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Deliberate Practice: Achieve Mastery in Anything


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: What worked? What didn’t? 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. Go Slow 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!

Reynold King

100 Replies to “Deliberate Practice: Achieve Mastery in Anything”

  1. This can believe only person who haven't done highly advance volume with seeing only title..and you do in this process….lot more….

  2. Liar..liar….if you have that quality in u…it comes inside so fast …even if u like not to inernalize ..only thinking about it …improve u…miraculously…if u need deliberate…practice…just ..listen leave that work…it's not. Ur in born telent….u r not that…i bet Ronaldo. .never have to think figure out any thing about it's football skill….

  3. I had my first moment of realized automation yesterday. I was down to the wire with a guy in an online fighting game (Street Fighter V). He jumped at me in an attempt to finish me off and I panicked. In my head was blank fog, I had no idea what to do or which side of me he was on. I was pressing buttons in a panic and I thought for sure I was mashing every button on the controller. Turns out I did my character's bread and butter combo (requires precise timing and specific button presses as well as a specific directional movement from the control stick) perfectly as soon as the other guy landed and won the game. I had no idea that combo was going to come out and my own hands did it. I've been playing the same game and character almost every day for over three years.

  4. Summary for: "Mastery" by Robert Greene.
    Except he gives you so many historical figures and more techniques.
    But this video is so rich on information.

  5. There is a fallacy  at 3:33 .  It takes 10,000 hours to be GREAT at a skill.  If  you want to be Mozart or Tiger Woods sure.  But 10,000 hours works out to be 8 hours a day 7 days a week for 3 1/2 YEARS.  On the other hand 20 hours will get you to play Happy Birthday on the penny whistle.

  6. Wonderful. I was thinking of STUDENTS and TEACHERS.
    Perhaps they could have special times, like on weekends, the early morning, and summers to practice and improve.
    www.SavingSchools.org THANKS so much H in Rochester NY

  7. What I’m struggling with is approach anxiety. Starting conversation with random strangers, even if standing in line waiting to get some chipotle.
    So I’ve been looking into systemic desensitization.
    How would one apply this style of learning to social anxiety?

  8. Could this be done in case of studying better. Let's say someone who hasn't been a good student in the past and performed horrible in academics, is it possible for him or her to become good at academics and higher & advanced studies?

  9. I want to master golf but honestly, no one have masterd it yet not even tiger Woods but I do belivie golf is the hardest sport of all sports, we have to plan a strategy for the course, excute the plan (have the technical skills to get the ball to there you want it) you also need a strong mind to not be angry att bad shots and make it worser, all this is just a part of something big but yet simple thing: get the ball into a hole in the fewest shots. It is many skills to learn and it takes years to be slightly good at it

  10. Summary:

    1. Define success & drill deliberately

    2. Plan, Reflect & Take Notes

    3. Practice Slow

    4. Limit your sessions for focus

    5. Maximise Practice Time

    6. Track small intervals of improvement

    7. Emulate practice of the Greats not the Performance

    8. Repetition makes Perfect

    9. Routine is everything

    10. Get a Coach

  11. I learned this cocept 15years ago from a tennis coach by he name of Jack Reader, Alexander Dolgapov's old coach. You should have a talk with him about this

  12. SUMMARY:
    Everything is hard, so why even try? If you're not good at something straight away, GIVE UP!

  13. Believe me I’m terrible at singing but after freaking 7 years non-stop training now I got a response by a few persons like “wow that’s actually good” “why don’t you go and join a competition” “please sing this song for me please”. Now after almost 7 years of training its all worth it but believe me Im far cry from being a professional singer but I’m so happy that the progression is there.

  14. Thus identify the Barriers to entry. Resources required for practice are not readily available for most people. Even things like practicing your tennis swing require access to a court, and even then, requires that you will not be harassed for utilizing public courts for practice purposes.
    The constantly-moving goalposts that are placed by those seeking to place barriers to entry to others in order to eliminate capitalistic competition is the first hurdle that most people have to overcome in order to gain mastery in anything.

  15. From what I understand, deliberate practice has to do with analyzing what things you do well and not so well, and then focusing in on that. What someone else said in the comments about the original person who coined the phrase was talking about the quality of the practice. You could practice for years and not get any better.

  16. 3:17 Yeah, nice wish. You can become good, even great with practice, but NO ONE can match Parvati. That man had a voice on loan from God.

  17. This summer I’m planning to develop my:

    – writing skills (writing a book)
    – analytical skills (research/note taking)
    – japanese grammar and speaking
    – communication skills (growing my network)
    – self love (improve self image)

  18. why do the shaolin monks eat vegiterian without water? this should be further explained.. i think its impoirtant… based off alot of other nutritional techiques i have heard about for regular every day life people… like drinking 20 oz of room temp water after waking up.. and not eating for 45 minutes after that.. this has a purpose that isnt mentioned.. maybe it helps with focus… or atleast has a major ppoint in how the process this video is trying to describe works…

  19. For me all disciplines are tied together… When I'm off the rails eating badly, I'll not go to the gym and also start running late. When I'm stacking wins it all lines up

  20. Technically there is much faster ways, by mixing the stuff all together and making it up to error level intentionally, so you will have some kind of blueprint of skill. Then you can master it quicker than in average way

    BTW coach giving +100 immediately to any skill you studying :3

  21. Its a great lesson…. Thank you very much for making and sharing such an effective guiding video.

  22. I thought "deliberate practice" was more of "being focused and conscious of exactly what you are doing" rather than all the things the video says… All those things are exactly what every teacher of everything should do for their students. It's too hard to do all those things by oneself, it requires too much knowledge of what you want to learn.

  23. When performing almost any action, what's happening behind the scenes is that interneurons in some part of your brain (such as the cerebellum for mechanical actions like playing the piano or soccer) send signals down your spine and over to the motor neurons your arms and legs to perform desired actions. Over time, if you keep repeating a certain action (especially mindfully), the connections will become stronger, and you'll be able to perform an action with more ease, grace, and speed. The reason for this is the myelin sheath (which is found on the pathway of the connection and is responsible for helping the transmission "jump" and get from the interneurons to the motor neurons faster) grows thicker and thus allows the transmission to get to the motor neurons faster and faster. Doing this many, many times over will make you a master at anything 🙂

  24. Practice does not make perfect!
    “Practice makes permanent" — Bobby Robson
    “Perfection itself is imperfection'' –Vladimir Horowitz

  25. When you become really good at something, becoming better in itself becomes the main goal.

    You train only because it makes you better, not because you want to show it off to someone someday.

  26. The 10000 hour rule is only true for those at the very peak of their skill where you can't get any higher. But just to be good at something doesn't take nearly that long

  27. Deliberate practice is definitely a big part of becoming exceptional at a particular task. I have used this to achieve things in my life that blow the minds of people who meet me

  28. 10,000 hours is a ridiculously long amount of time to master something. As an adult with a job and many things to juggle, sparing about 10 hours per week on a hobby (sports, music, etc) is already a challenging task. That would take around 19 years to master an art/sports. While it may not matter much to some people whether they'd master or not, it is ultimately the goal of someone who dedicates time and money into it. I find it frustrating too, now that I'm starting table tennis and it seems ridiculous to fully grasp and execute simple basic techniques.

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