While traveling I looked for a few podcasts to listen to since I have not done so in quite a while. The most recent Tim Ferriss podcast at that time was #375 Josh Waitzkin – How to Cram 2 Months of Learning into 1 Day. Since I’m a fan of Josh Waitzkin (first jiu jitsu black belt under Marcelo Garcia and author of The Art of Learning) I downloaded it.
It was a great, quick interview. What stuck with me was the importance of practicing perfectly all the way to the very end. During any kind of practice session, you may think that practicing perfectly most of the time may be good enough.
Josh poses the question, “What are the most important runs when you are downhill skiing?”
When you initially think of the answer, you may think of the first run off the ski lift, and perhaps a few of the middle runs. What rarely comes to mind is the final run down to the ski lift. This is most often where people might become relaxed and not think too hard about form, but those final three turns are what your mind remembers on the way back up the ski lift.
In my life, I can apply this to the final minutes of my guitar practice each evening, or to the last few moves I’m drilling in jiu jitsu class. In some cases, you don’t know when coach will call time, so drilling each move as perfectly as you can is paramount, as those last few drills will stick with you the most.