Delayed Repetition

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It is a very easy thing to do a training session on Collect, then next week cover Defence, then the week after cover Passing and so on and so forth. Everything seems covered. Thing is, we learn best by repetition, and people forget ridiculously quickly. Ideally, to minimise the ‘rate of forgetting’ (Google “Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve” for a reference), you need to learn something in the following way:

• Learn it once.
• 5 minutes later, revise it.
• Maybe a day later, revise it.
• A week later, revise it again.
• Maybe a month later, revisit it.

If you can manage this, a new concept or skill stays in mind for much longer. It’s not easy to do, but if we think about it it could work quite well…

• Teach a concept on Wednesday training.
• Do a different activity (Contextual Interference, boom!) for 5 minutes and then revise the concept.
• On Thursday training, test members of your team about it.
• The following Wednesday, revisit it briefly again, before doing the rest of the session.
• A month later, do it again in a session.

Perfect. It requires a bit of planning and forethought, but, again, the benefits will be immense.

If you can’t cope with that sort of planning in your coaching schedule, simply remember that it is better to cover a lot of different things each training session that to devote one training session to one thing. Repeated, smaller drills on a concept are better than singular, longer sessions.