July 27, 2018 admin

How to learn something new, faster (with an example)

Goddamn double unders. They are a bitch to learn.

I’ve spent the last couple of months working on them. Most of the time I could only get 2 or 3 reps (repetitions) before the rope hit my leg.

I sometimes got up to 10 – but it was a fluke occurrence. I couldn’t repeat it consistently. And then I’m back to 2 or 3 reps again. It was frustrating.

I watched loads of videos. I recorded myself, looking for holes in my technique. But, I couldn’t seem to make a break through.

Yesterday I caught up with my friend Duncan, who runs Crossfit Stag & Does. I squeezed in a quick practice session before our catch up. Same story. I spent 20 mins failing to get more than 2 or 3 reps.

I asked Duncan if he could take a look, perhaps offer me a pointer. The first thing he noticed was my hands were sitting too high. After 1 or 2 reps, they drifted even higher. He told me this was probably the reason the rope was hitting my leg after just a few reps. The rope was getting shorter.

So, I tried again. It felt a bit better, but the same thing happened. After 2 or 3 reps, the rope hit my legs. Then he said ‘You need more intensity. Flick harder with your wrists.’

I took a couple of breaths and tried again.

30 reps. 30 reps.

It felt so easy. I had the biggest grin on my face.

I turns out that I was trying too hard to relax into it. The rope then got slack after a couple of reps and that was causing it to hit my legs. As soon as I used more intensity (flicking wrists harder), combined with keeping my hands lower, the timing fell into place. That’s how I got my 30 reps.

That brings me to the point of this post. Getting help from experts, particularly in a 1-2-1 setting is invaluable – especially when you’re learning something new. Sometimes changing just one or two things can make a gigantic difference. You don’t know what you don’t know. Or sometimes, you can’t see what you can’t see.

The hardest part is finding someone who is an expert and a good teacher. It’s worth doing your research and finding the best. Prepare to pay the right money for it too. It’s worth it. When you find that person, everything opens up.

Thanks for your help on the double unders Duncan. It made my week!

P.S. I wrote this post on my phone. I’ve been trying it since reading Writing On My Phone by Fred Wilson. I like it. It feels more minimal and casual.

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