As athletes, we often hear parents and coaches telling us to go home and just practice. Unfortunately, not all practice is created equal. Let’s look at practice in two ways; deliberate and random.
Deliberate practice is done with intention. Each movement is dialed in with precision and rehearsed over and and over until each part of the movement is understood and repeatable. Random practice has no intention. You simply go about trying random skills and movements with no real rhyme or reason.
There is a time and place for both of these styles of practice, but one is far greater than the other.
A couple of minutes of deliberate practice far outweighs an hour of random practice.
To practice deliberately you must have a goal in mind. You must rehearse this movement both physically and mentally fully absorbing each and every detail. You must also be willing to fail time and time again in order to get it right. Lastly, deliberate practice must be just out side you current skill set (it cannot be too easy or too hard).
The best example of deliberate practice is watching a child learn to walk. If you have ever watched a child learn to walk you will see a series of set progressions that are rehearsed over and over until they are mastered. During this mastery process there will be many tumbles and close calls. However, after many attempts and falls the child is soon running around the house.
You can take this same approach to your skill and strength training. When learning a new skill break it down into individual parts. Practice and repeat each part until it is mastered. After that move onto the next part and so on. As you learn and master each part you will be well on your way to learning a new skill.
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