Thursday, August 02, 2018
Deliberate practice - beats 10,000 hour rule EVERY TIME.
Originally published in Rebootology
I am NOT a basketball fan... but it is generally accepted that Kobe Bryant was one of the greatest NBA players of all time. THe wasn’t born gifted. He’s an exceptionally hard worker. One trainer recounted how Bryant would exercise from 4:15 to 7 a.m. and then play basketball until the team’s practice at 11 a.m. Yes, Bryant trained for seven hours before practice even began.
It’s easy to look at the masters in any field—be it Bryant, Mozart or Oprah—and credit their skills to genetics, innate abilities and hours of practice. But research on the science of peak performance has shown that it’s not just talent and hours of practice that lead to expertise. Instead it’s the type of practice one does. We can reach mastery-level greatness through hard work, discipline and something called deliberate practice, or the process of understanding your weaknesses and then making considerable efforts to learn the skills you lack.
To improve at anything, you must push yourself beyond your comfort zone.
When you put sustained effort toward improving your weaknesses, you will grow. This is the logic behind deliberate practice, a research-backed tool introduced by researcher Anders Ericsson.
For the past 30 years, Ericsson has studied the masters. His research has shown that how you practice matters much more than how much you practice. Experts become great by focusing on improving their weaknesses. Many people focus only on practicing things they can do effortlessly, but this never leads to improvement. Working hard just to work hard will exhaust you. Working hard for the purpose of improving is the secret to success.
And importantly, a factor of deliberate practice is constant feedback. Without feedback, you won’t know how to improve.
So, you must reach out to others in your field and ask for criticism and advice.
Measuring your progress is also a key component of deliberate practice. Back to Kobe Bryant. He measured his progress in many ways, such as counting the number of baskets he made daily. Every single day, he forced himself to make 400 shots. He never allowed himself to stop improving, even as his fame increased.
You can measure anything: the number of cold calls you make, the pace you run or the amount of times you pitch your business.
To be better you shuld incorporate deliberate practice into your own life with these steps.
1. Identify your goals and write them down.
2. Identify your weakest link and what is keeping you from achieving your goals.
3. Purposely and deliberately work on improving this skill.
4. Seek feedback from others.
5. Push yourself to show up and do it again and again.
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