Practicing Skills vs. Using Skills

This could be some differences between practicing skills vs. using them:


  • “Practice” typically refers to actively engaging in a repeated activity or process with the intention of improving one’s skills, knowledge, or abilities over time.
  • Practicing involves regular and intentional effort directed towards achieving mastery or improvement in a particular area.
  • It often involves repetition, learning from mistakes, and refining one’s approach to become more proficient.


  • “Using” refers to applying a skill, tool, method, or knowledge for a specific purpose or task at hand.
  • Using something doesn’t necessarily imply a continuous effort to improve or refine that skill or method; it’s more about employing what’s already known or available.
  • It’s the practical application of knowledge or skills in real-world situations.

Here’s an analogy to help illustrate the difference:

Imagine learning to play a musical instrument, like the guitar:

  • Practice: When you practice playing the guitar, you spend time learning and refining your technique, practicing scales, chords, and songs. You might repeat certain challenging parts of a song to get them right. The aim is to become a better guitarist over time by dedicating consistent effort to practicing.

*** Using: When you use the guitar, you might play a song for enjoyment or perform in front of an audience. At this point, you’re applying the skills you’ve practiced to create music. Using the guitar doesn’t necessarily involve continuous effort to improve; it’s about making music in the moment.**

In many cases, effective skill development involves a combination of practice and usage.

You practice to build a strong foundation, and then you use those skills in real-world situations.

The distinction between the two is that practice emphasizes improvement and refinement, while using focuses on practical application.

I invite you to also read this related post:

What is the difference between practicing something and using something?

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