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Practice Makes Permanent

This extract below is from the book ‘Why Businesses Fail and the Journey through our Irrational Minds’ by Bob Weir’. It is a book I would recommend especially if you are interested in running a successful business. I have put the extract on this site to show how practice can help you to play better darts. Most players know this anyway but the extract details how practice programmes the brain. To Bob Weir thanks.

‘Every time we learn a new fact or skill, we change our brains in small ways, all the time. This process is called neuroplasticity.

These chemical reactions or firing of these neurons in our brain are short-lived.

To embed these new skills, we need to create structural changes in our brain – this takes much longer. The example of this is doing piano lessons one day and coming back the next day remembering little or nothing about what was learned. To learn the piano and create permanent change, you must repeat the process over and over … and over. As we learn and evolve, change and grow, pathways are forged in our brains where the neurons are connected.

Complex skills are laid down in the brain after countless hours of deliberate training because our brain is a slow learner. Over time, such practice sees these skills becoming subconscious – we may no longer realise we have such skills or take them for granted.

We have effectively built dedicated circuitry in our brains. When a skill is practised enough, it no longer requires conscious thought, being easy and very efficient. This makes more cognitive resources available to us for other thinking. If we stop practising those skills, the neuron pathways begin to degrade and this occurs rather quickly. The neurons are eliminated and we lose those skills.

Our brains are creatures of habit. If you do the same thing over and over, the networks of neurons that are involved in the task get strengthened and fire more efficiently. That means the next time you do that thing, your brain’s activity will be slightly more fine-tuned.’

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