If you want to be exceptional with a particular skill, it requires a great deal of purposeful and specific practice.
Think of basketball and making ten out of ten free throw’s in a row. Seems simple enough with very little practice, but go ahead and try it. With practice in solitude, you will get better and you will learn the nuances of consistently making a free throw from fifteen feet away over a ten foot high hoop.
Making a free throw becomes a little more complicated during an actual contest as your learning is applied. There is added pressure, there are varying levels of physical exhaustion you have as you take the line, there are people lined-up on and around the court that are watching just you. What you’ve learned in practice will need to be modified into the actual game so that you can then adapt to master the skill in your actions.
Practice in isolation is necessary, but to actually succeed we all must adapt to the conditions of reality as they are presented to us in our actions.
The key is to work at it over and over again in a variety of conditions until you become very good at each skill you are focused on.
“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.” — Zig Ziglar —