Why *how* you practice affects how good you'll get (from HatchetJob podcast)


The latest episode of the HatchetJob podcast (a generally good gaming podcast btw) is an interview with Dr. Tom Stafford, and the topic is about practice in games vs. overall adeptness.

It’s a fascinating interview and, obviously, relevant for fighting games. He discusses the benefits of practice over time, but also things like the importance of taking breaks and how that improves practice.



Haven’t listened yet, but is this similar to what I was describing in twitter a few days ago?


Why the fuck would anyone know what you post on twitter?


Because people follow Novrill on twiter, stop being Squidward.


Maybe? I don’t always catch everyone’s tweets. This particular podcast appeared in my aggregator and I was all like “Hey this is FGD material.”


The people who follow him on Twitter are probably Squidwards.


good listen. Since it had to do with practice, I actually sat in training mode while listening to shed some light on what I was practicing. I’m probably going to give a 2nd listen later on to completely absorb it.


Please don’t take this the wrong way.

My question was specifically directed at specs only, because for some reason I remembered him retweeting it. But my memory was fooling me, as he was retweeting a completely different tweet that day. Sorry for any confusion!

2 days ago I said: “Whenever I feel like I’ve hit a wall in improvement, it’s fixed if I come back to a game after a long break.” But after listening to the podcast they talk about breaks during the process of learning, so it’s a different concept.


Fair enough. Yeah basically the idea is that if you just sit there and grind for hours non stop you eventually stop soaking up information and fall into a rhythm and could possibly hammer in bad habits. By taking breaks it puts what you practice into the long term memory of your brain and you become much more adept at what you practice. It’s always a good idea to stop practicing something if you’ve been trying too long and move on to something else and come back to it later.


Active Practice is key. Great Podcast specs. I think it’s easy to fall into a rut when practicing, we have to always be trying to better ourselves, not just going through the motions.


I think the main benefit in that break is that 8 hour sleep in between. He hasn’t measured it but my educated guess would be that the difference between breaks without sleep, and no breaks, won’t be as large.


This is going to be different but a good break for me is the gym, I find my execution is better after I lift.


My execution becomes better when I do just about anything that makes me stop thinking, unless it’s just thinking idly. Music, a long walk, light reading, etc.