How deliberate practice can improve your game
Yesterday we published a detailed look at how deliberate practice, can help you improve as a player, and the thoughts of Team Pros on how they practice and constantly work to improve their game.
This follow up serves as a useful recap, a cheat sheet summarising the thoughts of our Team Pros, outlining steps you can take to get more from your practice routine. These are practical ideas that will suit any player, regardless of ability, who wants to improve the game, or have fun trying.
How to use deliberate practice to improve
1. Immerse yourself in the game
When you start, it's as important to learn as it is to play - an equation that changes as you get more experience. That means reading, and watching, particularly on Twitch, which offers a vast array of options, with hundreds of players to follow. Not all are created equal, but find the ones with proven track records. To make it easy, start with the PokerStars School Twitch channel.
2. Practice the specifics
Don't count simply playing as practice. Work out what aspects of your game you need to work on and drill down. Check out videos on the subject, or, as Fatima Moreira de Melo does, play lower stakes than you usually do to practice that specific scenario. It'll be hard - in fact that's how you know you're doing it right - but you'll soon notice the rewards. And with a wealth of videos and articles, as well as Twitch channels to help, no subject is off limits.
To start improving as a poker player you'll need a PokerStars account. Simply click here to get started.
3. Listen to other players
This never goes off, and applies to new and experienced players alike. If you listen properly - with the intention of learning something you might not know - you're likely to pick up something, either something that challenges your own view or something you'd never thought of before. Both should be grabbed at the first opportunity. It's only through this type of learning that you improve. Again, PokerStars School features a vibrant community that will help. Find out more here.
4. Feedback is key
Without feedback you never know how you're progressing. Sure, results are often good feedback, but they can also be misleading. Hearing from players who are better than you - they're everywhere and easy to learn from - is invaluable. That applies to everything, whether it's poker, baking, or playing the guitar. Listen, and see how to incorporate that into your own game. Continue to improve and you'll have people asking you for feedback.
For a game that requires immense ego, it also requires players to humble themselves in front of those who might know more. You can't get better until you acknowledge your mistakes. Listen to what others might be telling you about your own game.
5. Have fun
Every Team Pro had something different to say about how they improved, but underlying everything was simple enjoyment of the game. It's easy to forget, but it should be fun.
Incorporating these points, and doing them properly, should improve your results as you start to tackle the weaknesses in your game. Let us know how things go. We'd love to hear from you.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog. Follow him on Twitter: @StephenBartley. What did you think about this post? Let us know on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.