In the first stage,6 children are introduced in a playful way to what will eventually become their field of interest. For Susan Polgar it was finding the chess pieces and liking their shapes. In the beginning, they were nothing more than toys to play with. Tiger Woods was given a little golf club to hold when he was just nine months old. Again, a toy. In the beginning, a child's parents play with their child at the child's level, but gradually they turn the play toward the real purpose of the "toy." They explain the special moves of the chess pieces. They show how the golf club is used to hit the ball. They reveal the piano's ability to produce a tune rather than just a racket. At this stage, the parents of children who are to become experts play a crucial role in the child's development. For one thing, the parents give their children a great deal of time, attention, and encouragement. For another, the parents tend to be very achievement-oriented and teach their children such values as self-discipline, hard work, responsibility, and spending one's time constructively. And once a child becomes interested in a particular field, he or she is expected to approach it with those same attributes -- discipline, hard work, achievement. This is a crucial period in a child's development. Many children will find some initial motivation to explore or to try something because of their natural curiosity or playfulness, and parents have an opportunity to use this initial interest as a springboard to an activity, but that initial curiosity-driven motivation needs to be supplemented. One excellent supplement, particularly with smaller children, is praise. Another motivation is the satisfaction of having developed a certain skill, particularly if that achievement is acknowledged by a parent. Once a child can consistently hit a ball with a bat, say, or play a simple tune on the piano or count the number of eggs in a carton, that achievement becomes a point of pride and serves as motivation for further achievements in that area.