The Lost Art of Practice

Do you even remember what it felt like to practice something, and then experience that aha moment when everything clicked? Other than video games and yoga, what happened to practicing things?

I want drills, and exercises, and dedicated practice times that far outnumber the games or performances. I want to review the tapes, and scout the other team. I want a teacher or a coach to watch my technique and give me feedback.

How would you begin to break one of your roles or functions down into a practice regimen?

  • Hi Thomas,

    Interesting article, indeed, and I’ll try to answer your question.

    I’m practicing a lot. You’re practicing a lot. Actually, we’re spending all our lives practicing, except it is for real. We do, success, fail, other people judge us, and tell us what was right or wrong. Do, or do not, there is no try.

    In this context, I believe that practicing is a state of mind.

    I’m doing lot of tennis. I take lessons, during which a teacher tells me what’s good and what’s wrong. I play lots of games, friendly or in tournaments, and ask a friend who plays a lot to film me. We review the games, and he tells me what was right or wrong. This is practicing.

    I’ve been doing lot of open source since the mid 90’s. I’ve been surrounded by great co maintainers who’ve been reviewing my code and telling me what was good and what was not because I’ve been . This is practicing.

    At work, we’re doing code reviews and pair programming. Teammates give us feedback on what we’re doing, and we can improve. This is practicing.

    I think the problem is not about practicing or not. As soon as we ask for feeback, we do practice. I think the problem is that we don’t have the time to practice for the sake of practicing and improving ourselves. That’s probably the reason why most people now learn from their mistakes: they don’t have the time to practice anymore.

    • @700f9a3b883e6a04d018f48290b1a3fd:disqus You are absolutely right. It is helpful to remember that we *do* still practice. I guess maybe that is my issue, I want to find a way to be more intentional about finding the time to practice. But, I do still want to hear more people’s creative ideas on what *drills* would look like for their particular work.

  • I’ve been enjoying the kahnacademy.org basic math practice.