Change the name, Change the approach

DictionaryI recently suggested to our (Australian) National Squad that the word ‘practice’ be renamed ‘learning’.  When they are hitting balls on the range, they are ‘learning’, when they are on the putting green, they are ‘learning’.

Often players who are practicing are focussed on repetition, sometimes seemingly endless repetition.  They use phrases to describe their practice as ‘working on the grindstone’ or ‘on the treadmill.’  I don’t know about you, but those phrases conjure images of mindless repetition.   Phrases like that are powerful (but not useful) metaphors.  Explaining about metaphors is a story for another day.

‘Learning’, brings thoughts and images about discovery and making progress.  A trip to the practice fairway/driving range becomes an adventure with the expectation and possibility of improvement.  If learning doesn’t occur, then the search continues.  If learning does occur then it is recorded so the learning can be re-accessed in the future.

If you substitute the word ‘learning’ for ‘practice’, how does that reframe the meaning of the time you spend in training?

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