“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.”
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.”
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.