How to learn anything?

To master any skill such as performing a dance move, playing an instrument or throwing a ball into a basket requires practice. Practice is repeating an action over and over to make it easier, faster, and more confident. So how does practice make us better and better?

Our brains have two types of neural tissue: gray matter and white matter . Gray matter processes information in the brain, directing signals and sensory stimuli to nerve cells, while white matter is mainly made up of fatty tissue and nerve fibers. To get our bodies moving, information needs to be transferred from the gray matter of our brain, down the spinal cord, through a chain of nerve fibers called axons to our muscles.

Axons are found in a fatty-coated white matter called myelin . And that very cover seems to change practice. Myelin is like the insulation of electrical cables. It prevents the loss of energy from the electrical signals the brain uses, moving them more efficiently along neural pathways.

How to learn anything?
Practice is repeating an action over and over to make it easier to do it.

Several studies in rats have shown that repetition of physical movement increases the myelin sheaths that insulate axons. The more membrane, the greater the separation around the axon chains, creating a superhighway for information connecting your brain to your muscles. Therefore, the myelin layer of nerve pathways is what gives them an advantage because nerve signals are transmitted more quickly and efficiently.

There are many theories about the attempt to quantify the number of hours, days, and even years of practice required to master a certain skill. However, to become good is not simply the number of hours of practice, but also the quality and effectiveness of practice. Effective practice is about being fit, focused, and always aiming to the limits of your current abilities. So if effective practice is the key, how can we make the most of our practice time?

Focus on the task at hand by minimizing distractions like turning off your computer or TV and putting your phone on airplane mode. Laptops, phones, and especially Facebook are the easiest sources of distraction. A study on the results of observing 260 students doing exercises, concentrating for only about 6 minutes at a time, then getting distracted by technology devices.

Start slowly and accurately, then repeat and slowly increase the speed. Regular repetition with high intensity will help train reflexes more effectively. Along with that is a reasonable time allocation between effective practice and rest time. Studies show that many good athletes, musicians, and dancers spend 50-60 hours a week on their professional activities.

How to learn anything?
Start slowly and accurately, then repeat and slowly increase the speed.

Imagination is also an exercise for the brain. Quite surprising, but many studies show that a movement after practice can continue to be practiced through imagination. In one study, 144 basketball players were divided into two teams. For 2 weeks, Team A practiced physical exercises with one-handed pitches, while Team B just pretended to be practicing them. When they were tested at the end of the test, the average and good players on both teams improved almost equally.

Scientists are getting closer and closer to unraveling the secrets of our brain, then helping people to master the skill in the fastest time. For now, effective exercise is still the best way to push your limits and maximize your potential.