Sports teams practice and perform: 5 or so days a week they get together and experiment with new plays, try out different tactics, push limits, and test theories. They expect some of these won't pan out -- they'll fail -- and they'll learn from what didn't work to determine what will.
Players increase competency by seeing what works and learning from what doesn't, by reaching for more speed or endurance or skill, and by learning how to respond to setbacks. And competency creates confidence, which inspires players to try to reach higher goals.
When game day comes along, they use what they've learned combined with their confidence to succeed.
In some work environments, employees perform all the time. There's no room for trying something new, testing unique ideas, or failing. As a result, confidence wanes, leading employees to be less willing to stretch themselves, less likely to take risks, less comfortable offering suggestions. New competencies aren't developed and existing competencies aren't strengthened.
What can you do to create room for practice at work?