I am writing this sitting over looking a beautiful bay in Crete. I now know why writers such as Hemingway and Greene got inspiration from tropical surroundings! Although I cannot rival their writing I will offer you a window into my soul (for what it is worth)!
One of the books I chose to bring with me was Bounce by Matthew Syed. Bounce is really about practice vs innate talent. It has very much struck a chord with me and given me both positive and negative thoughts on the subject of practice.
In the book Matthew talks about the formula for becoming an expert. This has apparently quite accurately been put at 10 years. In fact with an average of 1000 hrs practice per year this gives us the figure I have oft heard quoted of having to put 10 000 hrs in to become an expert. This reminded me however of a quote oft used by my friend Christian “have we had 10 years experience or 1 year 10 times??”. So really an expert should have grown the knowledge they had originally adding to it as they practiced.
The fitness industry is a wonderful thing. It allows us to practice what we love doing daily. One of my students turned round to me and said “I have learned so much from the clients recently”. I found this a beautiful comment. He was the expert in the relationship with his client but still found wonderment in how much he got outside of the financial transaction. That is the mark of someone who will continue to learn and grow into an expert. His desire to practice is admirable. Something that I find invaluable in teaching is still treating and training on a daily basis. The more people you work with the more you learn and the more you can pass on. I think this side of what I do is integral to all the others and reminds me of why I have a passion for this business. All of the people I have learned from and respect in the industry have something to pass on from their 10 000 hrs. In fact this is what has driven them to educate as it has shaped there understanding of the body, adding to what they know rather than just passing on what they have learned elsewhere.
I certainly think that this reduces the number of experts in the industry. Learning something does not make you an expert. Practicing and adding to it year after year does. In fact I think that it would be strange to be able to follow a training system for so long and not experience things for yourself that would lead you to adapt or change it with your own personal experience. Many so-called experts seem to have very little personal opinion (Some would say I have far to many opinions!!) born from only educating themselves via one route or person, that means that their expertise is not from personal experience but from another. If this still makes you an expert or not I am not sure however! That is always in the eyes or ears of the individual making the judgment.
I for one will continue to try to add to my 10 000 hrs although I would regard myself as no expert! I daily still feel dumb when confronted with the wisdom of others but this I think is healthy as he who thinks he knows all probably knows nothing anyway!