Wednesday, May 27, 2015

We're Talking About Practice

I saw a mention the other day in USA Today that we had just passed thirteen years since Allen Iverson's rant on practice (embedded video above from YouTube). If you've never seen it, go ahead and watch. I'll wait. The background is that some reporters questioned Iverson on missing some practices to which he responded in such a way that every time someone mentions the word "practice" this press conference comes into my mind.

While I can understand Iverson's core concept that performance in the game and the results achieved there are more important than what happens outside of the game, there are at least two flaws in that logic. First, that missing practice does not impact the other players on the team. Not practicing meant that all the team formations, drills, and collaborative sessions were less productive since Iverson wasn't there to contribute. But I'm not here to criticize a man nearly a decade and a half later. The independent flaw that I found applies today to anyone that refuses to practice. The idea that you are already great.

Malcolm Gladwell introduced his idea of the 10,000 hour rule in his book Outliers, claiming that in order to achieve mastery, an individual must first exercise 10,000 hours of practice. It's a modern twist on the old adage of "practice makes perfect." Even if you don't believe in concepts like mastery or perfection, I have a slightly different take. Practice is the only way to improve, and people can always improve. (Tweet that if you like)

To be transparent, this blog is my form of practice. My original goal was to write 250 posts, hitting Monday through Friday for nearly a year. In the process, I'm learning to write better, but also learning how we interact and how we can develop a conversation through this. After 250, we'll see where we go. I can only imagine at this point I'll continue, though the schedule might change. And who knows, maybe I will have a book or some other stuff for you to read at that point.

So what are you practicing? And how are you getting better at what you do and what you want to do? Leave me a comment or drop me a line and let me know.