A topic coming from a post-game press conference which has been played, and over played too many times. Not only was the phrase from AI taken out of context, but today, so also is the term “practice”.


What Exactly is Practice?

Well for the purpose of definition I’m going to focus on the difference between two forms of practice; team and individual player practices.

When a team is formed the practices that you attend are developed to make you and the players stronger as a team. There may be a focus on certain elements to make players stronger in their position, but the practice is designed to make the team stronger as a unit. It’s not a bad thing. I mean that’s just the way it is. An organization forms a team to represent them and the coach’s mandate is to win…as a team.

Most of the time the better players on a basketball team consist of individuals who come from a basketball background. Lost dreams from a parents youth, sibling rivalry to be the best in the sport. Whatever the motivation may be, the similarities are the same; at some point in that players journey someone took the time to give them focused development training to ensure they’d be better than their competition.

Practice: Repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.


We Talkin’bout Practice?

Practice as an individual player…now that’s training of the player, an individual taking the incentive to become better. The team may have a crappy season even though the team had meshed, but that player on your team that was consistent throughout the season. He had focused development training.
Now suppose your team had two, better yet three individuals who focused on development training. What kind of season would that have brought the organization being represented by the team? What type of season would the fans coming out to support the team have enjoyed?

I don’t have any stats but I’m pretty sure it would definitely have been a positive outcome to the season.

Now for those prime players, guaranteed they’d be saying “we’ll get them next season”. Next season because real recognize real. If a player just came off of a crappy season carrying a team due to putting in the extra work, more than likely the thought process is to get, or play with, individuals as passionate about winning as they are.


How Does a Player Balance the Two?

So now that we know there’s a difference, what approach should you take when it comes to team verses player development? It basically comes down to what a player does in the off-season, because the regular season and team practice will always remain the same.
If you play for an organization which can offer practices five days a week, then you’ll definitely have those development focused practices that are needed for a player growth. Most organizations don’t, or don’t have enough gym time to devote equally to both boys and girls divisions.

Use the off-season to focus as a player on preparing yourself for the upcoming basketball season. Take advantage of basketball camps, development clinics, and outdoor leagues available to you. Just ensure the development program associated with these organizations are focusing for your best interest…personal growth to becoming a better player.

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