The Importance of Practice!

By Bob Maison

As Coaches working on the National development team we are always being encouraged to share ideas with other coaches. As such it was really interesting to come across a recent article regarding the importance of practice.

Of course it’s important, so nothing new there you might think, but the author had some interesting comments regarding the ratio between practice and game play.  

When we start out we usually spend more time playing games than we practice. When we want to improve we start to spend more time on practice. But how much time?

The thrust of the article was that as beginners its 0-5% practice and 95-100% games.  PSA Tour Pro’s will spend 99% practice: 1% competition!

The pro’s realise that games don’t make you better - they reinforce bad habits. Only structured practice, solos, pairs or even condition games will bring about improvements to your game.

Hopefully you will agree, but many of you will be saying that you don’t have time to practice and are concentrating on your box league games. You may even be going up the leagues - good for you, but I’d contend that this is just a case of you finding your “real” level or that your opponents are deteriorating faster than you!

You might also think that while practice is all well and good but you’re too set in your ways and a bit long in the tooth to improve? Maybe so, but Julia Dolman, Sarah Howlett and Rebecca Moore all increased their practice levels and eventually got selected to play for England in the Home internationals.  Tony Gay might do the same if we can keep him from getting injured every 2nd week!

So, if you honestly believe that you want to improve then I’d recommend you assess your practice time v Game time and if it’s less than 50% you need to do something about it.
There are some players currently making this change- you’ll figure out who they are when they take your spot in the leagues or possibly your place on the club team.

Remember you heard it here first!
Happy practicing and if you’re not sure what you should be practicing then please let me know -I’m here to help and advise



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