Former NBA star Allen Iverson once famously said, “We’re talking about practice. Not a game, not a game, not a game. We’re talking about PRACTICE!” So in honor of the Hampton native, we’re talking about practice today and how you can make the most of it.
Mention the “P” word to young players and you may get a mixed reaction. But how else will you learn the fundamentals and skills necessary to excel in your sport of choice?
So here are three tips and things to keep in mind when you hit the practice field.
1. Technique: Whatever your sport, working and practicing on proper technique is crucial to success. Shooting jump shots in basketball. Hitting chip shots in golf. Making a proper tackle in football. These are just a few examples of basic fundamentals that help make up a sport. A young player needs to perfect the right way to demonstrate a technique to be successful in that sport. Work on proper technique enough and it gets us to the next important practice tip.
2. Repetition: Once you have mastered the correct technique for your sport, than you must practice that technique over and over until it becomes a part of your muscle memory. By repeating the action over and over, the athlete gets a better understanding of their body and how it works. All successful athletes repeat technique over and over in practice. With older athletes, this type of repetition becomes a structured and predictable routine. Without this type of practice, athletes lose trust in their body and ability and an athlete without confidence has already lost before the game begins.
3. Attitude: Practice can become stale and predictable, so having the right attitude will help push you to the next level. Every athlete has some type of attitude whether good, bad or indifferent. And every athlete prepares for competition in their own way. While performance can be stressful and pressure packed for many players, the right attitude will help transition an athlete between good and bad results on the field of play. Create a positive attitude in practice so it will transfer over to game time. You will get much more out of a fun practice than a practice that is more like work.
So when heading out for your next practice, remember to try to master your technique, repeat the motion over and over and do this with a positive attitude.