Do Your “Homework”

30 Dec

Want to improve your athletic performance?  Then you’d better do some “homework.”

Here’s my school/sports analogy:  The tests you take in school are like your games.  They determine your standing.  They represent the culmination of your preparation.

Your team’s daily practices are like the classes you attend every day.  They are usually content-specific, designed to prepare you for your next test or game.

But here’s where the comparison breaks down for many athletes:  As a student, what would happen if you never (or rarely) did any work outside the classroom?  What if your preparation ended when the school day was over, and you didn’t reinforce the day’s learning with any additional preparation and/or practice?  I would venture to guess you wouldn’t fare very well, academically.  Well, the same concept applies to sports.  It’s the homework — the additional time you commit to self-improvement — that makes the difference.

As a basketball player, for example, how much ball-handling and shooting practice do you get in games and team practices?  It’s unlikely you’re getting the kind of concentrated skills practice and repetition needed to improve your performance.  Team practices typically aren’t (nor should they be) designed to accommodate each individual player’s need for skills practice.

The point is, you have to commit yourself to doing some purposeful, “homework” as an athlete — including skills practice (regardless of your sport) and strength and conditioning.  Take initiative and ownership of your development by putting in some extra effort, outside of your team’s practices, in order to reach your performance goals.


Your thoughts?


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