In the world of gymnastics the term “virtuosity” is fairly common and understood. I first learned the term from Coach Greg Glassman of CrossFit. The definition of virtuosity is to show great technical skill, but I like Coach Glassman’s explanation better…. loosely quoted.. “Virtuosity is to do the common uncommonly well”. As a gymnast it is the ability to score that last 1/10th of a point. It is the difference between a 9.9 and a 10. So, what is it that separates the athlete/shooter/musician who scores the 10 from those who just don’t quite make it? The answer is mastery of the fundamentals. The ability to execute basic fundamental skills exceptionally well will separate the field of competitors in any contest. Unfortunately, the time and effort required to master the basics is significant. In my experience training soldiers, training civilians, or coaching athletics a very common request made by students is “How do I (insert most technically advanced move)”. The reason this question comes up is because anyone who is passionate about achieving success looks to the current champions and wants to emulate that person and do what it is they are doing. They fail to recognize the 10000 hours of focused practice on basic fundamentals that it takes to achieve the virtuosity that is impressing them. As you undertake an endeavor to become “the best” understand that there will be a great deal of work ahead of you. You will very likely be bored by some of the exercises your coaches and instructors put you through. You will want to get to the good stuff. You will question their approach to your training. You won’t understand it until that magic moment when the stars align, you put your skills to work and you execute with such fluidity and ease that is seems like you are casually practicing.