Forty years ago in a paper called American Scientist, Herbert Simon and William Chase made one of the most famous conclusions in the study of expertise during a chess match: “We would estimate, very roughly, that a master has spent perhaps 10,000 to 50,000 hours staring at chess positions…” But does this claim really have any evidence behind it? According to Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers, the 10,000 hour rule is completely true as well as other factors that lead to expertise in a particular field. Most people who do not believe in the 10,000 rule do not take account for the other factors that must go along with it, for the rule to hold up to its claim.
Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the best soccer players in the world at this moment is someone who can accurately be looked at and compared to the 10,000 hour rule. Cristiano began playing soccer at the age of three. At eight, he was signed to an amateur team Andorinha Sporting. In the period of one year, he was the only player to ever play for Sporting's under 16, under 17, under 18, B team, and the first team, all within one season. In 2003 at the age of 18 Cristiano Ronaldo started playing professional soccer for Manchester United; at the time, Manchester was ranked 5th in the world. Cristiano was the youngest player ever to be signed to Manchester United. Cristiano practiced soccer for about five hours a day, which meant that he achieved the 10,000 hour mark in about five and a half years from when he started at the age of three. This work got him to where he was at on his amateur team at the age of eight, but he still wasn't then best. Surely you cannot call an eight year old a master.
This shows that the 10,000 hour mark alone will not lead you to mastery, so what else did Cristiano do to make him one of the best players in the world?...