Athletes and musicians pursue virtuosity in fundamental skills much more rigorously than knowledge workers do. One likely reason is that athletes/musicians engage in Deliberate practice, after Ericsson—that is, activities focused specifically on improving skills.

Sure, knowledge workers regularly take on “growth opportunities,” like a new job that will push them beyond their prior skill sets. But their day-to-day activities are focused on doing the job, not (usually) on building whatever skills are deficient. This is akin to a soccer player only playing games as a way to get in shape, rather than lifting weights and running drills. Typical work and performance environments don’t constitute deliberate practice.

Knowledge work rarely involves deliberate practice
from Andyʼs working notes favicon