Purposeful Practice

Darryl Bachmeier
Jun 29, 2020

Purposeful practice describes a unique type of training that is deliberate and systematic. Unlike regular exercise, where you involve mindless repetitions, purposeful practice demands focused attention. You must conduct it with a particular objective of improving productivity.

Humans can develop their skills over time. Nevertheless, there is a limit on how much an individual can grow in terms of skills. Your genetics will separate you from others when it comes to how much you can learn.

Yet, people believe that if they extend their practice hour, they will learn automatically and improve their performance. At times, educators will mislead learners that if they practice a particular skill for longer hours, they will master it.

Although repetitions can improve animals’ learning, it cannot promote learning to the same value once humans reach a certain understanding level. Repetition of what we already understand does not boost productivity in any way.

After you attain some competence level in a particular training program, the quality of practice strategies you take can become critical to your progress. It would be best to improve your mindset and intentions towards the training program to achieve better goals.

Research shows that following main steps you must take to create a purposeful practice session. Each training session must include boundaries, a challenge, a purpose, and an overview of what you achieved.

Identify a Purpose

You must identify the purpose of each training session before it begins. You will achieve nothing if you do not specify the goal. Determining the importance, target, or a specific topic for a training session is crucial to improving training quality.

It would be best if you were specific, ensure that you remain simple, and write all you intend to learn about your skill. For instance, if you are working on a running course, do you want to push for speed, run clean, or test a new handling move?

Create the Challenge

You can create a simple training set once you establish what skill you intend to improve. The training session will be more productive if it focuses on the skill and tries to solve a challenge. A challenge can be a new or different situation that can cause failure or struggle.

A challenge can also be as simple as trying to finish the task with speed and accuracy. Generally speaking, imperfection and failure can make a practice session to be more productive. They indicate our attempts to push the skill to become more diverse and more potent.

A challenge can feature anything like several changing values around the equipment, a new location, a new layout of tools, speed, and distance. It should attempt to expose you to the unpredictable drawbacks that you might encounter.

Set Boundaries

The critical feature of quality training is to keep your focus on a particular skill or purpose all through the training period. This way, we can set boundaries around what criteria to follow and what reward to achieve. Ensure that you identify what you would like to reinforce before you kick-start the session.

With specific boundaries or purpose, you can reward your efforts and try to solve or eliminate challenges. You can consider listing down the skills you would like to learn by the end of the training session. Mark out the ones you accomplish and work on the ones you are yet to achieve.

Self-Reflection and Self-Observation

You must be aware of how you are performing and focus on adapting aptly and correcting your mistakes. Self-observation is critical even if the teacher does it for you. Therefore, you must develop a strong motive to assess your performance and make the necessary changes.


Although repetition alone cannot make you succeed, you cannot excel without it. You must consider practicing every day and attempt to focus on the challenges. Ensure that you come up with practical solutions every time.


At the end of the training session, you must review its boundaries, challenge, and purpose. Ensure that you correctly access the outcome and interpret your results to improve your future training sessions.

Long Training Period

It would be best to ensure that you work on the program for quite some time to get the best results. Training according to the requirements of purposeful practice for an extended period will make it possible for you to achieve better results. It will also boost your overall experience in that skill.

The bottom line is that if you combine all the factors and tips discussed in this post, you will learn marketable skills from your training session. Nevertheless, it would help if you remained calm and patient since learning is a process. The truth is that it cannot happen overnight, and it might take a long time for you to gain experience.

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