Another example of blocked training.  Quarterbacks repeating the same motion looking for a certain result over and over again.

Another example of blocked training.  Quarterbacks repeating the same motion looking for a certain result over and over again.

    Block versus Random training..... When acquiring a new skill it takes practice. Sorry, first it takes education! The skill needs to be introduced, discussed, demonstrated, coached and practiced. In the ideal scenario, you are provided all of the above prior to practicing the skill on your own, supervised or unsupervised. There are 2 main types of training/practice methods used to master a skill: Blocked and Random.

     Blocked training is the act of repeating the same motion repeatedly till precision and consistency are achieved.  A good example might be shooting free throws, one after another, till 50 consecutive baskets are made.  In blocked training the variables are limited.  You are being asked to repeat the same process over and over till success is achieved and is repeatable.  During the learning process, one may be coached along the way in an effort to refine the motion for improved form, other than the same demand over and over again.  No change in distance, angle, effort, result or comprehension; no different than "ROTE rehearsal" most of us are familiar with from school when cramming for a test the night before. 

 The ability to deliver a good spiraled pass first requires a good bit of blocked training but in order to deliver that same spiraled pass to a running player during a game requires even more randomized training.

The ability to deliver a good spiraled pass first requires a good bit of blocked training but in order to deliver that same spiraled pass to a running player during a game requires even more randomized training.

     Random training is randomization of acts that have a similar motion involved but require varying efforts for the same result, the ball in the basket.  A good example would be, instead of shooting only free throws, shooting from numerous spots on the court till 50-consecutive shots are made.  Each shot requires different processing prior to the shot being performed: distance, angle and effort are all different as well as any fatigue, momentum, a defender and other distractions becoming part of putting the ball in the basket.  Comprehension/awareness is required by the shooter in order to adjust all the variables involved in the mechanics of duplicating a positive result.  

 Slash did't become one of the best guitarists in the last 20 years with Block training alone!  Knowing the notes is one thing, being able to play a song requires skill!

Slash did't become one of the best guitarists in the last 20 years with Block training alone!  Knowing the notes is one thing, being able to play a song requires skill!

      Blocked training can be useful for short-term learning goals but random is best for mastery of a skill.  If you need to be really good at knowing 2+2=4 or 3x3=9 blocked is good.  However, if you need to learn how to do math random training puts you in a better position to understand the process, instead of providing the ability to regurgitate a scripted response. Blocked can be useful and has a faster learning curve in the short term, but is task specific. Randomized training is better for long-term learning and mastery of a skill set, not just shooting free throws. They are both useful in acquiring skills but its important to understand the difference between the two and knowing when to use one over the other for efficiency.

    I hope the above was useful and as always, if you have any questions please feel free to hit me up with any questions. Hope your Christmas was a brilliant one and the New Year brings you everything good you deserve!