The MuchSmarter Blog

Can Practicing The ACT Improve Your Bowling Scores? (Part Three)

Steve Schecter
April 28, 2016

In case you missed the last two parts of this article...the answer is yes! ACT (or SAT) practice can help you learn bowling, or music, or anything else you are willing to practice the right way!

This is the last of three posts responding to a question that no one has ever asked!

In Part One, I related how a student, Yuval, used insights gleaned from ACT practice to improve his bowling scores during a night of good-natured competition with friends. In Part Two, I spoke about Yuval’s five point improvement on the ACT and what he learned along the way that he can apply to any game he chooses. For a final look at the question, let’s consider the message of a recently published book: Peak: Secrets From The New Science Of Expertise, by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool.

Ericsson has spent most of his adult life, more than 30 years, studying how people develop the skills that enable them to rise to the peak of their fields. He began his work training a college student — who had never before demonstrated extraordinary memory – to memorize strings of 80 numbers recited to him at the pace of 1 digit per second.

(To learn more about this amazing feat of learning, see our blog post “Your True Potential” dated January 26, 2016).

Ericsson’s subsequent research revealed to him the connection among seemingly different areas of learning:

". . . Since that time I have devoted my career to understanding exactly how practice works to create new and expanded capabilities, with a particular focus on those people who have used practice to become among the best in the world at what they do. And after several decades of studying these best of the best – these “expert performers” to use the technical term – I have found that no matter what field you study, music or sports or chess or something else, the most effective types of practice all follow the same set of principles.

There is no obvious reason why this should be the case. Why should the teaching techniques used to turn aspiring musicians into concert pianists have anything to do with the training that a dancer must go through to become a prima ballerina or the study that a chess player must undertake to become a grandmaster? The answer is that the most effective and most powerful types of practice in any field work by harnessing the adaptability of the human body and brain to create, step by step, the ability to do things that were previously not possible . . .

Thus, all truly effective practice techniques work in essentially the same way."

Ericsson’s research reinforces MuchSmarter's experience working with hundreds of students over the years. There is a connection among all forms of learning. There is a kind of practice that enables you to master math, writing, music, public speaking, and sports – including bowling!

In a future post, I will speak more about the most effective kind of practice, and how you can apply it to the games in your life!

Until next time,

- Steve

 

References:

Ericsson, Anders and Pool, Robert, Peak: Secrets From The New Science Of Expertise, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2016

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