Different is good. The brain organizes and recognizes patterns through differences, not repetition. This is the key idea behind “differential learning.” Differential learning is an approach to training that seems very much like play. 

Pioneered by Professor Wolfgang Schoellhorn of Mainz University the theory has been used at the elite-level in professional soccer by clubs like Barcelona FC. “The idea is that there is no repetition of drills, no correction and players are encouraged not to think about what has gone wrong if they have made a mistake,” explained Schoellhorn, an expert in kinesiology or human movement. 

Differential learning is a way of playing with variations. The ability to play and make up interesting configurations develops an adaptive, elastic style.

“It’s not about how much you do, but about how much love you put into what you do that counts.” 

Explore Difference

“You have to present new activities that players are not used to doing. If you repeat exercises too much the brain thinks it knows the answers,” coach Michel Bruyninckx says of training.

“By constantly challenging the brain and making use of its plasticity you discover a world that you thought was never available. Once the brain picks up the challenge you create new connections and gives remarkable results.”

For The Long Term

“Work that is devoid of play is either boring or a grind…Having a fierce dedication to grinding out the work is often not enough. Without some sense of fun or play, people usually can’t make themselves stick to any discipline long enough to master it,” writes Stuart Brown in Play: How It Shapes The Brain, Opens The Imagination and Invigorates The Soul. 

Read More On The Psychology Of How We Train: Playing For Fun — And Blood — At Our Jiu Jitsu Gym 


Zenyo Online

Your resource for creating the best use of your physical and mental energy