Mastering any physical skill, be it performing a pirouette, playing an instrument, or throwing a baseball, takes practice. Practice is the repetition of an action
with the goal of improvement, and it helps us perform with more ease,
speed, and confidence. So what does practice do in our brains
to make us better at things? Our brains have two kinds
of neural tissue: grey matter and white matter. The grey matter processes information
in the brain, directing signals and sensory stimuli
to nerve cells, while white matter is mostly made up
of fatty tissue and nerve fibers. In order for our bodies to move, information needs to travel from
the brain’s grey matter, down the spinal cord, through a chain of nerve fibers
called axons to our muscles. So how does practice or repetition
affect the inner workings of our brains? The axons that exist in the white matter are wrapped with a fatty substance
called myelin. And it’s this myelin covering, or sheath,
that seems to change with practice. Myelin is similar to insulation
on electrical cables. It prevents energy loss from electrical
signals that the brain uses, moving them more efficiently
along neural pathways. Some recent studies in mice suggest
that the repetition of a physical motion increases the layers of myelin sheath
that insulates the axons. And the more layers, the greater
the insulation around the axon chains, forming a sort of superhighway
for information connecting your brain to your muscles. So while many athletes and performers attribute their successes
to muscle memory, muscles themselves
don’t really have memory. Rather, it may be the myelination
of neural pathways that gives these athletes
and performers their edge with faster and more efficient
neural pathways. There are many theories that attempt to quantify the number of hours,
days, and even years of practice that it takes to master a skill. While we don’t yet have a magic number, we do know that mastery isn’t simply about
the amount of hours of practice. It’s also the quality and effectiveness
of that practice. Effective practice is consistent, intensely focused, and targets content or weaknesses that lie at the edge
of one’s current abilities. So if effective practice is the key, how can we get the most
out of our practice time? Try these tips. Focus on the task at hand. Minimize potential distractions by turning
off the computer or TV and putting your cell phone
on airplane mode. In one study, researchers observed 260
students studying. On average, those students were able to stay
on task for only six minutes at a time. Laptops, smartphones,
and particularly Facebook were the root of most distractions. Start out slowly or in slow-motion. Coordination is built with repetitions,
whether correct or incorrect. If you gradually increase the speed
of the quality repetitons, you have a better chance
of doing them correctly. Next, frequent repetitions with allotted
breaks are common practice habits of elite performers. Studies have shown that many top athletes,
musicians, and dancers spend 50-60 hours per week on activities
related to their craft. Many divide their time
used for effective practice into multiple daily practice sessions
of limited duration. And finally, practice in your brain
in vivid detail. It’s a bit surprising, but a number
of studies suggest that once a physical motion
has been established, it can be reinforced
just by imagining it. In one study, 144 basketball players
were divided into two groups. Group A physically practiced
one-handed free throws while Group B only
mentally practiced them. When they were tested at the end
of the two week experiment, the intermediate and experienced
players in both groups had improved by nearly the same amount. As scientists get closer to unraveling
the secrets of our brains, our understanding of effective practice
will only improve. In the meantime, effective practice
is the best way we have of pushing our individual limits, achieving new heights, and maximizing our potential.

100 thoughts on “How to practice effectively…for just about anything – Annie Bosler and Don Greene”

  1. I hear and I forget.
    I see and I remember.
    I do and and I understand.
    I practice and I master;
    I am a homoexercen.

  2. It takes 10, 000 hours of practice in a particular field to be genius in that field… start practicing 4 hours a day and after 10 years you will be a genius…. start from today itself and thank me later….

  3. 1.practice daily
    2. look over it and see what you could have done better
    3. do it better next time
    4. good job, you improved. now repeat

  4. Honestly more of a discussion than a how-to.
    I very rarely downvote Ted videos, but roughly 15% of this video was actual tips.
    Still an alright video, had one interesting tip in it.

  5. To practice effectively:
    1. Practice Consistently
    – with no distractions
    -small intense sessions with breaks
    2. Practice Slowly
    – use perfect form, gradually increase speed.
    3. practice in the mind
    – imagining the activity after learning proper form reinforces "Muscle Memory"

  6. Is an impressively low density of useful information for a 5-minute talk. (The first 2 minutes were worthless neurobabble culminating in the zinger that muscle memory isn't actually a form of memory that muscles have, you must be so proud.)

  7. Practicing 40 hours a day happens to be the only way to get better at violin ,Says a prodigy who won all the violin competitions at an age of 3(ling ling)

  8. If you want to practice you have to practice 40 hours a day

    Sorry I watched alot of twoset

    Instead of practicing……😅

  9. Learned how to use autocad in 3 weeks self taught with you tube that was intense especially as I had a client needed drawings for a home, pure focus with directed energy you can do anything

  10. Ok this is basically clickbait and you can only really get better at something when you learn something for it like let’s say you can never catch a dodge ball as in really never well the way to learn how is to get some one to just throw it at you anyway they want but still reachable from a certain position if you can catch it then move on to you needing to move to catch it if you can’t but the other person can then ask for tips and that’s basically just it for anything but there’s things more complex than that but it’s pretty much just the same thing you need to do

  11. I also assumingly believe that god helmet and its specific data accumulation can make us do things that we cannot like knowing mathematics and coordinations.

  12. 방해물제거 주50~60 천천히 빠르게 조정하면서 숙련된이후엔 이미지로 세세하게 연습좋음

  13. 1. Focus on the task at hand – remove distractions.
    2. Start out slowly – gradually increase the speed of quality repetitions.
    3. Frequent repetitions with allotted breaks are most effective.
    4. Practice in your brain in vivid detail – visualisation is extremely effective.

  14. Wait, does this mean that if I think about dieting, I'll lose weight? I'm trying it out! Be back in a week for an update.

  15. I did begin to learn english around 3 years ago, I used to watch this videos in order to improve my listening skills and now I'm currently working in a nort American call center where I develop my skills learned every single day. Thank you so much guys ❤️

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