[Athletes and musicians pursue virtuosity in fundamental ski...

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.