Practice with purpose

Practice with purpose

The practice of sport: How to make the most of your practice

The timeless adage of “practice makes perfect,” is very applicable to sports, as I am sure every athlete has heard this at some time in their athletic careers. However, I suggest a revision. Instead of “practice with purpose”, since perfection is not attainable, and therefore an unrealistic goal, I propose to start using the phrase “practice with purpose I chose purpose, because many times practice time is not utilized to its greatest potential, however, if utilized purposefully, greater gains will be achieved.

Lets explore together how to make the most out of your athletic practice.

Practice as defined by Merriam Webster, has three definitions, the first is: to do something again and again in order to become better at it. Simple enough… but is it really? Albert Einstein defined insanity, as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. These two definitions are very similar, in that, they both utilize repetitive actions, and expect different (better) outcomes. Practice and insanity are actually one in the same. This is why purpose is required for practice of sport. When change is introduced into a practice, it breaks the pattern of insanity, and that change is intended for a purpose, the purpose of change.

When beginning a practice, have a purpose or goal in mind. Goal setting is an extremely helpful tool to advance your athletic abilities, because it gives your mind and body something to work towards. The purpose can be small or large, detailed or not, but make it something. If you are tired the day of your scheduled sport practice, make it something easily attainable. There is no shame in a goal being, “make it through the entire practice without giving up.” Goals cannot be small or large, only implemented and achieved. Make sure your purpose is right for you, and make a goal that feels right. This will also evoke a sense of achievement upon reaching your goal. Here is the more difficult part of goal setting, loving yourself even if you do not reach your goal. There will be days when goals are not attained, but abusing yourself for it will only set you backwards in your athletic practice, not forward. If there is a day when the goal or purpose you set was not attained, examine why it was not attained, what you learned, and what you can work on in the future.

While practicing, ensure that you are not mindlessly going through motions. Ensure that you are actively engaging your mind, and altering motions or skills consistently. In addition, keep your focus. This is where your meditation practice will aid in your athletic practice. Keeping focus on your sport, and not being distracted by other things in your life will ensure that you get the most out of your practice time.

Practice positive thoughts. Berating yourself or others for a mistake inhibits your athletic practice. Also reward yourself for a job well done, and achieving your goals, or just because! Negativity permeates all aspects of sport, and unnecessarily creates a harmful environment. By practicing positivity this will gently change the atmosphere of your practice, and sport, and create positive results for your athletic endeavors.  

Thank you all for reading and I hope you enjoyed! Remember “practice with purpose.”



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