In the previous installment on Practice Principles we looked at how to find the “sweet spot” in practice and deep practice. In this article we look at:
- Breaking down the skill
- Building it back up
Breaking Down the skill
To learn to read and spell you needed to learn the alphabet. Breaking a skill down into small chunks is similar. No matter what skill you set out to learn, the pattern is always the same:
- See the whole thing.
- Break it down to its simplest elements.
- Put it back together.
Build it back up
Now that you have identified and broken down a skill to its “chunks” focus on one that you cannot only improve but perfect. One useful method is to set a daily SAP: smallest, achievable, perfection.
In this technique, you pick a single chunk that you can perfect – not just improve on, not just work on but get 100 percent consistently correct. For example, a tennis player might choose to work on their service toss, you may work on the introduction to a writing piece etc.