First Day of Practice To Do List
1. Be hydrated. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Water helps you think clearly and make the best decision in the moment.
2. Be thankful. Research shows the higher your gratitude level the more problems you will solve. If you miss a shot, continue your positive self-talk. Do not self-punish, it leads to more mistakes. If you make a mistake, take responsibility and then move on by disciplining your mind to say to yourself one thing you love about life and basketball.
3. Eyes should be off your coach. If players walk into practice with the number one goal of impressing their coach, they will fail. They will make bad decisions, their focus will be on their coach rather than on the game. Plus, it is human nature to be turned off when you feel someone is trying to impress you. However, if you choose to walk into practice totally committed to serving the team and giving a 100% toward that goal, your coach will be impressed.
4. Write out the goals you want to achieve. These should be goals you can control such as “I want to remain positive and thankful the entire practice. I commit to not focusing on the coach and worrying about his/her opinion of me. I want to spotlight all of my teammates. I want to work hard each drill. I commit to not comparing. I commit to diving for every loose ball. I commit to taking the open shot with confidence. I commit to not forcing my shot. I commit to blocking out every time. I commit to great defense.”
5. Pick one word or phrase to represent your goals. Say this word to yourself during the practice. It could be “Sacrifice, Commitment, Passion, 100%, Focus, Work Hard.”
- “Spinach” before practice helps your shot. (“Spinach” is a shooting)
- Run your hands under hot water (not burning) but hot enough to get your hands really warm.
- The more nervous you are the tighter your shot will be. Visualize yourself playing and shooting with freedom and accuracy.
- Play hard. Some players attempt to cover up nerves by acting like they don’t care. This will earn you a spot on the bench.
- Be thick-skinned. Don’t let criticism shake you, don’t compare, discipline your mind to be mentally tough.