If you are reading this, you want to improve fast. Make your practice sessions work for you by doing what elite athletes and musical prodigies do.
If you want to be a top-notch athlete, you have to be:
1. Willing to make mistakes
2. Pay attention to the mistake
3. See what you did
4. Correct it
5. Learn from it
Skating prepares you from day one for mistakes. The first thing you do in a “Learn to Skate” class is sit on the ground in your skates, and get up. That is because all good coaches know that out on the ice, if you are not falling, you are not learning.
The mistake is not falling; the mistake is NOT getting up.
Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. , talks about the “Sweet Spot” for optimum learning. Practicing in the “sweet spot” is a technique that has been used successfully by teachers and their high achieving students across sports, music and even business.
When you practice, the quickest way to improve and maintain steady growth in skills is to work so that you are right on the edge of your abilities. Each time you make a mistake and correct it, you are physically building and solidifying neural pathways in your brain. This is why repetition works.
Practicing inside the “sweet spot,” means that you are 50-80% successful in executing the skills you are working on. Practice in this zone is efficient and effective.
The most common feelings when you practice at this level:
• Fully focused
• Goal just out of reach
When you practice outside of the “Sweet Spot” this is what it would look like:
Above the “Sweet Spot”-
Comfort Zone- you are over 80% successful in executing a skill. This means that you are not practicing enough skills that challenge you. You are not growing or learning at a rate that will get you fast improvement. In time you will find yourself behind your competitors or bored from the lack of challenge.
The most common feelings you get when you practice at this level:
To get to the “Sweet spot” from here, take on more complex skills that challenge you. For example if you can execute your program well, add more speed, work on your extension and lines or connection with the audience, increase the difficulty of your skills.
Below the “Sweet Spot”-
Survival zone—you are below 50% successful in executing a skill. This means that you are practicing skills that you are not ready to tackle.
You might feel:
To get to the sweet spot, you need to break the skills down into smaller pieces that you can do with success 50-80% of time. For example, with a jump, work on your approach pattern, your technique going into the jump, and your rotation then start to combine the pieces together in exercises.
John Wooden once said, “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change can be.”
To borrow a well known phrase; Be the change you want to see:
1. Allow yourself to make mistakes
2. Pay attention to your mistakes and learn from them
3. Make your practice sessions work for you—Practice in the “Sweet Spot”
Still frustrated with making mistakes? Habits can be hard to break without support and accountability. At ICE we want to get you moving forward to your a world where Mistakes are a normal part of learning. Grab a free 20 minute mini session to Break the ICE and get your momentum rolling!
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