My father, who, just weeks ago celebrated his 82nd birthday was, and still is, a great believer in practicing and perfecting basic skill sets. For my brother and me, our required practice came on Saturday afternoons, when we had a choice: either we practiced an hour of typing or reading.
Now, there were ground rules: our typed assignment had to have a central theme or story, we just couldn’t hammer at the keys randomly and he would later correct it for grammar. Our reading could not be Sports Illustrated, comics or MAD magazine, but either national news publications like Time or papers like the New York Times where we would be quizzed later on current events and content.
He was a believer in the 10,000 hours of practice theory, four decades before Malcolm Gladwell’s classic “Outliers” introduced the concept to the American public. Once satisfied, he would then allow us to go outside for recreational pursuits, which usually consisted of pick-up games at the local park.