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Jack Perconte

Practice as You Play or Play as You Practice?

Sports coaching tips of the day

You must find ways to help athletes practice hard but play games for the joy of playing.  

We often hear coaches preach to their players they should practice as they play in games. Good advice, but it is also important that players play in games as they practice. Because of the added pressure in games, many players change their demeanor. Some become and over aggressive and play out of control, while others shy away from the competition. Fearless in practice, in games, the over aggressive play poorly from trying too hard and the timid play poorly because they are afraid of making mistakes.

Coaches must recognize which players need to calm down and which need to play more carefree. Helping kids understand their physical and mental strengths and weaknesses helps their focus in games and allows all to maintain the even keel they show in practice.