The Difference Between Practice and Training


"Practice" and "training" are terms that are sometimes used interchangeably, and, although there are similarities, there are differences as well. In many areas, such as sports and medicine, training and practice involve different tasks, such as application. "Training" is learning how to do something, and "practice" is applying what you've learned to a particular field of interest.

Learning Through Classes

One of the differences between training and practice can involve taking classes. For example, if you work in an office, you may use computer programs like Microsoft Excel or PowerPoint. Training involves taking classes to learn how to use these programs, and, although you might get the opportunity to practice what you've learned in class, the goal of a class is to train someone on how to use it. Practice is most likely done outside of class on your own time to apply what you learned.

An Example

When it comes to fitness, people sometimes hire a personal trainer to learn how to exercise properly and gain the maximum benefit of each exercise. A trainer will show you how to execute the actions and guide you when you do it yourself. Practice is doing the exercises on your own once you know how to do them right. Practice is also typically repeating an action with the goal of getting better at something.

Using a Technique

If learning a particular skill involves a certain technique, training is learning that technique. It's focusing on how to do something properly and making sure you are able to do it the correct way. Practice is improving the technique.


Another difference between practice and training is the time involved. Learning how to do something typically takes less time than improving at something. For example, you may spend an hour with a trainer or in a class learning a particular skill, and, within that hour, you learn how to do it. Getting good at it may require a few hours or doing it every day. Another example of training would be taking a one hour piano lesson a week. Practice, on the other hand, could be done for an hour every day.