A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Never name the chickens” (military adage) (10/25)
“Never buy from a rich salesman and always hire a rich attorney” (10/24)
“Incompetence is a double-edged banana” (10/24)
“The military is protecting democracy, not practicing it” (10/24)
Certainly Not News (CNN nickname) (10/24)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from August 11, 2012
“Don’t practice until you get it right; practice until you can’t get it wrong”

"Don’t practice until you get it right; practice until you can’t get it wrong” (or “Amateurs practice until they can get it right; professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong") is an adage popular in sports, music and business. “An amateur practises until the thing is right, but a professional practises until the thing can’t go wrong” was cited in print in 1967. “Amateurs practice something until they get it right. Professionals practice something until they can’t get it wrong” has been cited in print since at least 2000, when it was said to have been on a poster (probably seen at music schools).

English pianist and composer Harold Craxton (1885-1971) has been credited with the saying by quotations researcher Nigel Rees, but documentation is needed.


20 April 1963, Carroll (IA) Daily Times Herald, “Area Musicians Rehearse in City,” pg. 5, col. 3:
Dr. Mayer (Dr. Mayer of St. Thomas University, Minneapolis—ed.) told the group that the difference between an amateur and a professional is that “an amateur practices until he can do everything right and a professional practices until he can’t do anything wrong.”

Google Books
Three Classical Comedies
Translated by Hugh Charles Fay
Leeds: E. J. Arnold
1967
Pg. 10:
It has been wisely said: “An amateur practises until the thing is right, but a professional practises until the thing can’t go wrong,” and you must aim at your highest standard of work at every public performance.

Google Books
Making Music at the Piano:
Learning Strategies for Adult Students

By Barbara English Maris
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
2000
Pg. 114:
Have you ever seen the poster that declares: “Amateurs practice something until they get it right. Professionals practice something until they can’t get it wrong”?

Google Books
Get a Grip!
Edited by John M. Capozzi
Fairfield, CT: JMC Pub. Services
2001
Pg. 141:
In golf, amateurs practice until they can get it right .. professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.

Google Books
Mark My Words:
Great quotations and the stories behind them

By Nigel Rees
New York, NY: Barnes & Noble, Inc.
2002, ©1997
Pg. 14:
There have been several other attempts to define the difference between amateurs and professionals, beyond the acting profession: ‘Amateurs [musicians] practice until they can get it right; professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong’ (quoted by Harold Craxton, one-time professor at the Royal Academy of Music); ...

trumpetherald.com
jkramb19
Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2002 3:16 pm
(...)
Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong.

3 November 2006, Tallahassee (FL) Democrat, “FSY layers on character for ‘Falstaff’” by Mark Hinson, pg. D22:
“He said, ‘An amateur will practice till they get it right, but professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.’ I rather liked that.”

Hartford (CT) Business
October 1, 2007 | last updated May 26, 2012 1:31 am
Hire A Pro, It’s The Way To Go
Harvey Mackay
(...)
Mackay’s Moral: Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.

7 February 2007, Daytona Beach (FL) News-Journal, “Speaker offers life tips from golf course” by Aaron London, pg. 1A:
“Good players practice until they get it right,” he said. “Great players practice until they can’t get it wrong.”
(Golf Channel lead announcer Brian Hammons—ed.)

Music-News.com
Selah
“Performing is what I want to spend my life doing”

added: 31 Jul 2010
interviewed by: Dani Valls Halling
(...)
What’s the best piece of advice you have received?
Good artists practice until they get it right, but great artists practice until they can’t get it wrong.

Google Books
The Mackay MBA of Selling in the Real World
By Harvey Mackay
New York, NY: Penguin Books
2011
Pg. ?:
Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.

Philosiblog
Posted on 29 May 2012
Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong. – Unknown
What does that mean?
While this may not be a “real” quote, spoken by a single famous person, it is derived from a similar saying in nearly every culture from ancient times to the present. Whether it’s “Practice makes perfect” or “Tomorrow’s battle is won in today’s practice,” the notion that practice is important seems a universal concept.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Saturday, August 11, 2012 • Permalink