I’ve been running for over 25 years now and had never had a running injury. That is, I’d never had an injury until I walked out of my office one winter day and slipped on ice and rolled on my ankle. I tore a bunch of ligaments and for a number of months I couldn’t run.
To do some form of exercise, I took up Yoga. I discovered that not only did I really enjoy it, it also made me a better runner and was a great complement to my overall physical health.
One of my favourite yoga classes is the essentials class. Traditionally it is for those who are new to yoga or want something very gentle. However I find that even though I’m now fairly experienced in yoga, every time I go and focus on the fundamental elements of yoga, I learn something new.
I’ve been thinking about this is as it relates to our professional lives. We were working with a client last week preparing them for a set of interviews. We always go over the essential elements and questions as a starting point.
Last year, deep into a struggling season, the Ottawa Senators spent one morning just practicing shooting the puck.
Imagine, professional NHL players just reviewing the fundamentals.
It’s true. Practice. Makes better (not perfect).
It’s actually a scientific phenomenon called The Spacing Effect. We all know that when were are trying to master something—whether that’s shooting a puck, or nailing a job interview—we learn best when we review with different mentors in different circumstances. The scientific research shows it is important to review at different times.
When you go back and review the fundamentals in different contexts you hear and learn it differently. These variables enable your brain to retrieve the information more effectively. This has been measured in over 250 studies with similar results.
The best way to get better at more complex things is to focus on the fundamentals whether as a professional athlete, or just a professional. Whether mastering yoga, hockey or preparing for an interview.
Practice the fundamentals.
Even million dollar professional hockey players understand this.
Along the road with you,
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