Block by Block - Big super powers

All joking aside, you can get a lot better at skill development if you break it down into smaller pieces and focus on getting those small skills to work, and then putting it together.

If you want to become a world class soccer player, it is impossible to try and pick up all the skills at the same time, you can't learn to dribble, shoot, defend, monitor the field, coordinate with your teammates and pass all at the same time, or at least not well.

So if you want to become a world class soccer player, you break down these skills one by one into small pieces, usually the smaller the better. Practice dribbling, practice how you dribble with your right foot, and do it again and again with the right form until it becomes mindless.

There are a number of advantages to doing this

*Going small improves your chance of getting it right - if you break a skill down into a smaller piece it is likely you can do it right with practice, vs something complex that you might practice it wrong. It doesn't help to start off trying to get a skill by doing it wrong

*Going small is faster - simpler skills are easier to learn, you can see real progress quickly with this method

*Going small is more correctable. If you learn your skills in a modular fashion you can improve them that way as well. If you figure out something to do this better, it is much easier to correct a small skill that you have learned than trying to change a massive skill

There is a further benefit, you can manage more complexity for the complete skill if you take this approach.

Take for example learning guitar. You need to learn how to use one hand to set the chords, and the other hand to pick and to strum, and then you need to learn the order of the notes and the rhythm of the song. If you spend time learning all the finger positioning for the chords, and get it so that it become instinctive, it is much easier to add in the strumming element and then once you get good at both picking up new songs becomes much easier. If you want to go one level up, if you are playing in a band, being able to do your part mindlessly (or without active thought) then it is much easier to use your awareness to see how you fit into the larger song that the band is playing.

Thus, like with legos, small blocks can be put together to build items of tremendous complexity.

Piece by piece and then put it together and keep on building.


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