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Practice makes perfect? - Feb 19, 2016


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EUROBASKET CENTER
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How many of you grew up hearing that quote? I would bet that every coach in America has said this at some point in time or another. Me, on the other hand, I completely disagree with this statement.

Shocking? Maybe to some, but let me explain...

I'm not saying you shouldn't practice. That's downright stupid. I've arguably spent more time in the gym than sleeping (okay that might be a bit of an exaggeration but you get the point). However, if you aren't taking your practice as serious as the game then why do it?

I've been guilty of this on a number of occasions, especially when I was younger. I show up to the gym, put on my sneakers, warm up with some ball handling, then work my way into doing drills like 5-spot shooting from mid-range and the 3-point line until I work up a little sweat and make about 300-500 shots.

Good workout? I used to think so. I mean shoot it would take me over an hour to get this all in. What I didn't realize was that none of this was preparing me to be successful in game situations because none of it was realistic. When are you going to catch a ball without having moved and shoot a wide open shot? I've been playing basketball for about 15 years and I can confidently say that it doesn't happen 95% of the time.

Why is this important?


As I mentioned in my last blog, I was in the Dominican Republic competing in the 2016 Copa Mitchell Cup tournament. We played 3 games in 3 days and finished with a record of 1-2. Mind you, the Dominican Republic cancelled their basketball league for the last two years and hasn't had any organized women's league apart from their national team. The competition wasn't bad, but for a team of Americans who have played NCAA College Basketball and have either competed professionally or have goals to compete on the professional level, we should have walked away with a championship trophy.

This takes me back to the point I was making earlier about practice. It's not just practicing that makes perfect. It's perfect practice that leads to success. But what does that mean? For example, if you're shooting, focus on footwork and constantly stepping into your shot. Do full-court drills because during the course of a game your legs are going to get tired and you need to simulate this as much as possible during training. Your workouts don't need to be 3+ hours long, but you need to get the most out of them and make them as game-like as possible. As a team, we didn't have the stamina to consistently hit shots when our legs were tired, which unfortunately came early in Game 2. Despite fatigue, our team made it to the championship and lost in overtime by 3. We didn't successfully prepare to make sure that no matter what, we would still be successful.

Overall, my experience there was great. The President of Basketball and the people of the DR warmly welcomed us into their gyms. Because of the lack of women's basketball in that country, there was a ton of excitement and large fan base at the games that made the Copa Mitchell Cup a lot of fun to compete in. I received MVP of the Cup and Best Guard honors, averaging 27ppg, 8rpg, and 8apg. However, I still have a sour taste in my mouth from the championship loss. I feel bad for the team we play in the WUBA this weekend. Moving forward, I have my eyes set on preparing for the Eurobasket Summer League Camps and the Jones Cup in Taiwan at the end of July because I want to walk away with that gold medal.   



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FINAL GIE Maile Matrix - GUG 85-80 GIE Maile Matrix repeated as Liga Mitchell Cup champions. They knocked down GUG in the title game. Langston Nolley notched 22 points to lead the American team. GIE eked out a 22:20 lead ten minutes into the game. GUG erased the deficit in the second stanza. The Dominican side pulled ahead for a 37:35 halftime advantage. But GIE quickly bounced back. They went on a 26:13 rally in the third term to spur ahead. The Matrix followed with a strong 27:15 surge... [read more]
Practice makes perfect?- Feb.19, 2016  (by Eurobasket Center)

How many of you grew up hearing that quote? I would bet that every coach in America has said this at some point in time or another. Me, on the other hand, I completely disagree with this statement. Shocking? Maybe to some, but let me explain... I'm not saying you shouldn't practice. That's downright stupid. I've arguably spent more time in the gym than sleeping (okay that might be a bit of an exaggeration but you get the point). However, if you aren't taking your practice as serious as... [read more]
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