The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance

Author: K. Anders Ericsson, Ralph Th. Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Romer

Year: 1993

Paper Description

This paper highlights the importance of deliberate practice in achieving expert performance and questions the traditional notion of innate talent by emphasising the role of intensive and extended practice in skill development. The authors examine the results of studies on world-class musicians, ballet dancers and tennis players. They suggest that their high level of expertise is not due to innate talent but rather the result of sustained effort, structured and effortful practice.

Key Takeaway 1

Students should be aware that expert performance results from prolonged practice, and differences in levels of expertise result from differences in practice amounts.

Key Takeaway 2

Deliberate practice is tailored to an individual’s existing skills and weaknesses, requires immediate feedback, encourages experimentation and refinement, and demands strong motivation due to its non-pleasurable nature.

Standout Quote

“we reject any important role for innate ability”


deliberate practice, expert, performance, ability, talent, expert,