South Africa's basketball community

Day 18: The benefits of a practice partner

By on September 18, 2010 in Resources

This article is part of the series “30 days to being a better basketball player“.

Two heads are better than one. This is true with most things in life, and basketball is no different.

“How on earth could that help my basketball game improve?”, you ask?

"Chris and Scott warming up" by comecloser, via flickr

Well, the secret lies in one word – accountability. Having a practice partner (or a mentor, or even just a friend that cares enough) will help you take your own accountability a bit more seriously. When setting standards for yourself to aim at, it can be difficult to hold yourself acountable to meet the targets.

Having someone else to answer to will add a level of seriousness to your workouts and training that you can’t get by yourself. Whether that person goes to practice with you, or is just a friend or mentor that you check in with regularly to update about your progress, you will have to answer to someone.

Personally I think a practice partner is better as you then have someone to practice with, meaning you can learn from them at the same time. It also allows you to regularly practice things you perhaps might not be able to on your own (or it’ll make it easier anyway) – such as passing and rebounding drills.

"For the Win" by jason lengstorf, via flickr

Choosing the right person isn’t a decision to be taken lightly either. Make sure whoever you ask understands something about the game and what your goals are (or even better, someone who believes in the level you are really capable of playing at), and that they will make the time available for practice or catch-up sessions.

Think of it like going to gym and doing bench-presses – you wouldn’t trust just anybody to stand there and make sure you don’t drop the heavy weight on your chest.

No matter who you choose though, follow through. Be honest. Be real. Let them know where you really struggle.

And perhaps most importantly – don’t forget to thank them!

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