10,000 hours. 10,000 hours is what it takes to be an expert in anything you do says the good book The Outliers. If you have the chance to read The Outliers, I highly suggest you add it into your reading library. In the book it tells what separates the ordinary to the extraordinary, the average to the elitist and the poor to the super highly successful. The notion is that it takes 10,000 hours of work to master your craft and to become an expert in whatever it is you choose to do whether it be a millionaire, a golfer, a violinist, a coach or even a trainer such as myself. When you start to think about it, 10,000 hours is an extreme amount of time logged in one particular field to achieve master status. I started thinking about this not only as a personal trainer but more so as a diver and a coach. If you try to break it down mathematically, if you spend 1 hour a day every day for a year then it would take you just short of 30 years to reach 10,000 hours. Another way to look at is; if you work 40 hours a week dedicated to your goal it will take you less than 5 years of hard work to get there. Either way you look at, it is a very intense amount of time spent to becoming the expert you want to be. Both of those examples were the absolute best case scenarios because more chances than not, life happens, obstacles present themselves and we will miss a day and/ or a week or two.
I started to wonder where I stood hours wise as a diver and what my total was. I have been into the sport of diving for more than 20 years of so and have logged countless hours in many chlorine filled pools, repeatedly jumping off several diving platforms over and over again. so bear with me as I take you through my diving career journey.
I did parks and recreation diving for 3 summers so lets 2 hours a day for 3 summers is about: 550 hours
High school diving for all 4 years roughly 2 hours a day for: 800 hours
Club practice diving for 4 years: 660 hours
College diving was a limited to a maximum of 20 hours a week for all 4 years, plus off season training: 500 hours x 4 = 2000
Show diving at Cedar Point amusement park for 5 years, 4-5 half hour shows 6 days a week. Throw in another couple of hours messing around and practicing: 750 hours
I trained for a Master’s diving competition for about 2 months a couple of years ago: 40 hours
And let’s just throw in a few couple of hundred hours of practicing and messing around, gym class and what not: 200 hours
Grand Total of: 5,000 hours
All of these numbers were grossly rounded up and covered the span of about 20 years of my diving career. Going at this rate, it would take me another 20 years to get to the expert level of 10,000 hours and I could finally be an Olympic champion at the ripe old age of 54. I just wanted to show you guys how hard and how many hours are needed to put into a speciality to become an expert and it also gives me a great appreciation for everyone who are professional athletes, Olympic champions and hugely successful business men/women. Just from the amount of time spent, the dedication, the work ethic and the want to be great are what really set them apart from everyone else.
Now, continuing on with the sport of diving and my involvement with it, lets add in all of the hours spent of me coaching together with my diving career, shall we.
2 years coaching recreation diving: 400 hours
1 semester coaching my college dive team: 250 hours
1 summer coaching club team and lessons: 450 hours
9 years coaching Orange Coast College Dive team: 1700 hours
Throw in 200 more hours of extra time and what not that I missed: 200 hours
Grand total: 3,000
5,000 + 3,000 gives a grand total of 8,000 hours of my life invested into the sport of diving from coaching, to diving to practices, to training and more, and you know what? I would not change anything in the world for it. I have enjoyed my journey as a diver with the places I have gone, the friends I have made and the great memories I have shared and I really enjoy coaching others and helping them achieve their goals and watching them succeed with my help. I am just 2,000 hours short of reaching my goal of 10,000 hours of being involved in the sport and diving and with my passion for it, it will not be long before I hit that quota. For me though, it is not about the numbers or the hours long but more so about the process and watching others succeed and carrying on the passion and love for the wonderful sport of diving.
Whatever it is you love, enjoy and want to be great at, put in the time and effort and with hard work and dedication, you will hopefully achieve the level of your dreams. Remember, whatever you put your mind to, you can achieve.