// you’re reading...

Deliberate Practice

How Neil Armstrong Practiced

The movie “Moonshot” chronicles the first moon landing and the preparation that went into it. In one scene, astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong emerge from the flight simulator after a series of failed landings.

Later, in their quarters, Aldrin is mad at Armstrong, wondering why he ignored instructions and crashed the lander. In contrast to Aldrin’s anger, Armstrong is calm. “I know what I would done in that situation,” he said. “I wanted to know what they (the ground crew) would have done.”

“What did you learn,” Aldrin asks, now listening.

“I learned that we’re going to be on our own up there,” Armstrong replied.

Sure enough, when the crew was approaching the moon on the actual mission, Armstrong had to take over from the computer and land the ship manually. He did so safely, with 20 seconds of fuel to spare.

Armstrong’s preparation is a perfect example of deliberate practice. He worked hard on his simulations, creating situations where he could attend to feedback. He became a pilot of inordinate skill, prepared for anything.


No comments for “How Neil Armstrong Practiced”

Post a comment