Coyle tells the story of Simon Clifford, a gym teacher from Leeds, England, who traveled to Brazil in 1997 to better understand why the Brazilians were so good at soccer.
While conventional wisdom had held that the main factors were poverty, soccer as a dominant national sport and a good climate, Clifford found that until the late 1950s, the Brazilians were not a soccer powerhouse. But during that decade, Brazil became obsessed with a type of indoor soccer called futsal. The game is played with a smaller, heavier ball in a much tighter indoor space. Because the ball is heavy and small, it can’t be kicked in the air easily. As a result, precision in passing is key.
In one minute of futsal, the average player passes six times as much as in a minute of regular soccer. And in soccer, passing precision is key in separating great from good. So inadvertently, the Brazilians were acquiring the right soccer skills through futsal in a much more deliberate way than if they had been training on large, outdoor fields. In 1958, Brazil won the World Cup, beginning a dynasty of soccer domination.
Asking whether 10000 hours of practice can help achieve entrepreneurial excellence, Jon Auerbach of Charles River Ventures tell us this story. The upshot is that sometimes, practice isn’t deliberate; so perhaps you have been practicing for something but you are not aware of it yet.