practice (002)Success in Training

Something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is practice.  Being a mom of three involves a lot of running from one practice to the next and it can be overwhelming trying to manage staggered drop off and pick up times, practice days and non-practice days, and who I’m picking up from practice all after a full day of work!

Recently, my son was invited to compete in his first conference swim meet.   Not all swimmers are invited to conference, so the invitation also meant  that after regular swim season practices have ended, our little fish is still practicing five times a wee
k while many of his friends and teammates are home playing on their tablets or with friends.  Suddenly, the idea of the conference meet didn’t seem as exciting to my son.    However, with this experience comes a great lesson.  In order to improve and enhance performance, one must practice regularly.  For my son, this means endless laps in the pool while his friends are playing Minecraft (his favorite past time), with the hope that after that conference meet, he’ll bring home some kind of hardware to symbolize his hard work, hours of practice and ultimately, his achievement.

In thinking about my son’s practice schedule, I can’t help but also think of our clients in terms of continued practice after their initial training workshop.   In order to make change stick, regular practice becomes essential for a number of reasons.

One, practice allows for immediate application of training content.  This helps participants get a complete understanding of the concepts trained and implement those concepts in a real-time environment.

Two, after training, practice helps us to identify areas that are still a bit “gritty”.  This is crucial because it helps trainers support and coach their teams for maximum effectiveness and success in using the process.

Finally, consistent practice helps identify what is working!   Identifying wins with regards to what participants learned through training is equally critical to the teams’ success.  Whether it’s enrolling a new student mere hours after the training has ended – using the new approach – or enhancing communication between departments.

Consistent practice is a must in order to achieve mastery.  Keep pushing yourself to move beyond the “grittiness” and improve your level of understanding.  As you incorporate practice into your routine, don’t forget to celebrate the wins that you have along the way.  So…what will you be practicing today?