How To Use Deliberate Practice? (Action Steps & Explanation)

What’s the best approach to perfect a specific skill? Deliberate Practice. Undoubtedly, constant and cautious practice will make you the master of your own game. Being a teacher for many years, I have stumbled upon students who religiously exercise deliberate practice. These students exemplify a higher level of knowledge and skills in terms of their respective areas of study.

How to use deliberate practice? The use of deliberate practice depends on your individual objective. There are students who vigilantly practice their innate or natural skills, developing it to the fullest of their ability. Whilst, there are students who use deliberate practice to obtain certain skills that contribute to their scholastic success. Either way, making deliberate practice as part of your academic routine will help in your personal development and holistic growth.

Below, we will understand the meaning and importance of deliberate practice. Learn to distinguish between Deliberate Practice from Naïve and Purposeful type of practices. Lastly, I will share with you my thoughts on how to effectively use deliberate practice.

What is Deliberate Practice?

This is the manner of attentively rehearsing one’s skill in repetition over a long period of time. Unlike meek practices, Deliberate Practice follows a strict set of standard and tedious routine to ensure beyond the satisfactory result.

Importance of Deliberate Practice

Among students, there will always be one that stands out in terms of performance. The most common factor among advanced students is their commitment to continuously hone their academic strengths. 

For students who aim to be excellent in their skill of choice, Deliberate Practice is the best approach. It will help them heighten their skills to a whole new level. It will boost their confidence in displaying their abilities to inspire and motivate others.

Difference Between Deliberate Practice, Naïve and Purposeful Practices

Naïve Practice 

Is common to most people. This is practising your skills mindless of goals and pressure. Students who use Naïve Practice are only restricted to knowing a skill alone with less attention to intentional improvement.

For example, I caught Andy, my junior high student, scribbling on his notes during class hours. I knew he had potential in Calligraphy but instead of being part of the Art Club to further practice his lettering skill, he joined the tennis team. Clearly, Andy only does fancy lettering for pleasure.

Purposeful Practice 

Entails focus and rigid attention on a particular skill with the goal of eventual mastery. This is refining your skill until your mind and body embrace it as an automatic routine. Renowned sports icons like Michael Jordan, Serena Williams and Michael Fred Phelps II underwent rigorous training on their respective field of sports. 

The result of their purposeful practice enabled them to display extraordinary skills, which placed them on top of their games. They have inspired many sports-enthusiast students to be like them.

Deliberate Practice 

Comes with a set goal, a purpose and is systematic. It follows certain strict methodologies that are repeatedly done in an orderly unhurried fashion. Take for example a Persuasive Speech, this type of speech needs a framework and an objective. You could not just throw in invalidated ideas. You should be beyond knowledgeable about the topic at hand. 

An effective Persuasive Speech entails an upright deliberate practice. Perfecting your grammar, word pronunciation, sentence construction and delivering your speech in front of an audience do not happen overnight. It is an advantage if you have an excellent command of the language being used. 

Your next focus should be collecting appropriate ideas, organizing them relevantly and delivering the speech convincingly, hence, realizing the purpose of Persuasive Speech. The deliberate practice needed in polishing your Speech. Delivery skill will need a lot of reading, a lot of speaking every day and a lot of exposure to talking in front of people. 

Being Effective with Deliberate Practice

The effective use of deliberate practice all boils down to you. Your determination and commitment play vital roles to improve your innate skill or to make you prominent in your chosen career. Being a student is the best opportunity to discover your skills. School is the best training ground to master your potential.

In brief summary here are the things you need to consider when using deliberate practice:

  1. Get Motivated
  2. Set Goals
  3. Leave your comfort zone
  4. Consistency and Persistency
  5. Ask Feedback
  6. Take time to recover

Get motivated

Students improve because they keep on pushing themselves. They motivate themselves in improving their skills. Challenging yourself helps you to improve your thinking and skills. The more you challenge yourself, the more you have a dedication to yourself.

