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"it's all they do."

My pool playing honorary nephew laid it out to me decades ago. "Paul, you'll never reach a top level, not even a top amateur level. I mean, look at Leonard and Carlos on table three. When they're not working, pool is all they do. They are in here 4-5 hours every night of the week. You'll never hang with them by playing only a few hours per week."

So, that's okay with me...I know I'm just a recreational banger. My honorary nephew is ranked the #2 amateur pool player in Oregon...when he's not working, eating, or sleeping, it's what he does. Yet...he's still just a recreational banger to somebody of a high pro level, say the top 100 in the world.

I guess the question here is anyone else here dedicated to any one thing, but knowing they'll never reach the elite level?

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Old 08-24-2020, 06:50 PM
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It only takes 10,000 hrs of practice. I just happened to listen to a podcast while I was at the gym tonight about this very same thing.
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Old 08-24-2020, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by MBAtarga View Post
It only takes 10,000 hrs of practice.
For the right person.
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Old 08-24-2020, 07:15 PM
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Very good question.

For me, the sacrifices required to get to that next level became too costly and the returns diminished too much.

But that is the intellectul way to look at it. To get past those ever-decreasing quantum steps up that ladder to true perfection requires passion.

I ain't got the passion.

That's my cop-out and I'm stickin' with it.
Old 08-24-2020, 08:14 PM
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While that is true there are people that compete that suck and people that dont compete that could win without even trying.
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Old 08-24-2020, 08:22 PM
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As I say to fellow surfers out in the water "It's who has the best time wins."
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Old 08-24-2020, 08:35 PM
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It probably wouldn't take much for me to become a PGA Professional. In my 20's it would have been a cake walk, but I didn't follow the path to become a pro. I wouldn't have ever won, or even played in a PGA event most likely. Those guys are good. However, it is said I'm in the top 1% in the world, or was.
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Old 08-24-2020, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattdavis11 View Post
It probably wouldn't take much for me to become a PGA Professional. In my 20's it would have been a cake walk, but I didn't follow the path to become a pro. I wouldn't have ever won, or even played in a PGA event most likely. Those guys are good. However, it is said I'm in the top 1% in the world, or was.
So, what kept you from trying? Knowing those guys were better? No burning desire to improve? Lack of love for the game? Just curious...

Top 1% sounds great...until you consider how many in the world play golf (or pool)...

Here's a short (10 minutes) video of the #4 ranked player in the USA....but world wide?
Not in the top 10...only one USA player in the world top 10...#1 in the world (fargo rating) is Shane Van Boening of South Dakota.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnhZ7aBNdYk
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Old 08-24-2020, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
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As I say to fellow surfers out in the water "It's who has the best time wins."
I agree. For me it's who has the most fun. I've done so many things I've been interested in for fun but never thought of taking anything on seriously. For some strange reason, I've never been overly interested in activities with balls - except for football and basketball. Pool, bowling, etc., naaa.
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Old 08-24-2020, 09:54 PM
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As an aside, the 10,000 hour rule that Malcolm Gladwell wrote about has been debunked.
Old 08-24-2020, 09:59 PM
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As an aside, the 10,000 hour rule that Malcolm Gladwell wrote about has been debunked.
Natural ability, plus good training, then a lot of practice & play. But 10,000 hours?
I dunno. How then do you explain young pool phenoms, like Fedor Gorst of Russia? A threat to win any major tournament he enters, yet he just turned 20. 175.200 hours in 20 years. 10,000 hours is a huge chunk of his entire life.

Justin Bergman in the video I posted above? If I didn't know who he was, I wouldn't have to watch him more than a few strokes to absolutely know he is a great player...sort of like watching Pedroia at 2nd base when he was in his prime...you just know he's great at what he does.

Top players at any game treat it like a job...I've heard you can figure 40-50 hours per week practicing for the pro pool players with a hunger to always get better. But when playing, an "I got this" attitude...even when they are behind against a player the oddsmakers favor, they sincerely believe they have the edge.
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Old 08-25-2020, 12:12 AM
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I do see folks forsaking all else in their lives to pursue their dream of being the best at whatever they are doing. It is an all consuming passion that has no extra room for a wife/kids, other hobbies, or being a good neighbor....it is what they do, and seems rather selfish to most other people.
Old 08-25-2020, 02:31 AM
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When you do it for fun, it's fun.
When you do it for work, it's work.
I'd rather have fun.
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Old 08-25-2020, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by BK911 View Post
When you do it for fun, it's fun.
When you do it for work, it's work.
I'd rather have fun.
THIS!

