Practice Maker – Routine
The first consideration in effective practice is routine. A set routine is the basis for consistent practice. Great athletes and great teams have set routines for training that do not vary. In fact with individual athletes training routines sometimes border on ritual. Routine allows the athlete to focus on the task at hand. I have found that there is security in having a routine. It gives an anchor point to build the training session upon. Start on time, have specific objectives and stay on task, then practice will be meaningful. When I think of routine I think of the great hurdler Edwin Moses. I had the opportunity to watch him train for three years at the peak of his career. You did not need a watch to tell what time it was, when Edwin showed up to training it was 3:00 PM! He went to the same spot under a tree and did his stretching, he did the same warm-up, and it never varied. It did not matter if it was hot or cold he did the same thing. I watched him at Olympic Trails in 1984 same routine, at the 1984 Olympic games, same routine. There is a powerful message here, find a routine that works and live by it. As coaches we need to set routines for our athletes, we need to teach young developing athletes the necessity of routine as part of their daily preparation. When I change training cycles my first objective is always routine. As training cycles change routines sometimes have to change, so having it as an up front object underscores it’s importance.
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