I was recently reading a book called Atomic Habits by James Clear. In the book, James was talking about what separates champions from also-rans, Professionals from hobbyists.
At one point James interviewed some Olympic level coaches and asked their opinion. The answer he got back was “Champions handle the boredom better”.
This shocked him however it hit a chord with me straight away.
In Jeet Kune Do the goal is to be great at a few things and be able to use them in any situation, as opposed to having 1000’s of techniques you can’t use out of the gym.
Repetition is the mother of all skill.
It cannot be more simply put “if you want to be good at something you must train it”
This can mean repeating a skill 1000’s of times, pulling it apart and repeating all again.
In my own classes at Interception Martial Arts Hull, you will often hear me talk about how most of us learnt to type. Remember the first time you used a keyboard?
It’s Like a(single) finger pointing to the moon…
I bet the first time you sat at a keyboard you only used one finger even pulled a face while looking for the next letter. Over time as you become more familiar with the layout you may have been brave enough to use two fingers.
Before you knew it you were using both hands to type.
This probably happened without you even noticing it. To me, this is the best way to train just get in the gym and rep it out, don’t force it don’t try going faster or harder and cut corners just rep it out. Then one day just like typing you will be doing the technique at speed with great form.
There is no short cut.
As previously mentioned do not and I repeat DO NOT!!! cut corners, you will only have to go back around them again as you will miss something that allows you to perfect the new skills.
This does not apply only to martial arts. Name anything you want to improve and the secret will be to train it. It could be cooking, gardening or part of your job.
Take it apart look at the individual pieces and put it back together fully understanding it and practising it with the correct form.
Enjoy the boredom.
Practice your new skills until you are way past being bored with them. You should be able to practice them without thinking. I personally warm up with the skills I am targeting to rep out. 20 minutes of just footwork before each session that’s almost two hours of basic footwork training instead of jumping jacks. I have effectively killed two birds with one stone, warmed up and practised a certain drill. This allows me to 1, save time and 2 get my reps in. I am not forcing the footwork or trying to do it as fast as possible. My only target is to warm up and do it as effectively as I possibly can.
If of course, you’re happy being a hobbyist that’s fine too. We all have different goals but if you want to be great be prepared to be bored!