Once In A Blue Moon

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Introduction: We’ve all marveled at individuals who seem to progress rapidly in their chosen skills, whether it’s mastering a sport, dance, or playing a musical instrument. We often find ourselves wondering why they advance so quickly while the majority of us struggle to make even half the progress in double the time, or worse, make no progress at all despite our efforts. This article explores the key factors behind such discrepancies and unveils the crucial role of practice strategy in skill improvement.

The Misconception of Hard Work: It’s a common belief that the rate of improvement in a skill is directly correlated with the amount of hard work and practice put in. However, as Laido, a Cirque du Soleil performer, author, and peak performance coach, suggests, the answer lies not only in “how hard” you practice but more in “how” you practice.

Understanding the Process: Every accomplishment, every success, is the result of a process. When we understand this process, we gain greater control over our outcomes. However, most people invest 95% of their energy and attention into the “what” of their movements – how high, how low, how fast, and so on. While these aspects are undoubtedly important, they are merely the effects of the practice system they follow.

The Importance of Strategy: What sets apart those who progress rapidly from the majority is the presence of a well-defined practice strategy. People often practice in a certain way because they believe it’s the right way, but they may not be aware of more effective alternatives. Some individuals have honed their systems, while others are still searching for a strategy that works.

Efficiency Over Effort: When faced with the question of how to double their results, many people default to the idea of doubling their effort. However, the real key lies in improving the quality of practice rather than its quantity. It’s about making subtle but significant changes to your approach that can have a profound impact on your progress.

The 3-5 Subtle Changes: Having mentored numerous practitioners over the years, Laido has discovered that most individuals are just 3-5 subtle changes away from achieving their desired progress or falling short of it. These small adjustments can make all the difference in their skill development journey.

The Book: “The Art of Practice – Same Effort, Twice the Progress, Any Skill”: Laido has compiled his insights, philosophies, and beliefs about fast-tracking skill improvement in his book, “The Art of Practice.” This book is a treasure trove of knowledge that he has gathered over a decade of research and experimentation in the realm of “Practice Strategy Training.” It serves as a guide for individuals looking to make significant improvements in their abilities and overcome the plateau that often hinders progress.

Conclusion: The rate at which one progresses in a skill is not solely determined by the amount of effort invested but by the efficiency of that effort. To bridge the gap between those who advance rapidly and those who struggle, it is imperative to focus on the “how” of practice. By understanding the process and implementing subtle changes in your practice strategy, you can unlock your full potential and achieve the results you desire. “The Art of Practice” by Laido offers invaluable insights and guidance for anyone seeking to excel in their chosen skill.


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