Practice makes perfect, the coaches say. Researchers thought "how much?" and tried to find out.
The answer their research established was simple: 10,000 hours or 10 years of daily practice. This applies for everything from athletes, entrepreneurs, scientists or any field.
But that wasn't all they found out. In one study on violinists in Berlin, ability was less important than hard work: The better the violinist, the harder they worked without fail. Sure, they needed talent enough to become a violinist, but once they were there, talent went out the door.
It's an idea author Malcolm Gladwell has been talking about for a while but has recently turned into a book, Outliers, on the reasons for success.
How does this apply to the club cricketer?
It shows that if you get your practice right you can achieve success too, no matter how low the starting point. It's just a matter of attitude and application.
Who has 10,000 hours to spare?
The problem is this: Who has 10,000 hours? That's every day for 10 years.
I can see some people asking me: "Can't you just give me advice on how to bowl faster/hit more sixes/be better with the ladies?"
(OK not the last one)
We all want the fast route and the shortcuts, me included. Sometimes it takes the hard road of lots of work and practice, even when we might not want to.
No simple tip is going to get around that.
It's a big part of the reason why PitchVision Academy has both practical tasks for you to go out and complete in real life and a support system where you can talk to others around the world with the same issues of bowling slow, hitting weak or getting rejected by the hotties (OK, not the last one).
What Academy does is bridge the gap. You can't get it all from tips and advice on these pages and you don't have the time or money to put in 10,000 serious hour of practice.
There is a middle ground.
Forget about the 10,000 hour thing
10 years of hard work is just too intimidating for most people. The last thing you should do is give up completely though.
Start with 10 hours instead.
Even 10 hours practicing is going to make you a bit better. You can do that in less than a summer even at 1 hour a week. You can learn a new shot. You can improve your bowling accuracy or develop a well disguised variation to your bowling. 10 hours in the gym 3 times a week and you will start noticing differences in how you feel and look.
Your fielding skills will go through the roof in 10 hours.
Even making that simple choice is taking control back. Instead of not being good at bowling/batting/fielding you have put in the effort to get better at it.
Yes, in 10 hours the difference may be minor. Nobody else may notice. In 20 hours they might. By the time you get to 100 hours (which you can do in a year, even if you work full time) everyone will be commenting on how much better you are.
Being no good is scientifically proven to not be an excuse any more. It's all about action. Maybe that's meeting up with your friends for an extra net; maybe it's joining Academy and completing the courses.