Deep Practice & Ignition
So that was individualization. Those were all ways that we could be more individual with someone. Now we're gonna talk about deep practice and ignition. This is a different concept. It builds on individualization. So we're talking about custom tailoring our approach to the person. Now this is going back more towards how do people learn, how do we coach? Two things that work together are deep practice and ignition, so what do I mean? Deep practice is engage practice on the edge of ability plus error correction. That's that model or that biological function basically almost. Deep practice is valuable practice. Someone could practice for eight hours a day, quote unquote, practice eight hours a day and not get any better. How could someone be able to practice eight hours a day and not get any better? When we think about deep practice versus normal practice or like not normal practice, but like practice?
Doing it wrong.
Yeah, but what does that mean, doing it wrong how?
So they're eit...
her not on the edge of their ability or they're not correcting the errors.
Exactly. So someone is maybe practicing what they already know. You're not gonna get any better, right? Or they're practicing things they don't know how to do, but they don't know how to error correct. They're not able to do it for themselves or they don't have a coach that's error correcting for them. So you're not going to get any better. So you actually don't need to practice that much. You need to practice consistently, but not that much time in it. Research shows that like world famous concert pianist, they only need to practice like a couple hours a day, not eight hours a day. An hour, hour and a half, two hours maybe of working through something and then you get better. So that's the first piece you have to have that. So you as a coach have to create a practice environment where they're able to do that. And I try to do it in the room, as much of stuff in the room as I can. 'Cause once they leave you can't really help them control if they're on the edge of their ability to do their error correcting. You can only show their modeling for that when they're at your practice. So what's equally important to deep practice? Is ignition. That's the motivation and inspiration to engage in deep practice. If you don't care to learn the thing or you aren't set on fire to do it, you're not gonna go through the resistance, 'cause it kinda can be frustrating or can be a struggle sometimes to deep practice. It's not necessarily easy to fail or run over it again and correct your errors. A lot of people avoid it. So it's all about the motivation. That's why there sometimes are these pockets of sort of talent that emerge. So for example, I believe it was Anna Kournikova, the Russian tennis player became world famous and then what happened was all of these Russian kids were set on fire to become tennis stars. So there was a flood of kids into the academies and they have good academies there, some master coaches, and then they had more kids going and more kids that were set on fire to make it all the way through the process. Then there was a wave of Russians that dominated the tennis rankings. That came from the ignition moment. So as a coach and as a leader, you need to be managing ignition as much as you are deep practice. A piano teacher for a kid, they could be great, but if the kid doesn't wanna go see that person, they're not gonna learn. They studied like the best piano teachers and it was like when they show up they make it so fun for the child. A warm welcome, sit down, they give 'em little treats to play and all this stuff and you want us to keep doing it. Does anyone have an ignition story about something they've learned to do, something that really sparked them or a coach or a teacher that helped create ignition in a certain area or a certain subject? Sam, I'm gonna make you do it, you're ready. Give me one buddy.
I was like, put me in coach.
Yeah, yeah, you're ready to play center field.
I'm trying to decide which example I wanna use. So science. Like I'm really, really interested in science and learning about new discoveries and reading and just nerding out online for hours on Wikipedia about all kinds of different cosmology and particle physics and stuff and that comes from an experience that I had at a younger age from a teacher who just made science so exciting that he was like I'm gonna do a handstand on this skateboard and ride it down the hall of our high school. It really happened and he fell and it was hilarious, but anyway, that's beside the point. We stood in the hallway with these timers and we timed him as he like skated by on a handstand and we calculated his velocity. Ever since then, I've been really interested in learning about science.
And what was this teacher's name?
Mr. Ventura. So you all get the opportunity to be Mr. Ventura for someone in your life on some subject. I think everyone if you thought long enough and maybe weren't uncomfortable right now in this moment, have a story that's like Sam's about something. That is the moments when we decide to change our path, to invest ourselves in something. We have limited resources. So if you're gonna learn one thing, you're probably not gonna be able to learn another thing where there's a limited amount. So Mr. Ventura got ya, he got ya, that's great. So just remember, it's about the emotion, the inspiration. And this can wane and wax overtime, so you wanna cultivate that, nurture that. Any questions about deep practice or ignition? So I think this also connects when we talked about in the management of leadership skills for managers course around dominants versus prestige leadership. So dominants do it because they say so. Prestige is sort of getting people inspired to do something. So there's a form, I think, of ignition inherent in that prestige leadership. Where you're motivating people, you're sparking people to do something. I think the best leaders are some of the best coaches in that form, and they play on ignition hugely. It's all about emotional correctness or emotional triggering. Getting people to connect emotionally. That's how we store memory too. The way we figure out whether we should store memory or not, is if it has an emotional charge. If it doesn't have an emotional charge, it tends to kind of like go out of our brain. But if we can associate an emotional charge with a certain idea, it will store in our mind better. That's how memory athletes, they imagine, let's say a card, a king of diamonds, they put it in a location in their mind, they specifically have the king of diamonds doing something completely inappropriate, like vile or whatever, because it causes an emotion and they can't not remember that anymore. That's also why PTSD is so challenging. It's such an emotional experience, overloads and that's stored in the memory so deep, then we have to do things like MDMA therapy or things like that as we go forward to help restructure that memory or change the emotion that memory is being stored, so we change the emotion that's associated with the memory. Just how they're doing PTSD therapy with MDMA. So just remember this whole thing of emotion is so deep in you and everyone else and that's technique and emotion. I talked about that, right?
The role of a manager isn’t just to oversee and supervise, making sure things get done on time and according to plan. Truly great managers also instruct, advise, support and inspire. They help make their direct reports the best they can be.
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