Deliberate practice is a mindful and highly structured
form of learning by doing.
It’s a process of continued experimentation
to first achieve mastery and eventually full
automaticity of a specific skill.
A 2014 study published in Psychological Science
argues that it can increase our performance
by 26% in games, 21% in music and 18% in sports.
Here are some tips on how to do it well.
Define Success and Drill Deliberately
Define all the elements you need to practice
to become successful.
Then drill each element deliberately,
one after the other.
In Tennis, that could be first your serves
and then later your leg work.
If you want to become a professional barista,
first perfect your moves to make the espresso,
then your skills to serve the ideal coffee.
Plan, Reflect and Take Notes
Plan out your practice routine,
for example in a notebook.
After each session,
reflect and write down what you've discovered:
The idea is to get a clear sense
of how a particular session improves your skills
and then to experiment to find new and ever better way
to achieve your goals.
To build a good foundation of muscle memory,
practice slow and correctly.
If we move too fast,
we risk learning and internalizing the wrong skills,
which can bring terrible consequences.
To achieve mastery, our brain needs time to develop.
So start slow and then gradually increase the speed
until you give all you've got .
Limit Your Sessions to Focus
Deliberate practice is hard metal work.
Limit the sessions to a reasonable duration
that allows you to stay focused.
This may be 15 minutes if you are younger
and 60 minutes if you are older.
A Cristiano Ronaldo
trains around 3-4 hours of football a day.
Young Shaolin Monks practice 2 hours in the morning
and two hours in the afternoon,
To keep their attention high,
they switch the style of practice every 10 minutes.
Maximize Practice Time
Legendary basketball coach John Wooden
used to let each of his players
practice putting on socks and shoes
so that they learn to do it really fast.
By doing this, he maximized the time
to practice throwing the ball
and discussing game strategy with his team.
Track Small Intervals of Improvement
If you practice running 800 meters,
count the milliseconds not the minutes.
If you are working out or practice controlling your diet,
measure milligrams and millimeters.
The smaller the data points you measure,
the faster you see progress
and the more you feel motivated to continue.
Emulate Practice, Not Performance
The top performance we see on screens or on stage
is the results of endless hard work behind the curtain.
If you want to become as good as Pavarotti in the Opera
or as skillful as Messi with the ball,
don’t watch them perform,
study how they practice.
Repetition Makes Perfect
In the 1990s, a team of German psychologists
revealed that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice
to become a professional violinist.
A similar study concluded it also takes almost
just as long to become a great cigar maker.
New workers in a cuban cigar factory
take around 25 seconds to make one cigar.
After 100,000 repetitions, it takes them just 15 seconds
and after 1 million only 8.
To reach peak performance,
it takes 7 years and 10 million repetitions of
the same hand movements.
Not practice, but repetition makes perfect.
Professional football teams therefore play daily
what the Spanish players call "Rondo".
Piano players warm-up with Scales and Arpeggios.
Routine Is Everything
To reach mastery, Young Shaolin Monks
get up at 5:30AM.
Then chant, eat breakfast
and practice two hours of kung fu.
At 11:30 they have a vegetarian lunch
with no liquids to aid digestion.
At around 3PM, they practice another two hours.
At 5:30 is dinner,
followed by chanting.
At 8 meditation.
At 10 time for bed.
Us normal people can start with 15 Minutes every day
and then slowly increase our session.
Get a Coach
The job of a coach is to show us our true potential
and then guide us in the right direction.
If you don’t have a coach, look for one.
It can a teacher, a friend
or even someone you find or follow online.
For our favorite teachers and coaches,
visit our sprouts channel page
and check out our playlists.
The Dalai Lama believes deliberate practice
not only works for muscles,
but also for our mind.
He and other wise minds
deliberately practice taking other people's anger,
suspicion and mistrust
and then giving them patience,
tolerance and compassion in return.
What do you think about deliberate practice,
can we also use it for training our thinking skills?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!