What I Re-Learned About Learning This Week


Over the past 3 weeks I have been going to a new Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school, after being off the mats for nearly two months since my old BJJ school moved locations. With this new group there have been dozens of techniques that I have come across that were completely foreign to me. Simultaneously, I have had a new hire on my team who has been learning all of our new systems and a new role.

Through both of these experiences I have re-learned that one of the most critical things about learning is interrupting the process of forgetting. 

Just before I wrote this I was at the BJJ gym observing the instructor sharing a new technique. As soon as he was done I got into the same position with my training partner and thought…”What the hell do we do from here again?”….

Now of course watching and doing are two completely different learning processes, but once we are able to do there are some critical steps I am taking to interrupt the forgetting (numbers 3-5 I got from the brilliant book, The Coaching Habit):

  1. After class write down what I learned. If my partner is up for it, I usually explain what I learned as well 🙂
  2. Revisit the technique before your next class and visualizing the execution of it.
  3. Practice the bigger action in small chunks (if you are learning a tennis serve, practice the frame of just tossing the ball up.)
  4. Repetition, repetition, repetition…and repetition. Practice it fast, slow, and all the different ways you possibly can. 
  5. Celebrate the wins when you have them. A solid fist pump will reinforce the positive behavior. 

Utilizing all five of these we can be one step closer to unconscious competence. 

Learning by Gerald Wildmoser from the Noun Project

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