How much do I want to read more? 8/10
I like this book. First, it talks about Tiger Woods and Federer, two champions, two different raising.
Then it draws the parallel with all walk of life: athletes, musicans, scientists, doctor, scholars.
It gets to the point that early specialization is not as good as diversity.
Another point I like: Learning slowly for the long run (accumulating lasting knowledge) is actually better even if it means getting bad grades compared to his peers. I experienced that. Being geniusly interested and fascnated in Maths, but getting "just ok" grades for example.
And he refused to specialize in anything, preferring to keep an eye on the overall estate rather than any of its parts. . . . And Nikolay’s management produced the most brilliant results.
-— Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
No tool is omnicompetent. There is no such thing as a master-key that will unlock all doors.
—- Arnold Toynbee, A Study of History
INTRODUCTION - Roger vs. Tiger
At ten months old, Tiger trundled over to a golf club that had been cut down to size for him, and imitated the swing he’d been watching in the garage.
At two—an age when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list physical developmental milestones like “kicks a ball” and “stands on tiptoe”— he entered his first tournament, and won the ten-and-under division.
There was no time to waste. By three, the boy was learning how to play and his father was mapping out his destiny.
That year, the boy shot 48, eleven over par, for nine holes at a course in California.
When the boy was four, his father could drop him off at a golf course at nine in the morning and pick him up eight hours later, sometimes with the money he’d won from those foolish enough to doubt.
At eight, the son beat his father for the first time.
His mom was a coach, but she never coached him.
He dabbled in skiing, wrestling, swimming, and skateboarding. He played basketball, handball, tennis, table tennis, badminton over his neighbor’s fence, and soccer at school. He would later give credit to the wide range of sports he played for helping him develop his athleticism and hand-eye coordination.
his parents were, if anything, “pully.” Nearing his teens, the boy began to gravitate more toward tennis, and “if they nudged him at all, it was to stop taking tennis so seriously.”
As a teenager, he was good enough to warrant an interview with the local newspaper.
By the time he finally gave up other sports—soccer, most notably—to focus on tennis, other kids had long since been working with strength coaches, sports psychologists, and nutritionists.
In his midthirties, an age by which even legendary tennis players are typically retired, he would still be ranked number one in the world.
In 2006, Tiger Woods and Roger Federer met for the first time, when both were at the apex of their powers. Tiger flew in on his private jet to watch the final of the U.S. Open. It made Federer especially nervous, but he still won, for the third year in a row.
“I’ve never spoken with anybody who was so familiar with the feeling of being invincible,” Federer would later describe it.
“Even as a kid his goal was to break the record for winning the most majors. I was just dreaming of just once meeting Boris Becker or being able to play at Wimbledon some time.”
Unlike Tiger, thousands of kids, at least, had a head start on Roger.
Tiger has come to symbolize the idea that the quantity of deliberate practice determines success, and that the practice must start as early as possible.
We are often taught that the more competitive and complicated the world gets, the more specialized we all must become to navigate it.
Oncologists no longer specialize in cancer, but rather in cancer related to a single organ.
Elite athletes at the peak of their abilities do spend more time on focused, deliberate practice than their near-elite peers. But they spend less time in their early age.
The title of one study of athletes in individual sports proclaimed “Late Specialization” as “the Key to Success”
“Making It to the Top in Team Sports: Start Later, Intensify, and Be Determined.”
“I was doing so many different sports as a young boy—gymnastics, basketball, football, tennis—and I think, ultimately, everything came together with all those different kinds of sports to enhance my footwork.”
Prominent sports scientist Ross Tucker summed up research in the field simply: “We know that early sampling is key, as is diversity.”
Duke Ellington shunned music lessons to focus on drawing and baseball as a kid.
Maryam Mirzakhani dreamed of becoming a novelist and instead became the first woman to win math’s most famous prize, the Fields Medal.
an artist who cycled through five careers before he discovered his vocation and changed the world.
an inventor who stuck to a self-made antispecialization philosophy and turned a small company founded in the nineteenth century into one of the most widely resonant names in the world today.
highly credentialed experts can become so narrow-minded that they actually get worse with experience.
learning itself is best done slowly to accumulate lasting knowledge, even when that means performing poorly on tests of immediate progress.
Mark Zuckerberg famously noted that “young people are just smarter.”
But among the fastest-growing start-ups, the average age of a founder was forty-five when the company was launched.
“if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”
Everyone is digging deeper into their own trench and rarely standing up to look in the next trench over, even though the solution to their problem happens to reside there.
The challenge we all face is how to maintain the benefits of breadth, diverse experience, interdisciplinary thinking