Tip of the Week

September 18, 2017

The expert was once a beginner

“The expert at anything was once a beginner.” – Helen Hayes (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award winner) It has been said that 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” are needed to become world-class in any field. (That number is up for debate, but the point remains: practice leads you down a path to mastery.) It is certainly frustrating for a student when something they think should, or always has come easily, does not. In these situations, students need to be reminded that success doesn’t just happen; it comes with perseverance and consistent, deliberate practice. A fun way to engage your child in a conversation about this is through real life examples that will drive the message home. For example, Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time, was cut from his high school varsity basketball team. He recommitted himself to a rigorous practice routine and made the team the following year. Based on your child’s interests, identify a success story that, through its telling, will remind him that becoming an expert isn’t something that just happens — it’s something that takes hard work and grit. (Note: A quick Google search reveals tons of similar stories. For example, The Beatles regularly performed hours-long gigs in Hamburg, Germany for more than two years to hone their sound and performance skills before being signed to a recording contract. Walt Disney was once fired from a Missouri newspaper for “lack of imagination” and “having no good ideas.” Just a few years later he created Snow White.)