The Importance of Deliberate Practice

Have you ever wanted to be “average” at something? Do you know anyone who says they want to be “average?” Chances are the answer is a definitive “no.” Yet, it is beyond doubt that most people are not much better than “average” at anything they do. This can be a frightening thought in some cases. After all, you may have an “average” doctor performing your surgery or an “average” pilot flying your airplane. Like the AT&T commercial says, “Just OK is not OK.” So what is the secret to overcoming “average?” What’s the magic button we need to push to become more than what we are? Unfortunately, hard work seems to be the answer, and more specifically, deliberate practice of the skills we want to improve.

Geoff Colvin tackles this subject in his book, Talent is Overrated. He explains that just about everybody is familiar with the term practice, but what most of us call practice isn’t taking us to greatness. People tend to practice (if they practice at all outside of formal training) the things they enjoy. A musician will jam along with his or her favorite song. A basketball player will take jump shots or play a pickup game with his friends. A martial artist might throw out a few of his or her favorite kicks. But while all of these things can be a form of practice, they aren’t deliberate practice.

Deliberate practice means practice that is designed to improve the performance of a given skill. The very purpose of the practice is to focus on improved performance. Deliberate practice means a lot of repetition of the skill. It means getting constant feedback from a coach or at least honest feedback from yourself. Deliberate practice is mentally demanding since you must focus intently on performing whatever skill you are attempting to improve. Deliberate practice isn’t always fun. It can be fun, but fun is never the primary purpose of deliberate practice.

As we discussed earlier, we don’t often set out to be average. However, most of us don’t truly want to be great at anything. We think we want it, but aren’t willing to make the sacrifices it takes to achieve greatness. Fortunately, we can learn and put into practice these types of habits. Learning to deliberately practice skills is a habit that can put us ahead in any field. The vast majority of people aren’t willing to deliberately practice anything enough to become more than average. Set your self apart from “average” and set your path for success by implementing deliberate practice into your life.

If you’re reading this and want to take action on developing these types of habits, I’d love to speak with you. Our United States Taekwondo program is designed specifically to take average people and turn them into something more. Visit or call us at 737-999-4004, and we’ll get you set up for a FREE intro class and conference to discuss your goals and how to achieve them. and United States Taekwondo is the only Taekwondo school in Buda recognized by Kukkiwon (World Taekwondo Headquarters in Korea)!

Founded in 2017 by Master James Lockett, a 5th degree Black Belt and Master Instructor, United States Taekwondo offers Karate lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up that are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need – specialized for their age group – for school excellence and later success in life.

United States Taekwondo Adult Karate training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay in shape) or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at, or you can call directly at 737-999-4004. You can also visit our website at

About Master James Lockett:  James is a fifth-degree black belt and certified master instructor.  He has a Master’s Degree in Education from Framingham State University. He has been teaching martial arts for over 25 years. Master Lockett is a passionate educator who has taught all over the United States and Korea.

United States Taekwondo is just south of Austin in Buda, Texas at 3600 FM 967. United States Taekwondo serves Buda, Kyle, and South Austin.