[Train Your Game] 5 Reasons Players Need Better Practice Habits

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[Train Your Game] December 11, 2014 
New Article: Why Players Need Great Practice Habits
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ISSN 1948-0725
December 11, 2014
Volume 7, Issue 48
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Just showing up to practice and participating isn't enough...
This week's article breakds down why so many players with outstanding talent and abilities end up becoming only average players at best. It's all about
the habits you develop and take with you to practice. If you improve upon the 5 things discussed in this article you'll achieve so much more!
Have a great week!
The HoopSkils Team


5 Reasons You Need to Develop Great Practice Habits

by Coach Dave Stricklin
1. There are no shortcuts to the top
Jordan, Magic, Bird, LeBron, Kobe, KD, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, Ray Allen, are all arguably some of the greatest names in the history of the NBA. I don't think it's a coincidence that they also have the reputation of being the game's hardest workers.
Height, length, and athleticism might be enough to get you by when you are younger but if you want to play at higher levels then you need to be more skilled and as far as I know the only way to develop great skills sets is through many, many hours of purposeful practice.
2. Practicing hard is not enough
You can practice hard and still not develop the necessary skills to be a great player. How does that happen? Because a lot of players work long and hard on skills they will never use in an actual game. Instead of just working on things that look cool or are fun you should be practicing those things you are going to do most often.
If you're not sure where to begin, start with the fundamentals of ball handling, passing, defensive footwork, and shooting. No matter what skill you are developing don't be satisfied practicing until you get it right but instead practice it until it is impossible to do it wrong! It's far better to have one or two automated skills than to be only average in several different aspects of the game. Remember, just because you're tired and sweaty doesn't mean you are necessarily getting better.
3. Not everyone cares about your success
Some people don't even care that much about their own success! If you happen to be practicing or working out with someone who is not as serious as you are then chances are they don't have great practice habits. If you let them negatively influence the way you practice you are going to suffer the consequences more than they will since they really don't care that much in the first place. Your practice habits need to be so firmly established that no one can convince or influence you to get off track.
4. Great practice habits can help you measure your success
Compare these two players: The first one takes a jump shot, walks after the rebound, picks a different spot to shoot from and keeps repeating the process. If the rebound bounces extremely long he might grab a quick drink on his way to retrieving he ball and of course he has to talk to anyone and everyone who sticks his head into the gym.
Player #2 sets the timer on his phone and times how long it takes to make 20 3's from five different spots. He sprints after every made or missed shot and is completely oblivious to anything and everything going on around him. Once the drill is over and his time is recorded in his notebook, then and only then does he get a drink of water. This second player can periodically refer back to his notebook to chart his progress and to see if he's getting any better. However, how does the first player know if he's getting any better or not?
5. We are what we repeatedly do
This might be the most important reason why you should develop great practice habits - because it's the right thing to do! Developing the habit of setting reasonable goals, working hard (and smart) and staying focused are fundamental life skills that will help you for decades. Is there a better, or more fun, way to develop these skills than by applying them to the best game ever created? I don't think there is! Remember, it's not necessarily all about what we get by practicing to be better players; it's about what we become!
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