This morning, I went out and shot some baskets, as I've done most mornings the past couple of weeks. As I mentioned here before, I've been shooting almost all lefty in an attempt to improve my left-side strength and dexterity. Today, a check on that: I took 50 pairs of shots. The shots varied in distance, angle and type, and each time I took a shot with one hand I then took the same shot with the other.
Results: Lefty 20, Righty 14! This is not a big enough sample size to mean much, but that surprised me. Does a good amount of recent practice on an emerging skill trump an already established skill that hasn't been practiced? Assuming the skill isn't that complex and the established level isn't very high, as in this case, I guess it's possible. I felt almost more comfortable shooting lefty, and that's entirely recent.
I do think it's true that the first lessons often go the furthest. Scrabble is that way - a new player who learns the two-letter words, a smattering of other useful words, and some basic strategy will make a big leap forward. Music is, too: once you get the basic technique of an instrument down, that opens all kinds of doors.