The other day I was at the gym and overheard a conversation between two high school students. One said to the other, “If you want to be good at basketball, just play lots of basketball.” The second responded with this statement: “That’s not how it works! You have to work hard in order to get better!” These comments got me thinking about how many people make these same mistakes when encouraging athletic ability. 1) Believing that playing sports will automatically improve your skills – Athletic ability is not an instant skill builder. Practice does not always lead to improvement, especially if you’re practicing on your own without any guidance. Playing more games or practicing more hours may actually hurt performance because there are only so many hours in the day, and you can’t do everything. It’s not uncommon for people to believe that playing sports is the best way of improving athleticism but this isn’t always true. Practice alone does not lead to improvements in athletics performance as quickly as many think it might. Playing more games or practicing longer hours may actually hurt your athletic ability since there are only so many hours in a day and you cannot do everything. Believing that playing sports will automatically improve your skills – Athletic ability is not an instant skill builder. It’s not uncommon for people to believe that playing sports is the best way of improving athleticism but this isn’t always true. Practice alone does not lead to improvements in athletics performance as quickly as many think it might.

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