Deliberate practice is not meant to be fun, it’s meant to improve your performance in something meaningful to you. The first step, and a biggish one it is, is to get outside your comfort zone and do it in a focused way. You must have clear goals, a plan for reaching toward them, and a means to monitor progress. For instance, if you are trying to improve your transition defense in basketball, you must come up with a plan and get every individual to buy into their piece of the plan. Simple, not easy.
SEAL Saturday, down in the 3PP is designed as deliberate practice. The objective is to put each participant outside the comfort zone, headed to the outer edge of the challenge zone, and every once in awhile venture into the panic zone. High performers in any endeavor follow this formula. They never stop reaching, stretching, failing, processing the feedback, learning, and then back on the beam, court, mat, carpet, concrete, or company floor, because they want to…
So, yesterday, we followed the iPad seconds timer app and did what we could. We performed a series of exercises and kept repeating them for roughly an hour. We broke at all different times and exercises. We all broke at the end.
Deliberate practice is the road to performance gains. There are plenty of other paths but none will make you do what you can. There are no ezpz routes to expertise. Deliberate practice in the 3PP is the precursor to flow moments on the golf course, with the road bike, and in BTL team practice after practice after practice. You see deliberate practice is the enabler to flow moments. Moments where you perform at your peak and can’t quite explain how, you just feel the freakin’ magic and it’s good. Want to taste some flow, friend?
Remember a little wisdom from Benny Franklin – “There are no gains without pains.” Go find yourself some like minded men/women and stretch, reach, laugh, and love. Make each other do what you can. You will have some fights along the way as any high performance team does. Fight to improve performance, not simply to prove a point. We ended our deliberate practice with an hour on our road bikes. We mostly talked, laughed, and took in our time outside being together. The ride was the reward for the hard effort in the 3PP. Good.
Today, we’re going to observe a team of grapplers and their qwest to be the best. Today, hopefully, the largest crowd ever to watch a dual meet will gather in the Schott to cheer on their performance. The fans come to see flow in action. Fans come to see the magic of great teams doing their thing and almost appearing effortless while doing it. You see, friend, nobody sees the hours of labor with your team deliberately practicing. Nobody sees. Everybody knows, however, if you and your team are worth watching.
Are you and your team, “must see TV?” Are you, leader, making your team do what they can? Are you, coach, developing practice plans more intricate and fail oriented than your game plans? Are you making your team do what it can or settling for good enough? Are you challenging out of belief in your MOT (moments of truth) or waiting too long to give your team feedback it can use?