Development of a Skill to an Elite Level PT. 1
Everything is a skill.
If I could sum up skill all in all - it would be that exact phrase.
Seriously, everything we do is a skill, From walking to waking up in the morning, to even going to the bathroom, everything is a skill.
Though, how is a skill developed?
Developed to a high level of performance or at a global entertainment level?
Enter - REPETITION!
Now, not any type of repetition, but specific & deep repetition.
Deep repetition is the practice of exactly how you want that specific skill to be done when you have achieved "effortless" (high level) execution of the skill your practicing.
Deep repetition, in the direction of giving thy self feedback or/and a coaches feedback after each repetition is done of the specific skill & aa large focus & attention to the details of the specific skill you are looking to master.
Observing others performing a specific skill is a way of learning & mastering that skill, the attention to detail, breaking it down to a deep & dissected process in the attempt to find mastery.
That is repetition & observation in the conscious setting, directed to the obtainment of mastery.
How about repetition through the sub-conscious practice?
A study done in 1989 by Lori Ansbach Eckert on "The Effects of Mental Imagery on Free Throw Performance"
It was focused on comparing mental rehearsal to "real" practice on the improvement free throws in basketball.
Their were three groups,
Control Group (didn't do either)
Mental Rehearsal Group (just trained mental rehearsal)
The group that practiced daily (they physically practiced free throws)
· The group that didn’t practice showed no improvement.
· The group that practiced the shots daily saw an improvement of 24% .
· The group that practiced mentally improved equally 24%!
So it shows how vital & important it is to visually rehearse to elevate skill development & mastery.
Now going back to skill mastery.
How many repetitions do you need to master a skill?
Well it depends on the skill..
As your skill develops & becomes more advanced, your limiting factors around the skill will have to be developed to maintain growth of that skill being practiced.
This is where physically/cognitive balance comes in!
Is the posture of a singer allowing their voice to be used optimally?
Is the strength & speed component of a footballer allowing his/her foot strike to be moved fast and efficient enough to be deemed high level?
Is the freestyle stroke of an Olympic swimmer mastered if taking in account that the swimmers flexibility is a limiting factor?
Their are multiple variables & reasons why their may be no such thing as mastery... Or that seeking mastery itself is a never ending road due to the fact that you will always have a limiting factor that doesn't allow your skill to be deemed MASTERED!
Well, perfection is impossible, right?
It goes back to repetition, both conscious & sub conscious.
Solving & finding the limiting factor that may be not allowing you to progress further in the practiced skill.
Is your repetition, very deliberate with feedback & conscious focus, dissecting each repetition as you go?
Are you able to stop when you can signal "forcing" of a skill, which if continued will only lead to diminishing returns & delayed recovery- adaptation.
In Part 2,
I will go into more detail on how forcing practice can DERAIL progress & give diminishing returns to skill development...
The next post should break the "HARD WORK PAYS OFF" & 'TAKE NO DAYS OFF" quotes!
Stay tuned to read Part 2!