Practice may not make perfect 

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October 9, 2015 by Soo Ee

It was three arduously difficult trips up the rope during the WOD. I could have, might have, should have done more but the delicate fragile hands did not budge. The rope climbs were always so difficult. Always not more than 5 trips up (on a good day. On a not so good one, probably only 3 and a half).

“This is so painful. Haven’t you noticed that we are flaming red.”

“Are you trying to murder us?”

“Can we just skip this and do more burpees box job?”

Stop.

Anders Ericsson, the Florida State University psychologist, said this “You don’t get benefits from mechanical repetition, but by adjusting your execution over and over to get closer to your goal. You have to tweak the system by pushing, allowing for more errors as you increase your limits.” He also mentioned that besides sports like basketball or football that favor physical traits such as height an body size (I think, judo), almost anyone can achieve the highest performance with smart practices. The secret of winning is “deliberate practice.” Deliberate practice is when an expert coach takes you through well-designed training methods over months or years. Practise does make perfect. Paying attention and being present during practise is crucial too.

Smart practices always include a feedback loop that lets you recognise errors and correct them – which is why dancers use mirrors and why I sometimes get my trainees to  practise footwork and sparring drills in front of a mirror. By doing that, they were able to ‘see’ themselves in their minds’ eyes and recognise errors and provide for themselves on-the-spot feedback there and then, besides the feedback given by me.

Okie Dokie. Smart practices. No half cup effort the next time I go up the rope. Solid good climbs.

Make quality count.

This writing is inspired by Focus by Daniel Goleman. 

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