Talent and Strength

I read parts of the book The Talent Code this weekend. It's a book about how some people excel at skills because of how they learn and how they practice. Basically (and this is a very basic recounting of this theory), most people practice by doing something over and over and over again. But that's not the most efficient way of learning. People can learn and excel much faster if they make mistakes and correct them as they practice. Seems simple, right? But people hate making mistakes, which is why so many people can't get better.

This researcher studied these pools of talent - places where a high number of people achieve a certain skill - Baseball players from the Dominican Republic (some of them are Tigers!), a school in Russia where top tennis players in the world train. They don't just practice throwing and hitting balls. Their ways of learning are completely different than regular schools. I wonder how the top athletes in the Crossfit Games learn their skills.

We practice skills a lot in Crossfit. Sometimes I roll my eyes and think, "Come on. I know how to do a push press." But I'm just impatient. I know I can lift heavier weights, I just don't have the skill (especially for overhead squats). I know some of my friends can do pull-ups, they just can't get the kipping motion. We practice in a group to go over technique. Every box is different. I know some don't spend as much time on skills as we do, but the coaches correct the athletes as we build up in weights. I wonder what might be most effective. The athlete needs direction from the coach, but to build real skill, the athlete also needs to correct themselves when doing a lift. They're split second corrections that we might not even realize, but they increase learning and in doing so, increase skill.

I wonder if anyone wants to do this study with Crossfitters.

Also, I did not read the whole book and I skimmed over the scientific stuff. I'm horrible at learning.

1 comment:

Lauri said...

I have to agree. Two months into CrossFitting I noticed that I was struggling with Olift technique and decided I needed to do some personal taining sessions. They have helped so much. My coach has seen things I was doing wrong that I didn't even realize I was doing. I hate making mistakes, but if my coach sees them and helps me correct them then I don't mind making mistakes.