Deliberate practice, after Ericsson

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“Deliberate practice” (Ericsson et al, 1993) describes:

  • Deliberate practice is generally not regarded as enjoyable; it’s instrumental to improving their performance, not inherently motivating.
  • Because deliberate practice is high effort, students can only practice for a limited time each day, and they need the opportunity to recover completely on a regular basis.
  • requires legibility for the the student: they must be able to see their progress
  • Deliberate practice is incremental: “Deliberate practice nearly always involves building or modifying previously acquired skills by focusing on particular aspects of those skills and working to improve them specifically; over time this step-by-step improvement will eventually lead to expert performance.” (Ericsson and Pool, 2016, p. 100)


    Ericsson, K. A., Krampe, R. T., & Tesch-Römer, C. (1993). The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological Review, 100(3), 363. Ericsson et al - The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance

Ericsson, A., & Pool, R. (2016). Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise (1 edition). Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Peak - Ericsson and Pool