Be Accurate, Not Precise

What’s the difference between accuracy and precision? Precision is a measure of how close together a series of events is, while accuracy is a measure of how far from an intended target a series of events is. Here is an illustration:

In this image, the orange dots are more precise (they fall in a smaller enclosing area), while the pink dots are more accurate (they fall, on average, closer to the “target”). Another idea: hunters would prefer weapon that is accurate over one that is precise.

Striking arts have a similar concern: we want to strike our targets as accurately as possible, not consistently land shots in a small area that is not what we were aiming at. Happily, many drills can be accomplished with little to no equipment cost; in some instances all you need is a tennis ball, elastic tubing, and a hat:

(All media reproduced under Fair Use, and with credit.)

Of course, being both accurate AND precise would be best.

Comments are closed.