How do young athletes grow up to be superstars?

There is commonly held idea, the “Ten Thousand Hour Rule”, which claims that anyone who practises a sport for that length of time can become a superstar.

In contrast, recent research has shown that when the young pursue a variety of athletic activities at a young age, which tends to happen in smaller communities, they are more likely to excel.

The mention of Australian Rules Football brings to mind a television series made by Paul Roberts. The series followed football teams in the south-west of Western Australia. It turned out that football is the glue which holds small towns together – a town with no team is at risk of dying. In return the towns look after their local footballers by providing employment. Affirming the comments made in the Wired piece, the small town experience makes for better football as evidenced by the number of players recruited into the major League.

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