Olympic athletes do them. Professional athletes do them. When my son wrestled, he did them. Even my son who plays chess does them. "They" are drills, simple actions that force us to practice some part of a skill set to improve them. In football, it may entail practicing a set of plays that will be used at the two-minute warning. In chess, it may be practicing a set of moves to win with only a bishop and a rook. In baseball, it might be simply batting practice, where the pitcher throws nothing but curve balls so the batter can better deal with them. Athletes know that drills are one key to success and they don't mind practicing them.
Coaches, to create drills, break down complex actions, situations, and behavior combinations into their separate components. then design exercises where one component is developed. In martial arts, for instance, the act of fighting, is broken down into its individual parts: punches, blocks, and kicks. Then, the instructor has students practice kicks for a period of time. Even kicks will be broken down into different types of kicks (e.g., front, back, roundhouse, side) and then practiced individually.
Drills can benefit our personal and professional lives as well. One example is from the previous post on using a timer to develop focus, where one concentrates on simply maintaining momentum for a specific duration of time. Over the next couple of days, I'll show a few more drills that I, along with many others, use to hone our performance in our work and improve our productivity.
Until then, what drills do you use in your life and profession?