Deliberate Practice

2018 Goals and Deliberate Practice – October Newsletter

This picture was taken January 31st after everyone was asked to list their Goals for the year.  With three months left in 2018 I feel it’s important that we look back at those goals.  Some people have already hit their goal.  Some are realizing they didn’t set a specific enough goal and are thinking about what they’ll put down for 2019.  And some people are far from reaching their written goal.

With goals in mind I want to tell you a little about ‘Deliberate Practice.’  Some of you may know the concept of the ‘10,000 Hour Rule.’  The basic premise of this Rule is that if you spend 10,000 hours doing something it will make you an expert.  There are people out there that have learned the hard way that this isn’t always true.  (Picture the guy at your office that has worked there for 20 years but instead of 20 years of experience he has one year of experience 20 times in a row.)  This is because it wasn’t deliberate practice.  Deliberate practice requires not just doing that task repeatedly but instead doing that task, going back and analyzing what needs improving and trying again.  Even when the first time was done correctly.
Requirements for Deliberate Practice 

  • a clearly defined stretch goal
  • full concentration and effort
  • immediate and informative feedback
  • repetition with reflection and refinement

In the book ‘Grit’ by Angela Duckworth, Hester Lacy says it best, “It’s a persistent desire to do better.  It’s the opposite of being complacent.  But it’s a positive state of mind, not a negative one.  It’s not looking backwards with dissatisfaction.  It’s looking forward and wanting to grow.”

Later in the same chapter in ‘Grit’ two child psychologists point out that when we are babies failure is a part of life and we’re ok with it.  We try to walk, we fall, we try again.  But at some point, around the time children enter kindergarten, they begin to notice that their mistakes inspire certain reactions in grown-ups.  We frown.  We rush over.  We teach them shame and embarrassment, that failing is bad.  Shame doesn’t help you fix anything.

When it comes to learning a movement in CrossFit for the first time be ok failing.  It’s good to fail.  It’s the only way we learn.  And when you try getting better or stronger make sure you aren’t just going through the motions and calling it ‘practice.’  Make it deliberatepractice.  If you do I promise you’ll hit every one of your goals.

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