Practices, not games, make winners
With playoffs bearing down on us, it’s the perfect time to discuss an important tip that can pay big dividends: Practice with the same energy and enthusiasm you would bring to an overtime shift in a state championship game.
In other words, realize that practice – not a game – is where the most significant improvement in your game will take place. In fact, a game simply lets you exploit the skills you’ve honed in practice.
This concept applies to ALL sports, ages and levels of play.
For example, my youngest son just finished four successful years of Division I college hockey, capping off a career that included AAA and Junior A play as well. At each level, I reminded him that his practice effort was just as important as his game effort.
Consequently, his last three coaches at each level singled him out as the hardest worker they had ever coached. All rewarded him by naming him captain – which, in my opinion, is the ultimate compliment you can bestow on a young athlete.
They did that because his energy set an example to his teammates. In fact, it was contagious. A team of hard-working and dedicated practice players is a team of potential champions and future all-stars.
So, parents and coaches, it is really up to you to deliver this crucial directive and pay close attention to insure that it is carried out.
Quite frankly, you shouldn’t be coaching or allowing your child to play if the team’s goal is not to be the best you can be as a team and an individual.
Best of luck,
Paul T. Lubanski is president of Wilderness Xtreme Sports. He can be contacted at 248-762-6998.