Practice Doesn't Make Perfect

By: Coach DP

Practice makes permanent.

Perfect practice makes perfect.

If you’ve read my posts consistently, there has been a common theme. It’s the pursuit of excellence, and perfection is the holy grail of excellence. The common phrase of “practice makes perfect” has always baffled me, as I’ve seen it disproven every day. Deliberate, focused, perfect practice, is the only road to perfection and it requires three components to deliver.

  1. A clear, just out of reach goal
  2. Informative feedback
  3. Repetition… lots of repetition.

These three ingredients create a potent learning environment that encourages you to reach just past your comfort zone in the pursuit of a goal. Immediate feedback, whether from a coach on the floor, or an Iphone video allows for more adjustments at a higher rate and far fewer wasted repetitions. This allows for the reps to build you towards the summit of your mountain, rather than taking a detour towards the canyon beyond the cliff.

What I haven’t mentioned as part of this pursuit towards perfection is your mental road map. The x-factor of deliberate practice is having a clear ideal form of the skill or activity you are pursuing. This road map provides the course directions for the three criteria mentioned earlier to work their magic. 

It makes sense right? If you are trying to perfect your burpee, how would you know what adjustments to make if you didn’t have a clear picture of a perfect burpee to work from? (I’ve heard Gannon the mannequin loves demonstrating perfect burpees if you are struggling to picture one right now) You can apply this to your work as well. How would I know how to work towards writing a perfect blog post if I didn’t have the beautiful examples of Coach Vince to use as my ideal form. 

In any goal you set, perfection should be the far, just out of reach goal that you are chasing, and it pays huge dividends to be able to visualize the ideal expression of it. Use that perfect form to get meaningful feedback whenever you make a detour off of the perfect road map. Your best chance to finally reach that perfection through deliberate practice is directly correlated with your ability to understand what perfection looks and feels like.

Have an image. Set a goal. Receive feedback. Repeat, repeat, repeat.