Lots of people have ruined a great hobby they enjoyed by trying to do it for a living. Photography is a classic example. In the long year I worked at a professional photolab I explained to many new employees the "we do for a living want thousands of people stuck in rush hour traffic are trying to get home to go play in their home darkroom" and often they replied, we need them in here to help us!

Natural ability it the primary thing for any pro. And the honest desire to be the best they can be at the task. And it does take a lot of practice, at any skilled profession like pool or golf where it is just you against the ball and the little hole you want it to go into.
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Old 08-25-2020, 06:31 AM
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I do see folks forsaking all else in their lives to pursue their dream of being the best at whatever they are doing. It is an all consuming passion that has no extra room for a wife/kids, other hobbies, or being a good neighbor....it is what they do, and seems rather selfish to most other people.
What if the the skill being pursued for excellence is a skill that also (and genuinely) benefits others?
Old 08-25-2020, 06:43 AM
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Cream rises to the top
Always has, always will
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Old 08-25-2020, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by pwd72s View Post
I guess the question here is anyone else here dedicated to any one thing, but knowing they'll never reach the elite level?
I was a very good baseball player in talent rich Southern California. My goal was to get a college scholarship, which I did.

I would play baseball 24/7 if I could. I genuinely loved to play. In HS, my best friend and I were always the last to leave practice, usually at dark

Ron, who played at UCLA, and I both knew we very good but not great, at least the type of great that gets you paid. We squeezed as much out of our ability as we could, which is it's own reward.

I played in numerous over 30/40/50 leagues until my hip was replaced. I miss it.
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Old 08-25-2020, 07:19 AM
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I've thought about this a lot during my adult life. IDT it's necessarily a set amount of hours but simply unequivocal dedication. That does translate into 1000's of hours and concentrated at an early age at that.

I used to think I could be a professional something and it turned out I became a carpenter by happenstance. Since I seemed to be accumulated to the trade I kept up with it because it was fun at the same time. Time brought better skills and ability.

Some other things I could have been very good at if I stayed in the game.

Body and paint work (I do well for one who has never worked in a shop). I hand shaped metal at one point. I might have made it to a top restoration shop with dedication. That was before shoulder replacement. Like Seahawk, once you're physically worn out, you're done.

Welder (I had the chops but never put in the hours and welding is not like getting back on a bicycle after 20 years). Pretty much the same with all the metal trades; welding is the one that takes a lot of practice and time behind the torch. And say with it.

Marketing and advertising (I came from a family of these kinds but I didn't pursue the education offered to me). I still have a lot of fun thinking up M & A schemes. I think it's in my blood.

Sports: this category is something else. I think IF you start with an innate ability and capitalize on it to the point of sacrifice, you may get good enough to make some money at it. Maybe instructing is as far as you'll ever get, but to me that's a level of achievement not seen by thousands who once thought they could be pros.

I played some sports but it was clear to me that most had more innate ability than I. that would have been a waste of a life had I gone down that road. My stepson had the native talent to play golf and he definitely could have played at the college level, but he didn't have the dedication. When he played a lot he could be a >10 handicap with little effort. He just has the swing.


I totally agree that time and dedication to an endeavor that you have a passion for and are dedicated will bring the fruits of success. Some will rise to the top. Others will be great contributors. Few dedicated souls will fail.
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Old 08-25-2020, 08:14 AM
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I alway totally enjoy and am continually amazed reading threads like this. They display such depth of character, knowledge, and maturity among all of you.
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Old 08-25-2020, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by GH85Carrera View Post
Natural ability it the primary thing for any pro. And the honest desire to be the best they can be at the task.
There is something unique in the thinking of these folks. They can shut stuff out that needs not be there. I don't know if that's from practice or if they are born with it.

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Old 08-25-2020, 09:26 AM
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