EHS Reston Training Tips for Practicing at Home
1. Build your foundation right the first time
There should not be any pronounced weaknesses in your foundational skills. If there are, not only do you have to learn all of the correct techniques, but you must “unlearn” the incorrect ones. Pay particular attention to your grips, hand positions, upper body and shoulder position, regripping techniques and stances. Once these fundamental skills are learned correctly, you will rarely have to think of them again
2. Be self-aware!
Constantly utilize your visual and kinetic senses to monitor your body’s position and movement patterns so that you know immediately when you are correct or are making a mistake. DO NOT be content in knowing that you are performing at only 60%-70% of your capability. Every skill that you acquire must be performed to the best of your ability. Quality counts, not quantity.
3. Do not allow room for unnecessary movements
If you allow sloppy techniques or wasted motions into your practice regimen, like it or not, these actions will become habits.
4. Begin with basic fundamentals
Once this is complete, you may then progress to more complex ones. This will speed up your skill development.
5. Avoid unnecessary training techniques, patterns and fundamentals in the chain of learning
This not only allows for you to gain a more precise technique, but it eliminates the possibility of having to “unlearn” these fundamentals. It is also a more efficient use of your time.
6. Aim at first for smoothness
Smoothness of performance is more important than than speed at first. Initially, it's important to move slowly so you are aware of when you are making mistakes, enabling you to efficiently make subtle adjustments in technique. It is most efficient to train in an environment of awareness and instant self correction. This “rhythm” is best adapted to each particular task. Speed of execution comes with practice.
7. Have a clear understanding of the task at hand
Have a clear understanding of what is expected in the way of mechanics, power and speed, as well as movement and shot location necessary to capitalize on your opportunity.
8. Understand each small movement
It's important to understand how each small movement or technique is in fact an integral part of a larger more complex movement pattern. The skill that you are learning is dependent on a series or combination of actions. However, once each small movement or technique is understood and can be executed correctly, it's important to include it in a more complex series of movements so as to better simulate actual performance environments.
9. Keep practicing
Manual skills ordinarily become automatic only after many thousands of hours of practice. Remember, it's not always necessary to actually go through all the movements physically in order to practice them. Once you are familiar with how a particular technique or movement is to be done, you can review it in your minds eye, reproducing the feel of it as vividly as you can. You will find that this imaginary or “visualization” practice will help in smoothing out the roughness in your performance.
10. Practice diligently
It's important to practice diligently. A great deal of practice is necessary for learning, but a great deal more is necessary to make it second nature so that you can never forget it. In fact, it has been said that it takes over 10,000 repetitions to master a technique. This enables you to perform any movement no matter the circumstance. However, one must remember that “practice makes permanent only if perfect practice makes perfect.”
11. Learn to relax
Tenseness makes for awkwardness and mistakes. Don't be worried if you're tense and clumsy at first. Any beginner learning something new works too hard at it. As skill develops, relaxation will come with it. This is the body’s way of being efficient. Try to aid this by intentionally trying to relax. When this happens you will find that your precision, quickness, smoothness and performance improves. However, don't relax so much that your movements don't have snap or power