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Digging it out of the dirt: Ben Hogan, deliberate practice and the secret. A commentary

By Lee Crust

Abstract

Simon Jenkins paints a vivid picture of the golfing legend Ben Hogan as a man consumed by the pursuit of excellence. Hogan is presented as a perfectionist, continually striving to reach his own exceptionally high standards. Hours spent engaged in practice, reflecting, experimenting and refining his game, appear to fit neatly with Ericsson’s work on expertise [1]. As Jenkins points out, there is substantial evidence to support the theoretical explanation of expertise offered by Ericsson. Few would argue against the importance of deliberate practice and the importance of practice at an early age. Expertise is quantified into Ericsson’s notion of 10 years minimum or 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. There is a significant relationship between accumulated hours of practice and expertise, but this potentially provides an over simplified view of how and why champions like Ben Hogan succeed. Ericsson’s work also reinforces the notion that hard work is the key ingredient to success. Clearly champion athletes work hard, but what about the role of inherited abilities, psychological traits, environmental factors, or the role of significant others

Topics: C600 Sports Science
Publisher: www.multi-science.co.uk
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:3955
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