We are a Non Profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to supporting our members with the best resources for their families.


Stop telling your kids this, Make them FAST instead

Jul 06, 2019
Let's have a discussion about something we say to our kids all the time.

I want to reframe this for you, help you to look at something that's so common that every parent, especially dads, say to their kids. Whether it's when they're learning to become better at sports, or whether it's something to do with academics - any life skill for that matter that we're trying to teach them, and it takes a certain amount of effort, and a certain amount of repetition for them to be able to capture what it is that they're trying to do, and to be able to develop that skill set, and to work themselves towards some degree of expertise or excellence at it.

It's most commonly used in sports, it's used in academics, used in all sorts of life skills.

I'll share with you the three reasons why you should not say this to your kids anymore then you'll be on a whole new path to helping your kids achieve success.

The saying is,

practice makes perfect.

How many times have you said that to your kids?

We say it all the time with the best of intentions, too, but one of the things that we have to understand is that practice simply does not make perfect.

You can be a little bit wrong, just a little bit wrong, and the only thing that doing something with 10,000 repetitions is going to do is it's going to help you to become really good at doing the technique wrong.

Practice doesn't make perfect because practicing one thing over and over again without the persistence towards perfection, focusing truly on the form, and mastering first the formula of what the expectation is ... In a personal protection context, it's going to be doing a technique right, really diving down and understanding why the technique works, how the technique is going to work, and then being able to discover the movement, or the principles, or the characteristic of the lesson within different contexts, many different variables, many different scenarios or situations.

Then, once you have mastery of the technique and you thoroughly understand it then it's through the persistence of training and doing the technique over and over again with many different variables.

Will you be able to develop the mastery?

But simply trying to sit there and train a technique, and doing it over and over again, doing the same thing over and over again does not make perfect.

We don't want our children to be in pursuit of perfection. That's just a great way to build them up to let them down.

What I want to do right now is share with you three principle reasons why practice doesn't make perfect.

1. Practice simply does not create perfection

The first one is that practice simply does not create perfection, it just doesn't.

As I already shared with you, it doesn't create a skillset that's going to need to have adaptability to different situations, different circumstances, different ages, different conditions, situations, statistics, and variables.

We want to make sure that the form part is in place first; that we get them into a specific area of proficiency and have them work from that platform so that they become proficient and understand the technique.

As they get into the technique, and they understand it with more depth and able to apply the technique into all different types of situations with adaptability then they'll be able to progress forward.

It comes down to making sure that your children have a solid respect for fundamentals and basics, and understanding that the basics come first.

You're only as good as your basics allow. If we go in and we start practicing high level, or more complicated, or complex techniques because we want our kid to be the team captain or we want our kid to be the over performer well then what we're doing is we're setting them up for degrees of failure, we're building up an expectation level where they may not be able to fulfill, and they're going to crash if they can't get there.

Build those basics up while they get a good solid comprehension of what the form and the expectation of the form is, and then getting them to understand that, look, you're going to apply this in so many different areas so you can't get this one thing perfect, but understanding, capturing, and taking ownership of the basic formula of what is expected is the key ingredient to success.

2. Perfection simply cannot be achieved where change is constant

The second reason, like I already said, is that perfection simply cannot be gained. Every response is going to be completely different. Every variable is different, every condition that's coming at them that they have to negotiate, problem that they have to solve, every formula is going to have some degree of adaptability that they need to apply to it.

Success in a technique follows a formula.

In order to get fast at something you can't go in and just start hitting the bags as fast as you can. Practicing hitting it fast over and over and over again until you drop. That does nothing.

In order to get fast, what you need to be able to do focus on form first, and we'll follow this acronym


Form first... get the form down. Get the basic fundamental, structural movement. Get it down. Second is accuracy.

Once you have the form down, then you need to understand what is the target that you're going after?

What's the desired outcome?

Accuracy. Know where the end is, what it is that you're trying to accomplish, and take ownership of that. Once you have the form, and once you understand where the endpoint is, and what the desired outcome is, then we need to be able to map a path to that with the most amount of efficiency possible to get there with the least amount of effort.

So form, accuracy, and then speed. You cannot move on to speed until you have an accurate target and you're able to get to that accurate target through a properly and fully ingrained and totally owned form.

Then following that comes the adaptability of timing

Timing is used based on the initiative of the opponent, the subject or the situation.

Timing is going to be very different getting down from a steep hill that you might be stuck on in the middle of summer versus in the middle of winter.

How you're going to negotiate your steps, and how you're going to end up getting down there is going to be different.

Form first, then accuracy, understanding what your goal or your target is and being able to define that. Then go into speed, efficiency, and movement, and getting to that point, getting accurate with every single movement that you do.

Then you bring in adaptability based on someone else's movement, their skillset or their strike - your timing changes, your rhythm, your tempo in movement towards accomplishing that goal.

That's how it's done.

This is how a model for training should follow rather than just going right in there saying, "Practice makes perfect. Just keep doing it, keep swinging that bat trying to hit that ball."

3. Focus on owning the basics

The third point, like I already said, was focus on fundamentals first.

Make sure that you really work in a personal protection context and any of the stuff that I teach inside of Close Quarter Dad, make sure you work those basics first.

I have a program that helps dads teach their children basic personal protection techniques and exercises.

Everything is based off of a fundamental eight movement frame work, and if from those fundamental eight, if your kids or you yourself train these eight basic techniques, well then those eight become 16, and then it becomes 32, and then it becomes pretty much infinite based on the situation, based on the circumstances or the different variables that are coming at you.

Once you get that form down then you become accurate with your form, then you're able to become very efficient, and move, and understand how to get to that target with the least amount of friction, well then you're going to be able to add in timing.

You have to, have to, have to make sure they have a strong commitment and focus on form.

Hopefully I've been able to create a new discussion and a new dialogue inside your head when you're working with your children.

I hope that this has helped you to look at that myth of practice makes perfect in a whole new light, and hopefully you've been able to maybe change the discussion that you're having inside your head of how you work with your children, and what steps you should take to help them accomplish small gains, small victories, small goals.

That's through form first, and making sure that you have a strong commitment to the basics and the fundamentals, and helping them to take ownership of that.

Then accuracy, don't move on to accuracy until they have complete ownership of the form, and then from there most amount of efficiency to get there the fastest way possible.

Then we're able to take some ownership of timing, and adaptability, and being able to move and maneuver quickly because we already have ownership of the form, we understand our basics, we have less friction to get to where we need to go, and we're able to do it quickly, and we understand what the outcome is that we're trying to accomplish.

Every form that we put in place has absolutely accuracy.

We're able to hit the ball faster because we've practiced the form, the movement, the moving of the hip. We're able to kick a ball with more accuracy, and then from there we're able to pick it up and go faster, and then from there we're able to add in different players.

We're able to put in the different concepts that I have in some of the other lessons of court vision and peripheral field of vision.

We're adding in all these different principles, but that doesn't come until our form, accuracy, and speed are in place sequentially and we've gotten rid of that practice makes perfect thing.

I hope this has helped you.

Certainly it's something that completely changed how I worked with both my students and my children at home, and if this is interesting to you, if you've enjoyed this, if you got some value from it then I would certainly invite you to check out the community that I have of dads who are working with their children to help them have what it takes when it counts in all areas of life over at closequarterdad.com.

Thank you once again for spending a couple minutes with me. I truly appreciate it.