Do you want to make the big play in the big game? Ace the math exam? Nail the business presentation? Then you had better practice.
Even with lots of practice, there’s no guarantee you’ll succeed when the “test” is administered, but that’s where to place your chips. Because, without purposeful practice, consistent achievement is out of your reach.
In order to excel on an exam, you need to attend class. But that’s not enough. You can’t just do classwork and disregard the need to do additional preparation in the form of homework. It’s the homework that reinforces the knowledge, skills, and problem-solving techniques.
Sports work in much the same way. Games are like exams, or tests, and your team’s practices are like the classes you attend. But what if that was the only skills practice you got? What if you never did any additional ball-handling or shooting drills away from your team’s practices. That’s where the sport-specific skills “homework” comes in. You just can’t build the kind of muscle memory that leads to success without lots and lots of technically correct repetitions.
Additionally, it’s important to make sure your practice is situational. As much as possible, your preparation should reflect the same conditions and demands as your game, test, business presentation, etc.
“Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.” – Unknown
“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” – Vince Lombardi