'Action is Central'
[Ethics of the Fathers]
Of all the rules of thumb that I've reflected on so far, I believe this one to be the most crucial. In a nutshell: 'action is central'. This principle can be interpreted in at least two ways:
1. One should maintain focus on one's ultimate goal during any preparatory stages to ensure they lead to an improved execution of tricks. One can spend much time stretching and strengthening muscles, learning the theory behind human motion and psychology, etc, and still fail to improve one's skating ability. By focusing on improving skating performance, any preparatory activities are channelled toward this goal and are only engaged in to the extent and in a manner that facilitates its attainment.
2. Of the various ways of improving a skill, practicing the skill itself is the ultimate. For instance, there's no better way to develop one's legs for skating than skating itself. This is because stretches and muscle strengthening exercises are incapable of targeting the exact muscles that are coordinated to execute a trick. Practicing the trick itself, however, can. This is why, I believe, there are so many incredible skaters who don't stretch, perform calisthenics or learn theory. For skating itself is their ultimate preparation for skating!
(Of course, this is not meant to downplay preparation. If these individuals formally prepared, their performance level would probably be even greater.)