In One Line

What do you want to learn? Expert In A Year offers guidelines and encouragement to help you start your practice projects and begin your quest to skill mastery.

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Expert in a Year is run by Ben Larcombe and Sam Priestley. The “original” Expert in a Year Challenge took place in 2014 and followed the progress of novice table tennis player, Sam Priestley, as he attempted to go from beginner to expert in just one year and break into the top 250 players in England.

From the About Us Page

You may have heard of the 10,000 hour rule, made famous by Malcom Gladwell and widely accepted as true. The rule states that in most disciplines, practice trumps natural talent. That no matter who you are, if you put in 10,000 hours of good training you will become world-class.

That’s certainly a lot of hours. In fact it works out at about ten years of training full-time. Who has the time or money to do that? There have been dozens of books written about it, selling millions of copies but in all our research we could find only one person who has put it to the test: The Dan Plan.

Luckily for us the threshold of impressiveness doesn’t need anywhere near that amount.

Do you want to learn something new? You’re capable of more than you think. Dedicate a year to mastering a new skill and you won’t believe what you can achieve! Check out the challenges here.

How it started

Sam had been playing recreational ‘ping-pong’ in his kitchen with his flatmates for a few months. He asked Ben to recommend him a decent bat so he pointed him in the direction of the Palio Master, and they all bought one.

He then decided to buy himself a table tennis robot to practice with. Ben hadn’t realized that Sam was so serious about improving! His wife, Katie, suggested Sam as a possible participant for the ‘Expert in a Year’ project that Ben has been telling her about non-stop for the past few months.

He had a chat with Sam and he decided he was up for the challenge. They have set a start date for January 1st, 2014, and decided to film a few ‘before’ videos.

  • The Introduction: What is “Expert in a Year”? – Video – Post
  • Sam the Novice: The Before Video – 10/12/2013 – Video
  • Ben vs Sam Matches – 10/12/2013 – Video
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