If you are an athlete, you probably want to get better at your sport. If you're one who isn't bothered about doing so, don't waste your time reading on.
Every single one of you reading will have a different idea of what getting better would mean in your case.
There will, however, be some commonalities...
Have you ever bored yourself? I have. I just did with the first few lines of this blog.
While what I wrote is true, it's drier than a mouthful of salty crackers on a hot summer's day. You've heard it all before.
And like most things you've heard before, you'll give it as much attention as a politician's "promise".
It will mostly slide into the ether, along with substantial amounts of wasted time and half-paid attention.
And that would be an awful shame for us both.
And I think there is a killer lesson to be learned here for our sports too.
If our practise doesn't engage us, does it enrich us? If it bores us with repetition, how much do we take from it and how much does it stay with us as a part of our repertoire?
Even the word "repertoire" grates me as I think of boredom and its polar opposite.
A repertoire is a stock of skills that a person habitually uses. When I dive into my repertoire, at times it can feel too easy. At times, it doesn't feel like I have enough choice in there and I am trapped by my lack of choice.
I want plenty of choice. That means as large a repertoire as possible. Ideally, an infinite repertoire.
Theoretically, the best way to develop this would be to practise with infinite variability WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF YOUR SPORT.
A basketball player isn't allowed to kick the ball so a kick needn't ever be any part of their repertoire but any and every sort of throw should be.
Practising every sort of throw, however impractical it may appear to be, will do a great number of things.
It will expand their repertoire giving them new options in situations they are used to.
It will create new opportunities and situations for them that they weren't previously aware of the existence of.
It will sharpen the quality of their more habitual throwing styles through contrast with the new ones.
It will keep them more engaged in their learning process.It will make them more unpredictable to their opponents.
Some would argue that by practising so many different skills, a player would be prepared for nothing.
I would argue that it would make them ready for everything.
More on this next time,
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