Originally Posted by uhoh7
However, improvement even with practice is not a given. I watch people who ski all the time for 20 years and don't improve. Most of them, actually. You know what made the most difference? Explosion in ski options. They may still have their quirky styles but they can go places they never could before.
I have even seen people get worse with practice. An older volunteer plays the guitar in the corridors of the local hospital. He might once have had lessons, but he seems self-taught to a great degree. When I first noticed him I listened for a bit and he made a nice sound (the guitar always makes a nice sound.) He played familiar pieces by Albeniz and Tarrega and Lauro. After several months I found my patience for listening to him even for a half a minute had diminished, and it seemed that I only ever heard him struggling with a difficult passage.
I think he is practising his mistakes. By putting himself out there and having to fudge a solution in public he is actually getting worse. If he stopped coming for a while, slowed down and did some actual proper private practice he could fix those difficult passages and start to improve again. But I don't have the heart to tell him, neither the courage nor the cruelty.
I think this happens in photography. My first major improvement in decades, ten years ago, came with quite an impetus from the very expensive roll of Velvia I had just bought: a dollar per slide. That slowed me down.