you've got to (learn to) walk before you (can) run

you've got to (learn to) walk before you (can) run

One must understand or become adept at the basic skills, techniques, or details of something before moving on to that which requires greater skill or experience. I see it all the time—people who want to become hotshot doctors but don't want to put in all the hard work the field demands. You have to learn to walk before you run, after all. While the results of the drug trial are encouraging, there are still a huge number of tests to do—you've got to walk before you can run. A: "Look, I know I'm new, but I want to tackle one of the really big cases, not defend some drunk driver!" B: "And you will, but you've got to learn to walk before you can run."
See also: before, run, walk
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