In Geoff Colvin’s book “Talent is Overrated”, a highly suggested read, his research and study of the worlds most outstanding Achievers in business, sport, art, music and professional careers uncovered on of the most outstanding findings, that I believe to be important for you.
His research proved that no matter what field you enter into that the secret to world class performance was the following summary:
10,000+ of accrued practice rehearsal and work
2-3 hours of daily practice and implementation over a period of generally 10 years
Consecutive, critical but positive feedback
These three elements account for the Tiger Woods, Eminem, Mirko Gozzoli, Bryan Watson, Slavik and etc of the world.
Instead of thinking these people are blessed it’s the specific practice and consistency over a period of years that creates it.
Recently I went to a seminar in California where I got to chat with one of the worlds top Broadway actors of our time, previously he was one of the worlds best athletes as an NFL player. He flew to Al Pacino’s house to ask him how to become a great actor, he spent the afternoon playing pool with him and he asked how many people approached him to find out this secret of becoming a great actor, he said he was the first!
Al Pacino’s advice was simple. He said you need to go to the following voice coach, speech coach, acting coach, movement coach and more then dedicate the next 15 years to perfecting those lessons through your work and you’ll become a great.
But there is something missing.
You could dance for 10 years and stay at the same level. In my studio I can see this when people come in and have had 20 years of experience dancing, and I have had half that yet my results are different.
It’s because of one important aspect…Your relationship to practice.
Every single person you see who is successful including academics, writers, musicians who are the best in their field have followed the 10,000 hour principle.
But the most important aspect was the mindset to that 10,000 hours not just getting the numbers ticked off.
Isn’t that exciting to know that if you want to become an expert, world class or the top in your game that it has been figured out?
But you need to drill this into your mind….it’s your RELATIONSHIP to practice that counts.
What does that mean precisely?
Quite simply, you can’t be negative on yourself and you cannot do the same exact thing day in and day out and expect different results.
It’s true that pressure and expectations on yourself is important, but more importantly you need to keep your mindset focused on improvement, and each day you need to rise about 1-5% above your previous day of practice.
The other aspect of this is, you need a professional eye watching over you all the time.
You need that eye to provide you with the right type of feedback without being negative on you or overly critical. Criticism is great, you should embrace it. But a negative coach or teacher, you should fire immediately and find someone else.
The best coaches understand how to bring out the best and when to inject the right information. But they also know how to give it to you straight without just “feel good” anecdotes.
If you’ve been in dancing as a newbie or veteran there is a person you should Google, Bryan Watson a former multiple world champion Latin dancer.
I remember when he came to our studio in Australia and wen to dinner with my coach.he reported back to me that he began dancing at 5 and he had shredded through at least 4 copies of his technique books, as she said “his technique book was in tatters.”
Think about that. During his childhood, teenage years, young adult hood and adult hood he had not only been practicing, but researching, watching, learning, implementing, failing, and studying every day. So when he is remembered as a legend and you watch his beautiful dancing you can’t simply say he is lucky, blessed or a natural. He became a natural through years of work, and most importantly when no body was watching he was dancing.
So what is your relationship to practice?
Have you been too hard on yourself or not hard on yourself enough?
Are you too negative about your own dancing and stifling your growth because of it?
Do you have the right team?
One thing I can say is at least you have the opportunity to get some tools and resources here to help you become the best dancer you can be.
Because I firmly believe you can push through the barriers and self imposed limitations, but we all don’t have to become Bryan Watson’s, some of us are not here for that reason.
But you certainly can improve and become even better. The point is, I want you to hit your goals you set in the previous blog post.
So long as you understand what the deal is.
It will take you time, but if your smart about your practice, if your smart about the decisions you make you can short cut the learning curve and produce better results faster.
But nothing will take the place of smart-hard work and putting in the hours.
So I encourage you, go into your dancing this week like you have never done it before.
Recondition yourself for success, get the right attitude about you and enjoy the process, after all why else would you want to improve if the journey is dull, bland and negative.
In tomorrow’s blog I will share with you the ultimate way you can start using this information to start compounding your dance results.