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Practice Doesn't Make Perfect

Posted by Keith Pettit on

We all know the expression "Practice makes Perfect."  It's short and it makes us feel great that all we have to do is try real hard and we will improve at our task.  However, what if it lots of reps makes you worse?

How can practice make you worse you ask?  Its simple.  Anytime you do a task, it becomes a habit.  If you continue to do a skill in the wrong way, that will become a habit that you will be hard to fix.

Suppose you can't do a muscle up.  Do you think doing hundreds of  muscle ups with wrong technique will help you miraculously learn one?  No!  All you are doing is learning really well how to miss a muscle up. 

Instead of doing hundreds of missed muscle ups, why not step back and do the correct drills or get a spot so you do the muscle up correctly?  You need to practice doing the skill correctly so when you do get strong enough it will become consistent.

Even when a skill is easy, you need to be aware of your technique.  My kids get into the habit of just landing however when they are warming up or getting off the equipment.  They roll out of their landings or don't care if they stick the landing or try  land with the proper technique.  Then when they try to stick their landings they don't and they are surprised. Had they tried to stick every single landing with proper technique then it would become a good habit. Unfortunately they did the opposite and landing with perfect shape isn't a habit for them so they fall or take a step.

This happens in long WODs. You may have multiple snatches with weight that is easy for you.  This is when its most critical to have perfect technique. You know when you are going for a one rep max you will use perfect technique.  Its when you do many reps at easier weights and you can get by with doing bad technique that your habits are formed.

Moral of the story - continuous repetition of something will not help you if you are not using good form and in fact will hurt you.    So how do we make sure we have good form?  These few ways:

1.Before you take a turn, think about what and how you want to accomplish your skill.  Try to be aware of your technique when doing multiple reps

2. Film yourself or have a coach watch to make sure you are not getting into any bad habits

3.Go back to drills that you used when you started a skill.  Its always good reinforce good habits.

Good luck with your training.  I am not saying hard work isn't the answer - just be sure you are working on the right things!

 If you want help with drills to improve your technique on strength skills - check out my tutorials!


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