Monday, July 15, 2013
To Succeed, Keep Your Eye in FRONT of the Ball
I always heard that the way karate fighters break through all those boards is that they focus on a point below/past all the boards. (Not sure if that's true, but at least it correlates with this post!) This recent study in PLoSONE fits with that for baseball. The best baseball hitters don't keep their eye on the ball, but in front of it. Their gaze automatically anticipates the location of the ball where it will hit the bat. This may be too fast for them to even know what they are doing, but they are not so much reacting as predicting. They are literally seeing -- or at least anticipating -- the future.
This is what learning can do, make prediction automatic. I propose that if learning anticipation is the trick to baseball and to karate, then it's also the trick to science and biochemistry and all sorts of other things.
And no number of Google searches will compensate for this trick when it comes to abstract knowledge. This is what I will try to teach -- keep your mind in front of the ball.