No. 8 President Jean Gonzalez of South Coast College answers the question posed in Outliers in a previous blog:  “Why do some people get more out of their practice sessions than others do? (Please read these questions in order 1-10.)


In the Outliers, the author indicated that the research does not address why some people get more out of their practice sessions that others do.


The answer is that some people do not know or understand what practice is.  Robert Short, an alumnus of South Coast College, who is an international court reporter, once said to me, “If I knew when I was playing basketball, what practice was, I would be a great basketball player.”  Instead, he is a great court reporter.  What he learned in court reporting school was how to practice.


People often get practice confused with evaluation.  High-speed students often come to me and say, “I practice every day, and I still am not passing my tests.”  After a brief discussion, the students usually realize that what they have been doing is not practice.  What they have been doing is evaluation.  Tiger Woods does not go out every day and play the game.  Playing the game is fun.  Tiger Woods goes out every day and subjects himself to grueling repetition.


What Tiger Woods does, he does the same shot over and over and over.  Dustin Huffer, an alumnus, explained how he would sometimes spend several hours writing an outline over and over and over until he could write it fluently.  Vienna Nguyen, and Whitney Valadez, South Coast College graduates who are official reporters in the Los Angeles Courts, explained how they got through school so quickly.  They spent hours doing the same thing over and over and over.


Early on in school, they understood the concept of practice.  It is more fun to write to the TV.  It is more fun to run through a few drills here and there.  It is more fun to take a test.  It is unfortunate that many students commit hours to evaluation and never get to doing any practice.