The Five Elements of Expertise

I have a strange habit. I like to imagine what world-class athletes would be doing if they weren’t world-class athletes. Because the odds of them, of anyone really, becoming great at something has to be a combination of hard work, opportunity, dumb luck and perhaps some mystical, fate-driven push from the gods.

I Just Play My Game

“My game is very good when I have nothing in my head, when I just play my game, when I don’t think about other things like the wind, people in the box, all this stuff, the photographers. Sometimes it’s tough for me, the [photographer’s] click. Now I just relax and play my game.” – Jo Wilfried Tsonga, after beating Mardy Fish at the US Open in five sets.

If You Don’t Want To Know The Result, Don’t Answer The Phone

A year ago, I cut my cable down to just the basic channels. I was pretty sure that I could make do without Comedy Central, Food Network and those programs about couples trying to make a palace out of a shack using scrap wood. But what I discovered I really missed was live sports. A few minutes of highlights on the web or reading about the result online the next day took all the drama away. Jonah Lehrer describes a

We Are All Natural Athletes

When was the last time you watched an athlete do something like this (watch from 1:40) and think “natural athlete”? I do. We all do. It’s a handy explanation for why we don’t throw everything to the side and find our limits, because let’s face it, you’re just not naturally talented.   But it’s unfair to the athlete to say that their talent is natural, that they were born with it. These athletes are made, through hard effort. They don’t