Thursday, 24 December 2015

Deliberate practice for success

Deliberate practice. Great for discipline to practice and success. Kobe Bryant at work. Article by Mr. Hardy

I had just watched Casablanca for the first time and it was about 3:30 AM. A few minutes later, I was in bed, slowly fading away when I heard the cell ring and it was Kobe  Bryant. I nervously picked up..

 Deliberate practice. Great for discipline to practice and success.
“uh, hey, uh man, I hope I’m not disturbing anything, right?’

“Oh, no Kobe, whats up?”

“Just wondering if you can help me out with some conditioning work, that’s all?

I had checked my clock, it was 4:15 in the morning.

“Yeah, sure. Ill see you in the facility in a bit.”

It took me about 20 minutes to get my gear and get out of the hotel. When I arrived and opened up the room to the main practice floor, I saw Kobe alone, he was drenched in his own sweat as if he had just taken a swim. It wasn’t even 5 am. We did some conditioning work for the next hour and 15 minutes then we entered the weight room where he would do a multitude of strength training exercises for the next 45 minutes. After that,  we parted ways. He went back to the practice room to shoot and I went back to the hotel room and crashed. I was expected to be back on the floor at 11 am. I woke up feeling sleepy, drowsy, and pretty much every side effect of sleep deprivation, thanks coby. I had a bagel and headed back to the practice facility. This next part I remember vividly. All of the team USA were there. Labron was talking to Carmello, coaching K was trying to explain something to Duran. On the right side of the practice facility, Coby was by himself shooting jumpers. I went over to him and patted him on the back and said

“Good work this morning”.


“Like the conditioning”

“Uh yeah, thanks Man. I really appreciate it”

“So when did you finish?”

“Finish what?”

“ Getting your shots up. What time did you leave the facility?”

“Oh, just now. I wanted to make 800 makes. So yeah, just now.”

-And swish went the ball.

For those of you keeping track at home, Kobe started his conditioning work since 4:30 am and continued to run and sprint till 6 am, lifted weights from 6 am to 7 am and proceeded to make 800 jump shots between 7 am and 11 am. Oh yeah, and then team USA had practice. It’s obvious, that Kobe Bryant is getting his 10,000 hours of practice in, but there’s another part of this story that’s even more important. The importance of deliberate practice. Kobe Bryant isn’t merely showing up and practicing a lot, he is practicing with purpose. Kobe has a very clear goal at practice, 800 made jump shots, he was deliberately focused on developing the skill of making baskets. The time he spent doing it was almost an afterthought. That sounds simple, but it is very different from how most of us approach our work each day.

Now, something else Id like to point out about this kind of hard work and deliberate practice is that this is being done by Kobe  after he was already a 5 times NBA champion and at the time a 14 time NBA all-star, 17 now after this writing.

Does he need to be up drenched in sweat at 4:30 am forcing himself to make 800 jump shots?

Doesn’t he know how to make a jump shot already? Is precisely because of the deliberate practice all along the way is why he has an extraordinary resume that I just read off to you.

To often people get to one level of success and then they stop working as hard as they did to get there. They think now they can just coast, they coast all right, right off the cliff of success.

 That is why nothing fails then the delusion of success. Now before we send you of to attack the idea of deliberate practice, let me make sure I further define it for you. So you know how to do it, deliberate practice is highly structure and highly engaged activity with a specific goal of improving performance. Deliberate practice is difference from work, play and simple repetition of a task. It requires effort and it is not necessarily inherently enjoyable. When you engage in deliberate practice, improving your performance over time is your goal and your motivation.

Some people that play golf, but not juts for playing golf, that wasn’t the goal of playing golf, the goal was improving performance and that is the motivation and the reward. That is not to say that deliberate practice can’t be designed to be fun but it isn’t inherently enjoyable on its own. If you want to gain skills rapidly or you want to approach expert levels status at something you must understand the importance of deliberate practice and learn how to incorporate it into your daily process.  Thank you Mr. Hardy

Check my next blog when I’ll be talking more about the 10,000 hours of practice

Walter Alza

Alza Acting Studio 

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