Avoid doing it automatically

Geoffrey Colvin in his book Talent is Overrated talks about the paradox of automaticity:
“Frequently, when we see great performers doing what they do, it strikes us that they’ve practiced for so long, and done it so many times, they can just do it automatically. But in fact, what they have achieved is the ability to avoid doing it automatically.  Great performers never allow themselves to reach the automatic, arrested development stage in their chosen field.  That is the effect of continuous deliberate practice — avoiding automaticity.” (Emphasis mine)

This is interesting.  It reminds me of Alberto Salzar's training of Galen Rupp and Mo Farah where they are constantly worried about form, including "minor" details like thumb position.  Supposedly your mind/body naturally finds its most efficient running form, but maybe not?  Maybe the more open to change you are, the less repetitions it takes to reach better form.

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