Practice efficacy is highly sensitive to method design

Naive practice methods are limited in scope: Naive approaches to practice rapidly plateau. But it’s not as simple as replacing naive methods with better methods because Performance plateaus often require a change in approach to surmount. One’s practice methods must evolve with one’s performance because Skill development requires challenging homeostasis.

This often means that practice methods must be designed and maintained by an expert: Expert coaches facilitate effective deliberate practice.


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

The critical importance of a correct method or strategy has also been demonstrated in date calculation (Addis & O. A. Parsons, as described in Ericsson & Faivre, 1988), mental multiplication (Chase & Ericsson, 1982; Staszewski, 1988), absolute judgment of colors and pitches (for a review see Ericsson & Faivre, 1988), motor skills (Norman, 1976), and methods of work (R. H. Seashore, 1939).

(p. 367)

Last updated 2023-07-13.