Kristjan Vingel

Always prefer form over speed

January 23, 2021

steve

Form over speed is a principle usually (at least to my experience) repeated by physical exercise trainers. Rightfully so, as sacrificing speed while handling heavy weights or executing complex movements can lead to injury.

I had an epiphany a while ago. I realized that this principle applies to pretty much everything - not just to physical exercising.

We want to do things fast. We don't want to be slow and therefore appear amateurish. We want to look like the "pro's" who perform their craft fast and effortlessly.

Yet, how are we supposed to run if we can't even walk?

Speed is something that comes with experience and time. In the beginning, we should not even think about speed. It's a lot more important to have good "form" and do the thing correctly as slow as necessary.

Let's take learning to read as an example. If a child is learning to read, it's more important to make sure that every word is read as well as possible before moving to the next one. This process is hard, but again - form is vital.

The gaps in our knowledge don't magically go away. As we speed through the material without properly understanding the previous stuff, the gaps keep compounding until our "understanding machine" grinds to a halt, and we realize that we don't understand anything at all. This is because the following material builds on the previous one, and there's no way to build a roof if there is no foundation and no walls.

Don't be afraid to be slow - focus on getting the thing correctly. You can increase the speed after the form is spot on.

K.

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Kristjan Vingel