Practice and Training

“Encore . . . point!  encore, encore, center yourself mes petits.  Always keep your centre.”  Tanta watched the students with a critical eye as they continued to do the same steps over and over and over.

The knife flew as the vegetables became even chunks and then were apportioned to individual plates, ready to be added.  Scotty watched Mike cook and asked.  “How do yo manage not to slice your fingers off?”

Mike smiled and said.  “I was trained before I practiced, it makes a difference.”

“Encore but slower. Each move is a critical part of the whole, each move.  You will do it all correctly be fore we put it together or there is no point, no point at all.”  She stamped her cane to the rhythm and they started again.

The knife flew and embedded deep into the target and then was shattered as the followup fire struck.  Free smiled at the resultant hole and reached for another knife and holstered the gun turning to face away from the target and pushed the button for the silhouette to start moving.  Hefting the knife in her palm she waited for the starting sound, that of a weapon sliding out of leather.

*sshhht*, spin, thud, bang and another target was destroyed.

Beyond the safety glass a the firing room tech talked to her personal one.  “She always train this hard?”

Corey winced.  “Don’t let her hear you say that.  She is very picky about the difference between training and practice.  Today is practice.”  He looked down to make sure the holorecording was still running.  “If she doesn’t like what she sees, later, then it will be back to training.”


Across the stars the two voices, Scotty and the firing room tech asked in unison.  “What’s the difference?”

The children sprawled on the floor, exhausted from doing the same moves over and over and over again, each time one of them had been corrected, perfected.  For the last half hour Madam had not corrected any of them . . . She now stood there letting them catch their breath and smiled.

“Now you all know the right way to do it.  Now you all WILL do it right or we will repeat this training.  Now you know what to practice, you know it well.  Training teaches you HOW and practice burns it deep.  If I lets you practice how to do someting wrong den DAT is gonna be burnt deep, too.  We done want that, we don’t.”  Her cane thumped for emphasis.

“Regardez.” The cane dropped to the side and Madam did a silent dance gliding across the floor as though gravity was no longer a concern of hers.  The children watches, muscles twitching as they wished to be up there, doing the same movement, the same ease of perfection.  “Training, then practice, then check the practice to make sure the training holds.  Dat is how we learn here, that is how, yes?”

The chorus of assent came from all the young students and the struggled to their feet to begin to practice what they had learned without being told to.  Tanta smiled.  That was the hidden lesson, the one never told, that learning only happened, training only worked, practice only perfected, if the the student wanted it so.

The knives were gone and she walked from the room taking the recording from Corey.  “Arrange for a flight to Gallente space, Dodixie.  We will find out own way from there.  I need to ask some training questions.”

Corey nodded and moved away.  He knew better than to ask where or why.


“Mise en place,”  Mike said.  “You make everything right then you do it right.”  He started assembly of the various bowls into a concoction that simmered and each move looked effortless because the hard part had already been done.  That is how training and practice came together.  Do it right and it works, do it perfectly and sometimes it looks so easy that an outsider would think they could do the same without the practice and without the training to back it up.



You can take this a couple of different ways.  The tournament season will be cranking up and there are teams that DO practice and practice a lot.  They try to get it right and then burn that right down to the bone so in the heat of the moment, adrenaline running, they will still get it right out of pure reflex and muscle memory

Make a ship right, fit it right, and you will do better than with a whatever fits approach.  Mise en place.  Do the hard work ahead of time.  Good tournament teams do that, too.  Fleet compositions and alternatives, plan for banned ships.

I have gotten good at Rookie Help because I take corrections and try to incorporate them into being better, answering quicker and more precisely (but sometimes with more works because rookies do not understand our eve-jargon yet.  “What’s a rat?”  I have links in a dozen or more note pages ready for the common questions.  “Anyone have an overview?  How do I know which asteroids are where?  How do you fit a   . . ”  I try to be ready.  All the components cut, prepared, ready to link.

Even way back when I started I had a buddy try to lock and shoot me as I learned then practiced the mwd cloak trick until I was smooth enough to be hopeful for my survival.  But even before Eve I had this drummed into me by some of my hobbies.  One instructor told me I was ‘too fast’ in a sport that demanded speed (fencing).  He said I had bad habits and hid them with speed but in the end I would plateau too soon and be unable to get better because the practiced bad would be an anchor slowing me down.  We went back to basics and I had to learn it right, learn it slow THEN begin again to get faster.  Training then practice.

Do you, in Eve train?  Practice?

fly it like you won it


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