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Episode 202: A Lesson in Deliberate Practice

Video Highlights

- Expertise research.
- How you practice matters.
- Creating opportunity to change.

Today we’re going to be talking about 200 episodes and The Deliberate Practice Model.

Last week we actually published our 200th video blog on the Z-Health website, and so we decided to do a little celebration.

It’s not really a celebration. It’s just if you ever pay attention, you see the numbers creeping up.

It’s been a very interesting process over the last four years to be doing a video at least every week for you on top of all the other stuff that we do, and so I want to talk a little bit about how we’ve approached that utilizing one of the models that we are constantly talking about within our courses called The Deliberate Practice Model.

If you’ve never heard of this, it comes out of expertise research and I love discussing this.

We talk a lot about this in our S-Phase course, which is one of our initial courses on building athleticism, but realistically this model, this whole idea that you get better at things by practicing in a very specific way is it really is how life works. If you think about back in school, if you ever had to take a class on typing, you knew that you had to actually learn where the keys are.

You have to learn to type without looking at it, all those different things, so the type of practices that you did actually ended in the result that you currently have.

Thinking about putting these blogs together and all that we’ve learned over the course of four years, I thought this was a really appropriate topic to go through with you quickly.

If you are ever interested in improving your body or your mind in any way, you have to realize that you can do a lot of bad reps of things and if you do a lot of bad reps at things, you’re going to get really good at doing the wrong thing.

Our goal is always to say hey client that we’re working with or hey Eric, if I’m working on myself, when you practice make sure you’re practicing the right way. If you look at really, really expert performers around the world, there’s something unique in the way that they approach practicing as opposed to everyone else and it actually is delineated in these guidelines.

Number one.

Every time an elite performer goes to practice, as much as possible they practice with an explicit goal of getting much better. When we do these blogs, although sometimes they’re silly and we do all kind of crazy stuff, we have really worked over time to refine how we do them, how we provide the message, how we simplify all the stuff that we talk about into a usable format that fits somewhere between four and seven minutes.

That was way more challenging for me than I ever realized it would be. That is one of explicit goals.

Number two.

Stay in the moment and be present.

This, another amazing thing about you see in working with expert performers is they try not to bring too much of the past with them, past failures, past successes, and they try to stay in the moment where they’re at.

Because one of the things that happens when you’re practicing, the more self involved you get the more you start thinking about how you’re performing in the moment, often the worst you perform.

Again, this is something I’ve had to learn in doing these blogs. It’s silly again to say, but I’ve had to learn to actually look through the camera and go I’m talking to a real person as opposed to just looking at a lens. Being present, recognizing that I’m going to make mistakes but the point is not to dwell on the mistake.

The point is to move forward and convey the message.

A female martial artist practicing a punch/strike.

Number three.

Get as much feedback as possible.

Thankfully, we have over 10,000 subscribers on our YouTube channel and probably 50 or 60,000 people around the world in addition that watch the blog on a weekly basis, so I get a lot of feedback.

Thank you for when you do send feedback.

Most of it’s super positive, but occasionally we’ll get good constructive criticisms about hey, you choose the wrong shirt color. That was the most recent one that I received and I appreciated that said that you’re trying to show me a movement, I can’t see it because you’re wearing the wrong color.

Excellent. Notice the bright blue. Whenever you’re working on getting better at something, get feedback but be certain that the feedback that you receive is from a trustworthy source.

That’s also really crucial because lots of people have opinions, it doesn’t make them valuable. Ensure that the feedback is from a valuable trusted source.

Number four.

Continually build mental models of your situation.

This is one of the more weird ones, but just recognize that if you want to be an expert performer in any field, you need to study that field. You need to see who’s the best in that field, what do they do, how do they present themselves, how do they speak, how do they move, how do they practice. In this particular setting, I’m again talking about celebrating our 200th blog.

I watch a lot of other people’s blogs. I try and notice the people who are excellent at every little thing, how they articulate words, how they structure phrases to really make an impact on me and I’ve tried to emulate that over time. I’ve been taught by many, many people that I will never meet, which is the wonder of the internet sometimes.

Then finally do steps one through four regularly, not sporadically. This, to me, is probably the end true lesson of everything that we teach in Z-Health, which is it is very, very difficult to become excellent in anything when you do it once a year or when you practice it 30 minutes once a week.

When you look at people who have a deep passion for becoming good at something, it drives them every day. They work at it. They think about it. For me, what we’ve actually learned over the course of the last four years from doing this blog is that the consistency has really been the driver for any significant change that we’ve actually been able to make and that requires a lot of work. It requires habit change.

Within our team environment, it’s not just my habits, it’s Shannon, who’s always here, always smiling, always making it easy for me to talk to this camera.

It’s Rick, who writes the material that allows us to get it out to you. John, who then takes care of all the backend computer stuff that I couldn’t possibly figure out.

Within our environment, it’s been deliberate practice not for just me but for all of us.

When you again think about your own life, think about the stuff that you want to be great at, remember that the more frequently you can remind your brain that it is important to you, the better the opportunity to change.

Guys, thank you so much for watching whatever few episodes you’ve watched or if you’ve watched all of them. I’m looking forward to doing 200 or 2,000 more for you because ultimately what we’re always trying to do with these blogs is improve your life in a very simple, fast, and hopefully fun way.

Thanks for being a part of it.

If you have any questions or particularly any feedback, please send that on and we’ll take a look at it, otherwise have a great week and I’ll talk to you soon.

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