Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Does practice make perfect?

The Olympic games are looming large.

At times like this we remember our own efforts at sport or some other field where we hoped to excel.

How many times did you hear someone say, "Practice makes perfect."

The truth is that practice does not make anything perfect unless that practice is perfect. 
Why practice the imperfect?

We try and we repeat. We detect an error. We attempt an improvement, while not repeating previous errors. We strive for perfection during practice. We strive for perfection in performance at competitions. We avoid repeating the imperfect practice.

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Or do we?

In our studies and other areas of life the same things happen. We make a cake. We detect an error or something that could be better. We attempt the improvement. We avoid repeating the error.

Einstein said that it is insanity to continue to repeat a task or experiment when the same procedure has failed already. This is widely acknowledge to be true. Whether it is actual insanity is in doubt, but it is using this word according to the vernacular.


Do I repeat the imperfect practice? 
Do I continue to eat the foods that damage my health when I know the correct behaviour? 
Do I deliberately continue to perform other tasks at a low level of achievement?

Do I simply fail to identify the error?
How close is this to insanity? 

Is it the exact opposite to the behaviour of the Olympians? 
How do they stop themselves repeating imperfect practices?  
It is a long time before an athlete gets a good coach. First the athlete must be performing well in their chosen sport; then they are selected for a team; then they are spotted by the leading coaches. For many years the athlete is doing it all  without assistance.

Is this about motivation? Am I motivated to fail? Do I want someone else to take command and relieve me of responsibility?
Is the Olympian a more responsible person in this way?

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