Trust The Process
Regardless of the endeavor you pursue, there is a model you must follow to achieve success. There are no secrets, it is almost common knowledge, but without putting a heavy emphasis on your technique, repetition and pressure you will likely fail to reach your potential.
The Law Of Primacy
When we are looking at teaching a new skill, the most important thing to remember is safety. As we learn a new skill there is a higher risk factor associated. If the acitvity is already high risk, then it is even more important safety is your first priority. The mistake I see is when as a new student you are easily swayed by marketing or celebrety status. Each can be hugely positive, but not everything is as it seems. When we are learning a skill one way of analyzing how well we learn the skill is through some sort of metrics or standard. It is important we learn the skill correctly in the beginning.
Learning Is A Progression
It is not hard for me to rate which of these traits is the most important. It will be technique. Without proper technique your level of safety is questionable. When you are learning a new skill your goal should be not just to learn the new skill, but learn the new skill correctly. If a new student is struggling with their technqiue it will get more challenging as we try to progress to new skills or repeat the skills or add pressure to the new skills. Learning the technique correctly provides you with the most important take away, the ability to produce the desired outcome. Even if it is slower, at closer distance or against a bigger target.
Repetition Is The Mother Of Learning
To master your technique will take repeated effort. Not just any effort, but the effort required to produce the desired outcome. If you cannot put the effort into practicing you will find your technique becomes more and more transparent. What I mean by this phrase is less and less reliable. When you couple consistent effort with an outcome standard you will eventually develop to the point you rely more on the motor pathways you’ve created. Requiring less an less mental effort. In the beginning I encourage students to move only as fast as they can think through their technqiue. It is what I like to call a living check list. The students start with step one, they apply the mental energy required to meet the minimum standard and then move to the next step. At some point, they will achieve a level where their technique is now a smooth, effortless action.
Learn Correct Technique First
As you continue to “rep out” your technique you begin to advance to new levels. It is the ability to pressure test your technique you really begin to appreciate all your hard work. The stress you place on your technique will either produce a postive or negative outcome. If through pressure testing you discover your technique is holding up then you have successuflly trained your new skill. If not, you have idenfitied areas of improvement you need to work on to evnetually get to the point you have developed a new trained skill. There really are no shortcuts, you need technique, repetition and pressure to reach your goal. The biggest mistake I see happens early, when a student fails to put the work into developing their technque. It is then compounded with repetition of doing something that produces a suboptimal result. Leading to failure in the pressure testing phase. If I could offer encouragment to anyone learning a new skill, it would be to make sure you are learning correct technqiue.
Balancing Time With Outcome
The last point to consider is the overall time to achieve the desired outcome. There is a happy balance when technique, repetition and pressure are your focus to stay motivated. Students want to see results. They need to see results early on, or at least at a reasonable time period relative to the skill difficulty. If we rush to learn the skill we could jeaporadize safety and or technique. If it takes forever to learn the new skill we likely see interest wane. In our training classes the most important point I relay to students is this skill is within their ability to master, but it will take time. There will be little victories along the way we must celebrate.
The final goal is going to be different for everyone, but it will have correct technique performed repetitively against a metric that guages your success.