Try also celebrating your progress when you achieved something. Celebrating your progress is a good idea. When you achieved something good, celebrate it

Set goals

Goals give you direction in life. Your goals help you to improve. It allows you to become your best vision. It makes you a better person. It inspires you.

The goals you have made enable you to become dedicated. Through the increasing difficulty of each goal, you will be persevering. It will remind you of the progress and the reward you’ll be receiving once you accomplish it.

Here is a guide in setting your SMART GOALS: 

  1. Specific – Make sure that your goals are precise. Broad goals are very confusing and can make you lose your focus. Always be specific and make sure that it won’t distract or lose your attention. Knowing your goal will give you more reasons to do it precisely.
  2. Measurable – Your goals are meaningful. It should have an impact on your life if you attain it. It should be measurable. Meaning to say, you know until when you are going to pursue and chase your goals. How far or near will I reach this goal?” 
  3. Attainable – Set goals that are within your ability and resources. Goals that are not attainable are useless. Make sure that it will unleash your skills and capabilities. More importantly, you should know your strengths and weaknesses for you to be able to distinguish if your goal is attainable.
  4. Realistic – Goals must be practical. Is it relevant to your life? Don’t set a goal that is too far from reality. You need to have a practical way of thinking. It can measure and see if your goals are realistic or near realistic. Ask yourself if it is going to give an impact on your life.
  5. Time-bound – Goals can change from time to time. One’s goal in their teenage might change when they reach adulthood, and that’s okay. You should have short-term goals and long-term goals. Write it on a piece of paper and break down all your goals. Ask yourself if what are my long-term goals? What are my short-term goals?

Goals must be SMART and you have to put it into action. Stay committed and make sure to make the progress of your goals every day. Some goals were beautiful enough that some forgot to make it happen. Don’t just foresee it, do it. Take a justified and goal-oriented action.

Leave your comfort zone

Do a lot of readings, know the dos and the don’ts and be guided accordingly. Being a chief of something means being a master of its theories and rules. Visit the library often and read on pertinent topics. Do the research and collect information.

It is best that you try to practice that you have never done before. This will test your capabilities as a student in which area you are best with.

Consistency and persistency 

Take necessary steps to rehearse and do it tirelessly over and over again. Once you have picked a skill you like to improve, begin allotting time to practice on it. Make it an important part of your daily schedule and routine. 

Consistency and being persistent is vital in doing deliberate practice.

Ask feedback

During your practice, you need rubrics for your feedback relative to your goals. This will be best if a skilled teacher or coach can look for. You can create your own feedback methods.

This will ensure that you are tracking your progress and to know the areas you need to improve.

Take time to recover

Practising when you are tired and sleepy is useless. If you feel that you are tired, then take a break. Sleeping early and taking naps is good for your body to rest.

A night of good sleep will help you better to remember the things you are practising. 

By following these ideas, here is a diagram on how to be effective with deliberate practice.


You may have heard the use of deliberate practise has a big impact on the success of students in the areas they want. As a teacher, I have seen students who do deliberate practice with their study having better results. These students gained more than the usual mindless practice.

You can use deliberate practise to develop the areas that you want to develop as a student. These areas may be music, arts, sports or almost anything that is competitive. By doing so, you put your skills into a higher level. Practicing this way can bring you closer to achieve bigger in your chosen area.

Related Questions

Can I collaborate with other people for deliberate practice?  Engage yourself with people who share the same goal as yours and learn from them. Join a related school club and be active in it. Listen to the thoughts of other enthusiasts and contemplate on their experiences.

Is deliberate practice hard? Deliberate practice difficulty varies with the target goals you set for yourself. Do not be too hard on yourself, consider an allowance for mistakes and make room for improvements. Always begin your deliberate practice with easy tasks first to build momentum, and avoid becoming overwhelmed.


life skills, strategies, study guide, Study Habits, Study Tips, Studying


Casual writer on engaging education topics.

Engage & Learn

You may also like

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

interesting & educational reads

Our Popular Articles