Practice makes Perfect. True or False?

Have you ever practiced a skill for several weeks or even months and STILL not been able to do it Many people experience this with many new skills they want to learn.

If practice did make perfect, then no one would struggle with new skills after some ‘practice’.

I see a lot of time being wasted by skaters ‘practicing’.

But practice is good, right? We all need to practice, otherwise we won’t progress?

Well…. it completely depends on WHAT YOU ARE PRACTICING.

No one is talking about what differentiates between ‘good practice’ and ‘trying it over
& over’.

I see the majority of skaters making the mistake of ‘practicing’ a new skill over and over expecting that to produce the new move. For the naturals among us that might work.
Or it might work with an easy skill but not with more complex ones.

Have you been trying to learn new skills by copying others, using trial & error, following YouTube tips and ‘practicing more’? Have you got stuck & frustrated on certain skills? Has the skill still not been achieved, despite putting in the hours?

Have you ever wondered why?

This is because, if you’re trying (practicing) a skill over and over and it’s not correct, all you’re doing is compounding those mistakes and ensuring they become permanent habits that are then hindering your progress even further and ultimately not leading to success.

So, practice most definitely does NOT make perfect.
Practice makes permanent that which you repeat.

Over 20+ years of working with adult skaters, I’ve observed that breaking skills down into multiple progressions produces a learning pathway that builds the skill piece by piece. This might seem obvious but the majority of skaters are not learning in this way.

Skating is much more subtle and technical than most beginner adult skaters imagine (especially if they skated before as children and are returning as adults). The ease from childhood is rarely reproduced in adulthood which is why a progression framework is needed and so much more valuable than endless, aimless trying of the end-goal.

If a single progression exercise in the sequence is currently challenging or difficult, this reveals the reason why a skill is eluding you or not working, despite hours of practice. Spending your valuable time on that one progression will yield much faster progress.

Let’s use the T-stop as an example of a skill many skaters want and are practicing (or you have the T-stop and can probably remember the process you went through to get it).

Developing the 80% one-legged balance fluency and the conscious edge control needed for successful T-stopping, can be more quickly achieved by practicing the Toe Roll position rather than endlessly repeating T-stops that don’t slide. The Toe Roll is one of the T-stop progressions.

I’ve had skaters come to me after months of trying the T-stop and by then they are incredibly frustrated by their ‘practice’ time not producing the T-stop. Very quickly I can show them the precise reason why they can’t T-stop (usually a combination of lack of edge control and pronating on the inside edge while sliding and/or an inability to balance 80% more on one leg/skate), but knowing this reason doesn’t magically then produce a good T-stop.

The body needs to understand a new skill and the best way to help it do that is to ask it to ‘digest’ certain parts of the skill, one at a time and later to combine those parts. That, is a satisfying way to learn something new on skates which avoids the frustration and reduces the risks.

The added benefit of learning in this way is that the core skills you develop while learning one move (e.g. centre edge control while learning T-stop) are then available to you for the next thing you want to learn. So learning one skill helps you learn whatever will be the next on your list.

Skipping the progressions pathway is the long and frustrating way. Many skaters don’t make it past this frustration and combined with a nasty fall can have them giving up skating altogether.

Learning with the Skatefresh Method gives you tangible things to focus on which then inform if you are doing it right or wrong. It’s not just a heady, technical understanding. This is translated into what you can feel in your body in each moment, so even without an instructor actually present, you have clear cues to feel into & therefore more ‘correct practice’.

Learning to skate using a series of movement drills (that become progressively more challenging as you master the previous ones) is the most efficient way to learn as an adult. This means nothing is too difficult or impossible to achieve and the risks of falling while learning a new skill are hugely reduced.

Each skill is made up of various components (particular edges, weight distribution, rotation etc) and each one of these can be learned (and mastered)  in isolation first BEFORE then expecting your body to be able to add multiple elements together successfully. It is often the subtlety of the movements that’s difficult to grasp.

Where can you find the Skatefresh Method?
You wont find it on YouTube – even the Skatefresh channel. I might show one progression but in isolation and not in sequence. It is the ordering and sequencing of the progressions which is also unique to the Skatefresh Method. If they do not sequentially build on from each other, they have a lot less power to create success.

The Skatefresh Method Online Courses are where the progression framework is fully shown. Each skill taught through video goes through a series of progression exercises designed to be skated in that specific order.

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