How to drill a new technique

Here’s something I teach all my students in their first day of training… and expect them to be able to repeat it back to me whenever I ask.

It’s a simple, but almost ALWAYS overlooked, formula that you should be able to repeat in your sleep. And it is…


They are:

1. Slow practice (until it’s perfected)
2. Correct form
3. High repetition

SLOW PRACTICE because you need to go slow enough to recognize the “negative feedback” you receive while learning the technique, and adjust to it. It’s like a mouse in a maze… it runs into a wall (negative feedback) and adjusts to it, repeating that process until it’s mastered the skill & can do it perfectly every time.

Important: You only perform slowly until the technique is perfected. Then, you must move toward normal speed. Why

Because the same action, done at both slow and fast speeds, builds two completely distinct motor pathways. In other words, they are 2 different actions as far as your nervous system are concerned.

CORRECT FORM because each time you perform a repetition, you are teaching your nervous system to perform that exact movement. Each time you do it wrong… you are teaching your nervous system to do it wrong.

HIGH REPETITION because that’s what conditions your nervous system to be efficient, firing only the muscles it needs to, and not the ones it doesn’t.

You can think of drilling new techniques to be like “rolling a heavy ball through the dirt”… each time you roll it, it wears the groove in the dirt a little deeper, until it rolls exactly the same way every time.

Same with learning a technique… each time you do it, you “wear a groove” into your neuro-muscular system until you eventually do it the exact same way every time (that goes for whether you do it RIGHT or WRONG… so be certain you are drilling it with correct form every time).

I learned that over 35 years ago from a jaw-droppingly talented man and have taught it to every student I’ve ever had. Memorize it and use it every time you learn a new technique.

This video should drive the point home…