You may have heard of the 10,000 hour rule which suggests that it takes ten years, or roughly 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert at something. That is a long time and it makes reaching a goal seem unachievable. However, Earl Nightingale shared with us this motivating piece of wisdom:
“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
We all share the dream to become great fencers, and anything worth accomplishing takes time. Practicing fencing might seem to take too long, especially with our crammed schedules, but the time is going to pass anyway. We might as well use it to work on something meaningful.
A Better Way to Practice
In this brief video a presenter explains how to set up a practice environment, the quality of repetitions over the quantity, and vivid mental practice. I have found that this version of mental practice imperative to good fencing.
The Power of 20 Minutes
To accomplish something meaningful you don’t need to do it all at once. Doing small, simple things, multiple times, is more effective than trying to cram all your work in at once. Start with 20 minutes. You will be amazed how much you can accomplish in just that short amount of time.
Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that for a training session to be effective, we need to dedicate an hour or two of our precious time to focus and hone in on our skills. Let’s be honest though, that will likely never happen, especially daily. We need to change our mentality and recognize that all we need is 20 minutes to make a difference.
The power of 20 minutes lies in that it can easily fit into a day. You can find 20 minutes on your drive to work, in front of the tv, during dinner, or right before bed just to name a few. You can use those 20 minutes to practice a specific skill, ponder a principle, or talk about a topic with someone. However you use your 20 minutes, you’ll be training in a worthwhile way that will show overtime.
Over the next week, using the principles you learned in the video, experiment with better practice in a 20 minute time frame. Use the tools you have available here on the website, and in your own experience, to accomplish this. Try setting a simple SMART goal and using your Journal to help with your practice.
As you shift your mentality to this better way of practicing using the power of 20 Minutes you will see significant improvement in your fencing over time. The time which is going to pass anyway.
1 thought on “The Power of 20 Minutes”
To answer the question, I definitely need to try practicing instead of staring at my phone as much as I do. That would definitely give me multiple 20 minute opportunities throughout the day.
On a side note, I saw a YouTube video called “Expert in a Year”. It was about how a guy started as a complete noob and practiced everyday for a year to become an expert Ping Pong player. You can definitely tell in the video that he got better over time. But what I find fascinating is a quote I found on their site:
In a year you can get better than 99 out of every 100 people you meet on the street. But it may take another 9 years to beat that final person.
That’s where that 10,000 hours comes into play haha. True Mastery.
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