Growing up, I was a huge fan of Michael Jordan. I grew up playing basketball in central Illinois when Jordan and the Chicago Bulls were at the heights of their greatness. My parents and coaches would talk about how much he practiced. Everything was about how he worked harder and longer than any other player. Michael Jordan, to me, is the personification of what practice can do. As I aged, I never forgot that. Practice is the path to greatness.
Not all practice is equally as effective, though. Deliberate practice gives the greatest return on investment because it is focused, directed, and provides feedback. James Clear wrote an excellent primer on deliberate practice. It’s an excellent introduction in how to get the most out of your practice, and I highly recommend it. If you enjoy it, you should check out some of his other articles.
Deliberate practice refers to a special type of practice that is purposeful and systematic. While regular practice might include mindless repetitions, deliberate practice requires focused attention and is conducted with the specific goal of improving performance.