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Deliberate Practice

How Superstars Practice

Years ago, people in the National Basketball Association grew accustomed to hearing a sound when they walked into the Boston Garden. It was the sound of Larry Bird putting shot after shot through the hoop in his pre-game practice.

Bird’s pre-game practices were different from those of other players. His began hours before his Boston Celtics even took the court for their warmup. He would shoot hundreds and hundreds of balls — from all distances and angles.

What made all this hard work even more extraordinary was that Bird was the best shooter in the league at the time. Then again, maybe hard work was the REASON that Bird was the best shooter in the league.

Either way, Bird left a great message for anyone who aspires to stardom. Whether you’re trying to get to the top or whether you’re trying to stay there, you must put in the hours. Not just a few hours. Lots of hours.

All of those practice shots came in handy when Bird would make a seemingly impossible shot to win a game. Few people saw all the hours of solitary practice that went into those shots.

Bird finished his career with championships, awards and induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Without those hours of practice, it’s quite likely that none of it would have happened.


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