I don’t know if Diaco reads Malcolm Gladwell, whose book Outliers: The Story of Success terms this idea the “10,000-Hour Rule.” Like Gladwell, Diaco later used the Beatles as an example.
Diaco, who majored in sociology, loves to reference all sorts of stuff during interviews. Who could forget the St. Thomas Aquinas homage this spring? The Beatles example, though, makes it seem reasonable that Diaco is up on his Outliers, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s a great book, and what ND fan wouldn’t want our coaches to know about The Story of Success?
According to this theory, Bill Gates and others reached super success by putting in 10,000 hours in an area of interest. It doesn’t necessarily apply smoothly to a sport so dependent on innate physical ability when most major college peers are putting in similar hours.
Nonetheless, Manti and teammates log 20 hours each week in the fall and 8 in the spring, not to mention voluntary time throughout the year. But he’s been playing football a long time, based on an early photo that ISD ran in a May 2009 Christian McCollum story that’s no longer available. 10,000 hours is roughly 20 hours per week for a decade, meaning that it would be very tough for a college sophomore to reach that total without unusually rigorous pre-high school football training. But that’s not the point.
Even without 10,000 or a specific hour count, experience will help Te’o fill many ‘slots of achievement’ this season. As Diaco knows, practice quality and quantity this August is key to make the defense a success story worth writing about in the future.