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Automaticity: A Prerequisite To Master Any Skill

When a basketball player is amidst an epic shooting performance, people often refer to the athlete as “unconscious.” 

It’s not that they’re literally unconscious. Rather, shot after shot after shot goes in. The performance is entirely automatic. 

Unconscious, short for unconscious performance, is a slang term used on basketball courts worldwide. But the word I’m going to use for it is ‚Äčautomaticity‚Äč. 

Let’s clarify what it is not: 

  • Mindlessness
  • Unawareness
  • Laziness
  • Unconsciousness

So, what is it? 

Automaticity is a prerequisite to master any skill. It can appear in simple and complex work. 

Unconscious performance is the high-energy experience we know and love. 

Automaticity raises the energy of the people around it. Just think about the roaring fans in a sold-out sports event.

A neuroscientific connection of this unconscious effort between physical and mental occurs in sports and Life. 

It’s the ability to make decisions or perceive situations accurately without a conscious effort. 

Consider the process of learning how to drive a car. At first, you think about it a lot and don’t operate very smoothly. After lots of practice, you rarely think about it. 

In basketball, it’s the athlete who shoots without thinking about their form. 

In the running world, it’s the runner who strides with ease across the track. 

In golf, it’s the golfer who swings the club without thinking about it. 

However, practice does not make perfect, despite what everyone says. 

Perfect practice makes perfect.

Practice makes permanent.

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