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Putting Your Skills to The Test: How, Where, and Why

It doesn’t matter whether it’s sports, video games, or classic card games; when we’re passionate about something, we want to perform to our highest level.

But how do you know when you’re performing at a high level? It’s easy to identify when we’ve tried our hardest since that’s something that’s within our control. But figuring out whether we’ve objectively performed well is more challenging. It is not, however, impossible. One method is to take a detached, objective view of your performance, but that’s hard. The more reliable way is to actively put your skills to the test and see how you perform. Let’s take a look at how, where, and why you can do that.

Set Targets

An easy way to see whether you’re improving, and by how much, is to set targets for your performance. For example, if you’ve started playing as a forward in a soccer team, then you may keep a tally of how many near-goals you’ve made per match. Near-goals are typically a better metric than actual goals, at least over a short period; if you’ve had an increasing number of big chances per game, then you’ll know that you’re on the right track. On the other hand, scoring a single goal in three consecutive games may sound good, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re improving — three penalty kicks, for instance, mean little.


You can set targets for any type of game. So long as it’s something you can measure, then it’ll work.

Enter a Tournament

It’s one thing to play casually with friends and family. It’s another to do battle against opposition whom you’ve never encountered before. Testing yourself in these environments offers an extremely good insight into your existing skill level and where you need to improve. Of course, it’s not always easy to find and enter tournaments, especially for some games. It’s easiest for card games and team sports. If you’re a poker player, entering the Power Path offers a viable pathway towards playing in professional-style, in-person tournaments, though you can also learn a lot by playing online games. If you and your friends routinely play a team sport, then check to see whether there are any mini-leagues being held in your area — aside from just offering the chance to test your skills, you’ll find that it can be a lot of fun playing on the same team as your friends.

Try Your Best

The final way to really put your skills to the test is to take your chosen activity seriously. All too often, players — be it in sports or games — perform their tasks on autopilot. And while that might be enough to get by, it’s not enough to stretch the capabilities of your skills.


By trying your best, you’ll see what you’re capable of. Think of the 100 meter runner who gives it their all in a single race; it’s that race that determines just how good they are. Plus, by giving it your best shot, you’ll be doing something that is, in practice, quite rare: you’ll be reaching your full potential.

The Benefits of Testing Yourself

OK, so that’s how you can test yourself covered. Now let’s focus on why. Here are three reasons why it’s worthwhile putting your skills to the test.

You’ll Learn Your Current Level

You might have an idea of how good you are, but it’s better to have some data-backed evidence of where you stand. By testing yourself, you can get a much clearer idea of your current level.

You’ll Figure Out How to Improve

It’s unlikely that you’ll get full marks when you test yourself. Finding out your current level will show you where you need to improve.

It Can Keep You Sharp

It’s easy to fall into complacency when we casually practice our hobbies. By putting your skills to the test, you’ll be helping to keep your focus and motivation sharp.

Have an activity that you love? Put your skills to the test today, and see what you’re really capable of.

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