Practice may seem to be a very obvious ‘secret’ of success in most walks of life but it is often anything but obvious because the practitioner seems to do his or her thing so easily and spontaneously. They appear to be so talented that they can improvise brilliantly without the help of rehearsal.
On closer examination, the performance is far from easy. It follows hours and hours of daily practice and rehearsal.
Recently Lilia Kopylova won the BBC's ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ program partnered by England fast bowler, Darren Gough. She made her performances seem easy. She also achieved miracles in teaching Darren to be a competent partner.
However, Lilia has been training every day for years. She began dancing when she was nine and initially trained in Ballet, Gymnastics and Ice-Skating (which she began aged four and went on to become a Moscow champion in figure skating). It is no wonder that she can put in stunning dance performances.
Darren, had much less time - a few months - in which to learn to dance but he put in hours and hours of concentrated practice with the added benefit of Lilia's tuition.
Recently Robert Ringer has written a brilliant article on the power of ‘orchestration’ i. e.detailed rehearsal and practice.
He is a great speaker himself and has noticed how other great speakers give apparently flawless performances which appear to be the result of natural ability. He has realized, however, that these great speeches are anything but spontaneous.
He was so impressed by a speech by Zig Ziglar that he went to listen to him again. He was amazed to hear that the words and sentences were exactly the same. So was the body language. He also noticed that Anthony Robbins has his own sound man at all his speaking gigs. Speech and sound are carefully coordinated.
I heard Robbins in London at his fire walk seminar in Docklands. I, too, noticed huge banks of sound equipment at the back of the hall with a sound man always in charge.
Robbins appeared spontaneous and dynamic but he must have rehearsed his speech and delivery with his sound man many times before he finally appeared on stage.
Some performers have so much natural talent that they think they can get away without practising. However, they are taking a big risk. Practice can make a natural performer great. Lack of practice can make him or her look mediocre.
The above gives us all hope. Someone without natural ability can give a presentable performance if they practice enough. They can even appear talented. Practice can almost create talent.
I have often noticed in the martial arts that the people who practice regularly and with determined effort can put in competent performances at their grading.
They can focus all their energies on the required moves rather than on wondering what they should be doing next.
As they increase the speed of their well rehearsed moves, they can even begin to appear talented.
I have seen talented performers floundering because they had not put in the necessary practice.
People who worry about performing in public should stop worrying and start practising. Daily practice can work miracles and can create its own talent.
About the author
John Watson is an award winning teacher and fifth degree black belt martial arts instructor. He has recently written several books about achieving your goals and dreams.
They can be found on his website http://www.motivationtoday.com along with a motivational message and books by other authors
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