Practice Makes Possibilities
Practice Also Helps To Develop Mastery of Skills, Confidence and Perseverance
“There is no glory in practice, but without practice, there is no glory.” – Anonymous
We’ve all heard the adage, “Practice makes perfect.”
When you hear someone say, “Practice makes …” your mind automatically finishes that sentence with “perfect!” That’s because it’s a universal truth; everyone knows that you cannot perform a skill perfectly unless you spend many hours, days, months or years practicing it.
The most influential and successful people in history built their lives around practice. Sergey Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), a composer who is widely considered one of the best pianists of all time, was a virtuoso – but he also practiced up to 15 hours per day.
Even people with a great deal of natural talent have to practice to hone their skills. It takes practice – lots and lots of practice! – to be really good at anything.
At Kumon, we believe Practice Makes PossibilitiesTM. What kind of possibilities? Mastery of skills, confidence and perseverance are among the many benefits of regular practice.
Mastery of Skills
First and foremost, practice helps students master skills. Whether kids are working on math problems, playing the piano or shooting free throws, they are most likely working toward the goal of mastery, the possession of a skill or technique. To achieve mastery, students must not only practice but also practice doing things the correct way in order to lay a strong foundation.
Practicing a particular skill until it is mastered is one of the core tenets of the Kumon Program. Students are given a worksheet to practice a skill and are asked to keep practicing until they can execute that skill perfectly. Then they begin to work on developing proficiency in the next skill to build on that foundation.
As basketball star Michael Jordan once said, “You can practice shooting eight hours a day, but if your technique is wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way. Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise.”
Practice also gives students confidence. Whenever they are able to execute a skill perfectly over and over, students become surer of themselves and their abilities. They will complete a task without hesitation, which allows them to do more in less time. As they pick up speed, they will be able to complete homework accurately as well as more quickly.
Students and parents often note that the Kumon Program helps to build students’ confidence. They have regular, tangible reminders of their growing proficiency – from worksheets marked 100% to new pouches signifying the next level to recognition certificates, pins and prizes.
Improved confidence helps students excel in all aspects of their lives – whether they are participating in class, speaking before a group or competing in sports.
Finally, practice helps students develop perseverance. Students practicing a skill that helps them reach their goals will be determined to get better. They will learn to persist until they reach one goal after another, until it becomes part of who they are.
Perseverance is a valuable trait for students as well as for young adults searching for jobs or anyone learning a new skill. It teaches students not to give up when something seems difficult. Perseverance promises a payoff at the end of a struggle.
Author Victor Hugo called perseverance the “secret of all triumphs.” That’s because students who keep trying, or practicing, eventually will be rewarded by reaching their goals.
That is why we teach through practice. Practice helps students master new skills. It builds confidence and teaches the value of perseverance.
Practice makes possibilities.