Use the “Train As You Fight” Technique to Better Learn New Skills
Learning is an important part of learning any new skill. However, if your workout does not match the actual setting in which you need to use your skills, it will be more difficult to remember. Try to match your practice as closely as possible to your final context.
As the advice site Barking Up the Wrong Tree explains, the effect of matching your real life context to your practice is incredibly powerful. For example, in his book How We Learn, the author found that people who learned something while scuba diving did better at testing that knowledge underwater than on land. The initial context in which we learn something helps us in many ways to remember this memory:
When I spoke to Special Forces Lt. Col. Mike Kenny, he told me, “Train the way you fight.” You want your practice to be as real as possible.
And research backs up Mike. Not only will you be better prepared, but you will learn much better when the context in which you train matches the context in which you will ultimately perform. How strong is this effect? Insanely strong.
In this case, if you are trying to learn how to dance, try practicing on the stage where you will be performing. If you are rehearsing a speech, try passing it on to other people instead of in front of the bathroom mirror. The better your practice scenarios match real life scenarios, the more likely you are to be able to recall information and performance when you really need it.
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