Deep Practice: Secrets To Creating Skill

Posted by Camille D.C. Sutton | Nov 29, 2016 10:30:00 AM


"When you operate at the edge of your ability, when you're making errors, when you're struggling with a new concept -- your learning speed goes up 10x."

Daniel Coyle's The Talent Code seems counter intuitive, right? We usually connect failure with lack of ability or lack of talent. But what if we were wrong?

Here's the thing -- the way we think about practice directly affects the productivity of our practice. Practice could be full of "failures" and simultaneously the players are making those small adjustments that inch them closer to mastery of skill.

How To Think About Practice: 3 Keys To Creating Skill

As lovers of all things baseball, Lord knows how many collective baseball practices we've all participated, coached, and watched. Nevertheless, here you are, reading about baseball practice, so there must be more to learn, more room to grow, more skills to improve upon.

Like the quote above previously mentioned, the mind learns faster at the edge of what it has already grasped. This idea takes flight combined with Thomas A. Edison's thought about his process inventing the light bulb: "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

1. Struggle Becomes Skill


  • Failure: mental circuit or electrical scaffold that allows your muscules to learn and develop new skills.
  • Errors in deep practice are really leverage points that help you build neural scaffolds that enable new ability.
  • Mistakes are simply the mind learning to "do this, not that."

2. Copying Hotbeds

  • Talent is not inborne.
  • You can learn from talent hotbeds, and copy them.

3. Quality Repetitions

  • The best way to measure progress is not in minutes/hours, but rather the number of quality repetitions you make, or new connections you make in your brain.
  • Get to the edge of your ability, and make quality reaches and repetitions just beyond it. You'll accomplish more in less time.

What do you think of these ideas about practice? Leave your thoughts and impressions in the comments section or on our Facebook! Be sure to follow us on social media to see how we are applying these ideas at the FungoMan Testing and Training Center.



Check out what's happening at the FungoMan Testing and Training Center in Shreveport, LA ⚾

A video posted by FungoMan (@fungoman) on

Topics: Coaching, Baseball Practice, Coaching Tactics, Baseball Coach

Written by Camille D.C. Sutton

Let's just say that I can hang with the best of them in a game of serious wiffle ball. An expert observer, baseball admirer, and baseball coach's daughter, I'm just here to share the latest and greatest in baseball development, baseball training, and maybe some of my peanuts at the ballpark.

Leave a Comment