Extreme Handball Practice
Many years ago my cousin once told me about a friend of his who played professional handball. His friend told him that during their handball training, before entering into competitions, they practiced by playing handball while wearing weights tied to their shoulders, legs and around their waists. He said that practicing while having those extra weights tied to their bodies was very difficult and put enormous strain on their bodies. As they kept practicing one time after the other with such extra weights attached to several parts of their bodies, they started to get used to the extra weights and were eventually able to play handball normally with such extra weights on as if they did not have them attached at all.
When the time came for the actual game during the competition, they were asked by the coach to put off their extra weights. During the matches, having put down the extra weights they had long been practicing with, it felt to them as if they were flying! They were so agile in the field, moved extremely fast, had strong stamina, never felt tired and achieved outstanding results.
One of the main lessons from this story is that extremes can be used during practice in order to boost abilities even though such extremes would not be part of the actual performance when the time for the real ‘game’ comes. For instance, I remember when I started to learn a concept in computer programming called arrays. I started to use it extensively in my programs. I jam packed computer programs I created with arrays. I used arrays to the extreme even where they were not needed or where they were not the best solution of choice.
After such period of being extreme in using arrays in computer programs I created, I then moved on to normal usage and used arrays only when appropriate and suitable. The period of time when I used arrays in an extreme way helped me in fully grasping them and mastering their use. It is as if you are stretching your body to revitalize it then getting your body back again in normal position.
Going to the edge of something and getting close to its extreme states as a form of practice helps one master such thing and makes the learning and skill development great.
Have you ever experienced going to the extreme in something then coming back and found yourself mastering it well after such experience? Tell us about it and what happened.