,000 hours.
I am NOT vouching for that study of violinists - I am just saying that's what it indicates. Like I said if you want to buy into that study the take away should be that MUSICIANS don't need genius 'talent' to achieve world class playing levels.
Personally I am not sure I buy into that - I have played the Piano some - but not 10,000 hours. It was pretty tough. Anyway feel free not to buy into the studies conclusions about musicians - its a correlational study after all.
Like i said earlier in the thread going from a correlational study to predictions about EVERY SINGLE FIELD of expertise is really ridiculous and bad science..
Please. Bolt's build is not abnormal for the sprinting world - and like all world class sprinters he is of West African origin. Sprinting is one of the clearest examples of genetic domination in all of the sports world.
And for all you guys ready to jump on the race thing - its not about being 'black' many top distance runners come from the EAST side of the african contintent. We are just less familiar with people from those families here - as our african american population (like Jamica) comes from mostly the West African area..
What I don't think you fully understand is that there are, quite literally, thousands of "world class" violinists, but only a few hundred respected orchestras. In other words, the distribution is similar to that of tennis players. 5.0 might not be world class, exactly, but it is at a similar point on the bell curve. Only a tiny fraction of violinists 'make it', just like tennis players, but they have all far exceeded their 10 000 hours regardless of whether they make it or not...
There is this thing called 'talent', you see...
It makes no difference how you try to define it, height, strength, intelligence, whatever, it is still the 'x' factor that separates the 'good' from the 'great'
Interesting racial comments, but even if there is truth to what you say,
his build is not that of the typical world class sprinter.
I'll leave the racial/genetic comments to you; I'm talking about build.
all things in nature are normally distributed
tennis is not different than music
you find a kick serve easier. you are just one statistic. its not statistically significant.
No, other distributions, like Poisson, are also found.
actually, it could be tougher to become a successful world class tennis player than a world class musician because not only do you have to be talented and devote the time necessary to reach that level, you would also have to be stronger, faster than most of your peers. otherwise, you would end up losing in the first round of every tournament you enter.
By any chance did you read Outliers?
And I asked you what is so atypical about his build? Carl Lewis was 6'3". If we are talking about height. Most of the taller athletes don't have the power and torsional strength to get the leg speed needed at that height - and are thus slow out of the blocks.
But its not like his highly muscular west african build is out of the ordinary in the sprinting world.
And each of those orchestras have several violinists no? Don't even try to claim that 5.0 is 'world class' in the tennis world. It's not even close..
If that was the claim of the studies that people can get pretty good (as a 5.0 truly is) with 10,000 hours of practice that would be not even worth talking about.
The claim is that the genius people - people who we THINK are gifted were placed in the right circumstances and practiced 10,000 hours. This is why the book is getting blowback..
If it was about guys just getting good if they practice alot.. well duh. Of course you do.
Is this above where you asked me how Bolts was not typical?
Guess I didn't notice that was a question.
Do you think Carl Lewis was typical?
You think Carl is quite similar to Bolt physically?
I guess the announcers who commented on how different he looked compared to the typical top sprinters were mistaken as well.
the price of a virtuoso tennis player does generate more earning than a comparable violinist
but on the contrary, a 5.5 violininst would earn more than a comparable tennis player
Poisson random variables, associated with rare events
The Poisson(λ) distribution is approximately normal N(λ, λ) for large values of λ
Approximately normal distributions occur in many situations, as explained by the central limit theorem.
if you had to do a hypothesis test, the distribution you would use be normal and not poisson.
actually, I prefer 'competent'
There are thousands of competent violinists auditioning for orchestras all over the world pretty much all the time. And hundreds of places. A 5.0 tennis player is competent but needs to make a significant step to make the grade as a professional, just like all the violinists who don't get the jobs.
And practice won't cut it in either field. The book argues that 10 000 hours is sufficient, the evidence suggests it is not. There is more to it than that in either (or indeed any) pursuit.
Simple survivorship bias. You look at successful people, you can always connect a lot of dots. That does not mean everyone with the same dots will become successful.
causality is much misunderstood and abused.
if i remember correctly, you are the wall street analyst.
are you sure it applies here? survivorship bias is a selection bias. the survivors are the subjects we want to study. i dont see a bias here.
also, is it the authors intent to infer causality?
Point taken.. I guess we can't really take much away from the violin study at all.. I didn't know all those pretty good violinists would bother auditioning for jobs...either. Huh.
I mean how many violinists jobs are there?
There are a lot less jobs than there are violinists, basically.
A full time place in a decent ensemble pays VERY well. But you have to be REALLY good.
(read Vikram Seth's "An equal music" to get a feel for life as a pro violinist)
It is not surprising that, from the outset (e.g. Boring, 1919), significance tests have been subject to intense criticism. Their use has been explicitly denounced by the most eminent and most experienced scientists, both on theoretical and methodological grounds, not to mention the sharp controversies on the very foundations of statistical inference that opposed Fisher to Neyman and Pearson, and continue to oppose frequentists to Bayesians. In the sixties there was more and more criticism, especially in the behavioral and social sciences, denouncing the shortcomings of significance tests: the significance test controversy (Morrison & Henkel, 1970).
lol at those who perceive they have conclusions, myself included
Separate names with a comma.