“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
– Bruce Lee
That is what separates the amateur from the Pro.
It’s not the one that has the most talent, or works the hardest. It’s the one who perfects the details that form the foundation of whatever it is they are trying to do.
You don’t climb Everest without knowing how to tie the knots that tie you into the mountain to perfection. To overlook this little detail of tying a knot could cost you your life.
Let’s look at a Quarterback, for example.
In the beginning, the athlete wants to know everything about their sport, position, etc…
They workout, practice, study anything they can get their hands on, watch and study games, study their favorite athlete, study defenses, learn and know the playbook until it becomes second nature to them, and so on.
But it’s the big things that are focused on at this point, not the nuances of the position.
If they have the talent, and work hard enough, they likely will excel at their position. Maybe even earn a scholarship and play at the collegiate level.
But those that take it to the next level, those that become Masters of their position, will do something more.
They will begin to study and obsess over the details, the fundamentals, of their position.
Hire coaches and trainers to help them perfect their footwork, arm mechanics, release.
This attention to detail is what separates the amateur from the pro.
To further illustrate this, watch Facebook’s series ‘Tom vs Time’ which chronicles Tom Brady’s 2017 NFL season with the New England Patriots.
Or, watch Netflix’s series QB1 which follows 3 elite high school quarterbacks during their Senior year.
Now contrast that with Netflix’s series, ‘Last Chance U’ which documents the journey of several D1 players who were released from their teams and find themselves at East Mississippi Community College where the work and struggle to fix the mistakes that got them there.
The thing you begin to notice is that those athletes who play at the elite level, or have the potential to be elite, have a discipline and attention to detail that few others have.
And this is true of anyone who is a master of their craft.
Be it sports, business, firefighter, teacher, etc…
The true ‘pros’ of their craft are not satisfied with knowing just enough to get by, or even 95% of of what they need to know.
They are up early, or staying late, studying and perfecting their skill set or knowledge base, so that they are something greater than their label.