Why coming second is better for kids

Why coming second is better for kids

In our current world of ‘I want to be the winner now’ it can be hard to explain to aspiring singers/dancers/actors and their parents why training to win eisteddfods or competitions right now, can actually be detrimental long term.  It can be easy to win an eisteddfod, take a naturally talented kid with front and give them a winning song!

Actually, isn’t it better to give the performer material that will challenge and stretch them?  They might consistently come second (or not even place) in competitions, but the long-term approach means that they are the ones who have professional careers in the performing arts at 21.

Research has shown that it takes around twelve years of training to go from being naturally talented to an elite performer or athlete.

To get to pre-professional level it takes 1,000 hours of work and practice, then to go to a professional level its 10,000 hours.  The figures sound a lot but broken down it equates to:

  • 1,000 hours -Half an hour’s practice, 5 days a week for eight years.
  • 10,000 hours – 8 hours a day, 6 days a week for 4 years (which are the hours you put in when studying performing arts at University).

At the ExitLeft Performance Academy that is our philosophy.

Some of our best young performers have gone on to study at the VCA, NIDA, WAAPA and who are currently appearing professionally in musicals nation-wide rarely won anything at eisteddfods and competitions when they were kids.  What they did have was raw talent and the determination to succeed!

“It takes ten years of extensive training to excel in anything” Herbert Simon, Nobel Laureate