We all know the saying, "practice makes perfect." Total Package takes it up a notch. I tell players, "perfect practice, makes perfect." Yes, yes, I know it is very unlikely that anyone will perform perfectly, but that is what I want players to focus on when they walk on the court.
WHY perfection? Because a player must not be content on just going through the motions of a skill, they must master the skill in such a way that they will out perform their best opponent under the most hostile conditions.
The Total Package Basketball motto reflects this principle, "You're only as good as your last performance."
What needs to happen for a "perfect practice?"
1. STAY FOCUSED FROM BEGINNING TO END
Before you step out on the practice floor, be committed to doing things correctly.
Correct technique, game like speed, intensity - do not let players, coaches or yourself, keep you from the task at hand.
2. ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Pay attention to the little things. Using proper footwork on defense, positioning yourself to receive a pass, setting up your man for a jab cut, close out with short, choppy steps, contest every shot, box out, step through the ball when going after a rebound are a few of the little things to be done to have a perfect practice. Do you have it in you?
3. SET GOALS
Set goals you can measure over time. You need to have goals and a time line to reach them. Just because you do something well a couple of times does not mean you have mastered the skill. Goals can be set in everything you do: shooting accuracy, defensive stops, rebounds, turnovers, box outs, steals, finishing a 17 in less than 65 seconds or 60 seconds.
An example: make 25 layups with one dribble from the 3 point line in 50 seconds. Give yourself 2 weeks. If you reach your goal, decrease the time or increase the number of layups. Use your weak hand instead of your strong hand. Take it up a notch and say the basket does not count if it touches the rim when it goes through the basket; all net or no score.
4. COMPETE AGAINST YOURSELF, ENCOURAGE OTHERS
Basketball is a team sport. You are not in this alone. Leaders want others to follow them. Be a leader. Encourage others to be their best and they will follow you.
Get a team mate or friend to help you reach your goals, and in turn you help them reach theirs.
You are not to compare what you accomplish with what someone else does. When you do this, you only become better than that person, but you will not be your best.