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Deliberate Practice

A Strong Warmup

The other day, with practice only about 10 minutes old, I spoke to some players about their work habits. One of the players protested.

“But that was only warmup,” she said.

Only warmup?

What could be more important than a strong warmup?

Warmup sets the tone — physically, mentally and emotionally — for what will come in the rest of the practice.

If your warmup is sloppy, chances are the rest of the practice will be, too.

If the warmup cuts corners, or lacks attention to detail, then what are the odds the practice will get any better from that point?

On the other hand, if you approach practice with a will and an aim to improve, you increase your odds of achieving that improvement.

“I don’t know if I practiced more than anybody, but I sure practiced enough,” basketball Hall of Famer Larry Bird said. “I still wonder if somebody — somewhere — was practicing more than me.”

But it was more than the AMOUNT Bird practiced that made him great. It was the WAY he practiced. He never gave away a single shot. Never allowed himself to get sloppy.

And you can bet that included his warmup.


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