In Outliers: The Story of Success world-renown author and speaker Malcolm Gladwell introduces what he calls the Ten Thousand Hour Rule. Simply put, the Ten Thousand Hour Rule states that the key to success in almost any field is a matter of practice, specifically, 10,000 hours of practice. While there is some debate as to the number of hours required to excel in a particular field, I don’t think that you’ll find many people who would say that practice, and lots of it, is not the key to success.
Every year, thousands of students throughout the United States compete in a series of welding contests, at the local, state, and national levels, with the goal of becoming the Skills USA National Champion in Welding. But the journey does not end there for the top competitors. The top finishers in the Skills USA National Competition are invited to compete, along with top welders from across the globe, at the AWS U.S. Invitational Weld Trials. This competition, which is held every other year at the Fabtech show, is meant to expose US competitors to international level competition, and help narrow down the list of top US welders to a final three.
The top three finishers are then invited to compete in the AWS Team USA Finals, where they will contend for the chance to represent the United States at the World Skills Competition in Germany. In this Olympics-type international competition the best welder from participating countries vie for the gold, silver and bronze medals. This year the AWS Team USA Finals were held in the pit of the Daytona 500, the last few days before the big race. This video, which we are premiering for the first time on the AWO Blog, chronicles the competition, the journey, the people, and some of the best young welders in the United States.
2013 AWS Team USA Finals – Daytona, Florida
Please join AWS in congratulating Alex Pazkowski, the United States representative in welding for the World Skills Competition by leaving him a message of encouragement in the comments section below.
In the coming weeks, we will be releasing a new webpage on AWO meant to facilitate instructor and student access to competition information throughout the US, as well as tracking information for state and national winners, competitor bios, pictures, videos, blogs, videos, pictures, and competition updates. Once released, this site will allow you to follow the various competitions, see how our competitors are doing, and help encourage even greater participation by young welders.