Why do some people attain high levels of skill while others, who may appear to put in equal amounts of time at the activity, do not? Attempts to address this question often revolve around the existence and definition of innate talent (Howe, Davidson, & Sloboda, 1998; Simonton, 1999). However, careful consideration of the available scientific evidence leads to a more complex scenario. Regardless of any innate biological advantages that some individuals may possess, all people must engage in significant amounts of what has been called deliberate practice, that is, practice aimed at improving performance with appropriate subgoals (Ericsson & Charness, 1994; Ericsson, Krampe, & Tesch-Romer, 1993) in order to reach and sustain elite levels of skill. In fact, established experts in a variety of domains report thousands of hours of deliberate practice prior to reaching professional levels of performance (e.g., chess: Charness, Krampe, & Mayr, 1996; music: Ericsson et al., 1993; sports: Starkes, Deakin, Allard, Hodges, & Hayes, 1996), and even the most precocious individuals in these domains show evidence of extended periods of intense preparation prior to their greatest achievements (Charness et al., 1996; Ericsson et al., 1993; Howe et al., 1998).