I watch interviews after a game where great athletes describe great plays that happened. The interviewer asked questions like, “How did you make it happen”?  “What were you thinking?”  “Was it planned?” The Athlete responds with how the game seemed to slow down and he was able see what he needed to do. This has always amazed me when as I watch it seemed to happen so fast. How do they create space to think, to be creative in the moment of performance?  

In choral performance, I have experienced many times that “magical moment” when everything seemed to come together and the choir is singing creatively with such understanding of the text, music, and vocal technique. Can this be planned in the rehearsal process?  John Wooden believed that it is through drilling  the basics and the special skills needed to perform a play (or piece of music) where they are free to create magical moments.  

 The main points from “Practice Perfect” on Rule #4:

  1. practiceperfectAutomate skills to free participants’ cognition to be more creative.
  2. Look to automate skills at exactly the moments you need creativity most, to free up processing capacity.
  3. Push participants to reflect later, after they’ve practiced enough to better understand what they are doing.

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Johnny Matlock 217 West 24th Street Hays, Kansas 67601 Phone: 785-623-1412 Email: