There is a pretty fair debate about the benefits and detriments of drilling techniques. For advocates of drilling, the emphasis is placed on refining techniques and burning them into muscle memory. For those on the other side, drills focus on muscle memory but completely miss the conceptual aspects that make them work (i.e.: timing, live training, etc).
Personally, I spend about an hour and a half a week drilling sequences from different positions, but that is aside from the point. I have plenty of my own thoughts on drilling that I will elaborate on in a later post.
Recently, I was perusing the internet and came across a blog about how to disrupt mental routines in order to keep your mind from becoming too one-sided. The idea here is that, drilling techniques will throw your conscious mind into a dull state that becomes unpolished with repetition and mastery. To engage your mind’s creativity, the author suggests that you do something new everyday in order to stimulate your body’s peak performance state. Essentially, this is what has been coined “Disruptive Theory”.
Tying this back to the drills/no drills argument, the framework is simple: Repetition, although helpful in some aspects, may actually cause a mental lethargy. By changing things up, and adding something new to your repertoire, you will be stimulating your mind and keeping it engaged in your learning. Ultimately, we can go back and forth all day about whether drilling is helpful, but at the end of the day, I feel it’s a personal choice. Perhaps it should not be the be all-end all of your training, but maybe it will help supplement your training in some way, shape or form. Like I said… personally, 10% of my weekly training focuses on drilling specific techniques and sequences. The other 90% is a healthy mix of all sorts of other stuff.
Hope this helps.