Getting Over the (Practice) Hill 2

Here’s an analogy I used today in a lesson. Use it if you think it’s any good!

People tend to underestimate the power of repetition in practice. And sometimes it’s that last repetition that makes all the difference. Think of it like this. You’re trying to get a ball over a hill. Here’s a fancy diagram. (Yes I actually drew this in the lesson):


You keep getting the ball to point 1, point 2, and point 3…but then you stop and it just rolls back down. You come back the next day and it feels like you’re pretty much starting all over again.

If only you had made it to point 4! You’d come back feeling like you made great progress. (Those exclamation points are where you want to be, right?)

So here’s the catch…you don’t really know where point 4 is. It might be 2 repetitions or it might be 200. But the better you get at practicing, the more you’ll sense when you’ve made it over the “hill” for that day, and it’s time to move on to a different section.

I say err on the side of “overdoing” it – as long as that overdoing is focused and productive. You’ll come back feeling like you made some real progress.

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2 thoughts on “Getting Over the (Practice) Hill

  • Tim

    Great video and article. I find that young students especially struggle with repetition, which makes sense since that is how I was when I was young. You are definitely right that some passages will take many many times to master!