Does Practice Make Perfect?

I’ve played sports almost my entire life. All different kinds of sports. Baseball, basketball, track, tennis, wrestling, tae kwon doe, ultimate frisbee, etc… And throughout all my years of playing sports I’ve been coached by many different kinds of coaches. I’ve had the ones that yell so much their voice is gone before practice is halfway over. I’ve had the passive aggressive ones, who just let you fail till you start paying attention. I’ve also had some great coaches. My dad being one of them.

Despite their coaching style, almost every coach I’ve had used some of the same terminology. This phrase, “practice makes perfect,” has been something I’ve heard since I was a kid. It doesn’t matter the sport or the team this phrase was almost always used.

And now that I’ve had the opportunity to do some coaching for wrestling teams over the past few years I’ve found myself using phrases like this. More specifically the phrase, “perfect practice makes perfect.”

I always tell my kids that how you practice is how you’ll preform when match time comes. Just yesterday we were telling the kids, “matches are won here in practice. Not during the tournament, not during the match, but here in practice. You may get recognized for that win at the match, but you only won because you practiced well.”

I think this goes the same way with our lives whether we are in sports or not. Because when it comes time to preform, when it comes time for the battle to happen, when that choice between good and evil is put before you, you will perform the way you practiced.

And it’s not just about going through the motions. We have to practice well to perform well. I’ve seen kid after kid who went through all the motions during practice. They did the moves. The seemed to be listening, but when it came match time they were never able to perform well.

They didn’t practice well.

The same goes to us. If it’s important for you to be kind to others, to make good decisions, to love people, to pray, to read your bible, to eat well, to not compromise on your integrity, etc…then you have to make those kinds of decisions day in and day out in the little, seemingly meaningless choices we have everyday.

Maybe you don’t feel like you have anything to pray about today. Practice. Maybe you don’t feel like being nice to that person who annoys you. Practice. Maybe you’re trying to read through the bible and you get to Leviticus and you just want to take a few days off and skip it. Practice. Maybe you have a situation where you can compromise a little and no one will ever know about it. Practice. Maybe you got a coupon for a free doughnut in the mail. Practice.

Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.

Don’t be fooled by thinking you can continually make bad decisions and then all of a sudden change. You are training yourself for decision making.

So, train well.

  1. And not only is it about practicing perfection… but it is about being able to teach yourself while practicing, thinking critically while practicing. I studied clarinet for *years* and my fellow studio members and I learned to become our own personal instructors. Because when we are out in the world, we are not answerable to mom, dad, our teacher or even our boss. Our mindless mistakes and lack of focus only hurt ourselves. Therefore, we have to practice perfection by practicing constructively.

  1. February 4th, 2013
    Trackback from : Does Practice Make Perfect?

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