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Home - Practice smart, play smart




  Practice smart, play smart

January 6, 2015

By Anthony Lanzillo


“I wanted us to have as a goal improving ourselves each day and treating each opportunity to practice as a privilege. I wanted the players to stay in the present and not look so far into the future that they lost focus of what was important to accomplish that day.”

Dean Smith
The Carolina Way: Leadership Lessons From a Life in Coaching

“Each practice is an opportunity. It is an opportunity to get better, and an opportunity to make a breakthrough and reach a new level.”

Jay Bilas
Toughness: Developing True Strength On and Off the Court

Many athletes have a negative perception of practicing. Some consider it boring while others are thinking about ten other things that they would rather do. There are athletes who don’t take practice seriously; maybe showing up late, stopping early or simply horsing around. And there are some athletes who have to reminded or told by a coach or teammate to get to practice.

As a basketball player, you need to understand and appreciate that practice is where you learn your craft, develop and improve your athletic skills, build the team’s chemistry, and will probably spend over 80% of your time on the court. You need to go into every practice, be it with the team or by yourself, with a specific goal in mind. What part of your game do you want or need to work on?

One approach is to begin each practice with three questions: Why am I here? What do I bring? Where can I go? Be clear in your own mind, why you are at practice. Also, identify and embrace your personal strengths, and how you can use these strengths to support your team.

And think about how you can use this specific practice to get you one step closer to your seasonal or career goals. These questions will help create a compelling picture of who you are, what you are willing to give to support the greater good and where you want to go.



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