Over the past few days I have been talking to lots of people about training and progress in any sport. I remember John Donehue once said the aim is to improve by 1% every single session. To walk out better than when you walked in. Don’t waste a workout. Simple as that. Every now and again we all have breakthrough moments, but by in large the gains we make are incremental. We can often make large leaps mentally about an area of training but gaining the skills and the timing to perform these skills successfully and in a regular manner usually is just a matter of small gains. Its interesting now that there are athletes crossing over to from different codes of football to chase big money that this will put this idea to the test. Sports science holds that 10 000 hours of quality practice is required for a degree of mastery is any pursuit. The sheer volume of hours required by definition to reach this level of competence means that there is very gradual almost imperceptible process occurring. Raw talent and a physically gifted athlete is one thing but this can’t completely replace skill, timing or experience. These variables can only be achieved through practice, patience and dedication. So the bottom line, as always, is more quality mat time. Pick a submission, sweep, position or transition and get to work.