The Skill Formula

No matter what the sport, there is a simple formula to follow to accelerate the improvement of any skill. As simple as the 5 steps are, very few actually follow them. Some athletes, whether by choice or circumstance, never received the proper coaching to perform the skill the correct way. Others may have adopted an unteachable mindset, committing only to the stubborn attitude that they will “do it themselves”. A vast majority, simply are unwilling to put in the long hours of practice required to achieve greatness. But there are a few athletes, who are willing to patiently do it the right way. Day after day after day, they commit to the 5 steps below, understanding that if they consistently do the right things, they will consistently receive the right results.

1. Learn to perform the skill the correct way. Find a mentor, coach, trainer who is a technician in your sport. This person can dissect the smallest insufficiencies and help you grow by leaps and bounds.

2. Practice the skill slowly with supervision. Having an extra set of eyes on your practice sessions holds you accountable to the skill you are striving to master. Don’t rush the process. Go slow and master technique before implementing speed and pace.

3. Drill the skill in various situations. Never practice a skill in one static position, location, or condition. Change positions on the court.  Adapt to more than one field of competition. Mix it up.

4. Transfer the skill to competition. Once you have acquired the proper technique, it is critical to take practice sessions to game speed.

5. Repetion…..Repetition…..Repetition…..Repetition…..Repetition…..Repetition. REPETITION is the mother of MASTERY. Any skill must be practiced to the point of muscle memory and intellectual numbness. Simply put, you want to get to the point of not having to think about doing it the right way, but rather having your body take over and do it out of the overwhelming amount of practice you have put in.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore is not an act, but a habit stemming from practicing the proper way again and again.