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Saturday, February 2, 2013

WOODEN ON PRACTICE

My friend and author Don Yaeger is one of my favorite writers.  He has a way of taking someone and telling their story in such a way that it can help you improve in your own ventures in life.  Such is the case for a "A Game Plan for Life" which was written by John Wooden and Don.  Here is a short but great passage on Coach Wooden and his thoughts on practice -- the great one's always seem to know simplicity and value singleness of purpose:

Establishing the fundamentals keeps practice shorter because they can be more concentrated.  Don't stop a group to explain to an individual what he's doing wrong.  Pull him aside and instruct him.  Don't ever hold a team past the established end of practice because they aren't performing up to standard.  I never had a practice that went over two hours, and very few ever went more than even an hour and half.  We started on time and we stopped on time.  And yet i think we got as much done as teams that spent far more time in the gym.

A large part of using time efficiently is creating a clear sense of expectations.  You have made sure players know the order of the drills and what to focus on with each one.  It's essential for challenging them; players tend to work harder throughout practice when they know what is expected of them, because they know what they are supposed to be doing and what the reason is behind it.  In this manner, organization can be a way to create not just efficiency but also motivation.

It also builds teamwork, because it helps the players learn to think as one.  They know what's coming, they know the routine and that makes them feel a part of something bigger than themselves.  The same is true in a classroom setting.  The class feels a bond of experience because they all speak the same "language" of class routines and practices.