How To Get Better At Something
Do you ever notice that some people get better at certain things while others do not? I’ve even noticed that in snow skiing for example, I have made improvements in my own ski technique while most recreational skiers out there do not change much year after year. The fact that I’m still improving is really something especially since I’ve already been skiing for over 36 years and teaching professionally as a ski instructor for 12 years.
I thought that this would be a great topic to address as a new episode of Motivational WebTV and it’s been quite awhile since my last episode on the Great Wall of China.
When I think about why I have improved on my own skiing while most other skiers have not, I can attribute my success to three main factors. It is these same factors that can help you improve on pretty well anything.
Factor #1 – Do The Activity Often
I’ve put in over 60 ski days this past winter. Of course for most recreational skiers, that many ski days may not be possible but I to tell my ski students that if they don’t ski at least 12 to 15 days each winter, improvements will not be significant once they reach the intermediate level. Changes are harder to come by and they result only with lots of effort and time.
This is of course the same with any other activity. Do that activity often in order to get better at it. Take the time to dedicate yourself to that activity as a commitment.
Factor #2 – Focus On Specific Skills
The second factor is to focus on specific skills. Instead of spending most of your time doing the things that you already are good at, spend time working hard on skills you need to get better at.
I can be on the same ski slopes working on different skills during each run. This way, not only do I improve on the things I need work on, I don’t get bored if I’m skiing the same slopes over and over again.
Most recreational skiers get bored after a few runs on the same ski slopes. If they put their focus on specific skills instead of skiing casually, they won’t get bored.
I have a friend who is trying to get her driver license but car parking is holding her back. However, she has not been spending enough time out on the road working on her parking. As a very predictable result, her parking has not been getting any better and therefore no driver license anytime soon.
Factor #3 – Get Expert Coaching
This third factor is crucial if you want improvement. It helps iummensely if you get coaching from those who are better than you. It surprises many of my ski students (as well as those who are not my students) that even though I’ve been skiing and teaching skiing for so many years, I still take ski lessons each week.
That’s right – you read it correct here – I still take ski lessons! For much of the ski season, I take in training sessions conducted by higher level ski instructor coaches. These are like ski lessons for certified ski instructors. I love taking these sessions as I usually always get something out of them as there is always room for improvement.
It is usually not surprising to see that recreational skiers who stopped taking lessons years ago, do not change much in their ski ability each season.
Improve At Anything In Life
The same three factors can help you improve at anything you want to do better in life whether it’s a sport, your health, a work related skill or something in your personal life. The more you do the activity with a skills focus and with expert coaching (there are coaches available in everything out there), the more improvement you will get.
These will help you separate yourself from the rest of the pack of folks who end up being the equivalent of perpetual intermediates in snow skiing. These people have reached a plateau in their skills and remain stuck there forever.
Here is the video episode of Motivational WebTV where I emphasize these three factors again to help you really embrace them.
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The last episode before this one was the one on touring the Great Wall of China.
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