Practise like the elite

Exploiting every opportunity to practice and get better? Doing the ‘right’ kind of practice?

Purposeful and deliberate practice is essential to fulfil potential and perform at the next level.

This tool sets you up to start doing great quality practice.

Reading time: 4 minutes

What will it do?

This tool sets you up to start doing great quality practice. It’ll ensure you’re clear about what you want to get better at and how you’ll make that happen. It’ll then help you learn from all your practice.

Use this tool whenever you’ve got a practice opportunity coming up. It’ll take you 15 minutes max to complete it before you practise, then 5 minutes after your practice. If you want to be like the elite, use this every day so that you’re taking every opportunity to learn, improve and be ready to perform.

Try it for a month and see the impact!

Three steps to take

Get focused on the things that will make the most impact for you

1. Identify what you’re practising

You could be aiming to work on and improve a particular skill (for example, how you manage your energy through the day), or you could be getting ready for an important performance event (e.g. delivering a presentation). Either way, you need to be clear about what you’re practising for and what success looks like.

What I’m working on today:

Success for me on this would be (get specific – these should be tangible things you’ll have done/achieved and that you’ll be reviewing). An example – for energy management – might be that you’ve taken regular breaks and activity, limited your caffeine intake and hydrated well:




2. Create your practice plan

Now create a practice plan that’s structured and focused. This should contain key things you’ll be doing to ensure you’re going to achieve your goals. Be detailed here – it’ll provide you with a very helpful guide and structure to stick to through your practice opportunity today.

What I’ll be doing / thinking What goal (above) it related to
e.g 5 min break each hour where I am active – stretching or walking round the office. 30 min walk in my lunch break Regular breaks and activity – contributing to my 10,000 steps!

If you’re practising for a particular event or performance moment, you may also find it helpful to create a timeline or structure to your practice session.

3. Review

Complete this after you’ve completed your practice. Take the time to do this properly. It’ll maximise your learning and improvement, and get you ready for your next practice/performance. You’ll find it’s time well spent.

To what extent did I follow my plan and achieve my goals?

What have I learnt from this practice opportunity about myself and my performance?

Cut to action… How will I apply my learning the next time I perform or practice?

You could also reflect on how well you exploited this practice opportunity!

Your plan

Get a plan Stan. The basics you need to have in your plan are set out below.

Plan basics

  1. What are you going to do? This bit is easy – it’s the 3 steps listed above.

    My actions:

  2. When are you going to do these things? You don’t have to be great to get going, but you better get going if you want to be great.

    My start date:

  3. How often will you be doing it? You’ll probably be doing this as a one off, but it could be useful to do it more often.

    Check-in frequency and dates:

Get serious

The difference between having a plan and making it work is about action. So get this in your diary now. Tell the people who need to know so that they can support you and won’t just think you’re being weird. Do it now.

Remember, it’s progress not perfection. You’re looking for gradual improvement, not for Rome to be built in a day.