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Practice Makes Perfect.

I don't know if the legendary AI agrees with this (see video reference here), but practice is truly essential to perfect your game. It isn't just about showing up to the organized practices, the scrimmage, or the games. It is about what you choose to do outside of the organized gatherings. That's going to the gym on your own, working out on your own, eating well, studying film, drinking tons of water, and protecting those ankles and knees!

Outside practice is so essential because that is the only way to be good IN the game. Let you try to shoot a 3-pointer for the first time IN the game and see where you will spend the rest of the game.

You have to take time to learn how to get yourself open, set your feet, and shoot the shot during your practice time. This takes numerous attempts so that once you are in the game, you are relying on muscle memory instead of thinking through the shot in the moment. Those instant instincts separate the professional hoopers from the amateurs.

This "practice makes perfect" mentality can be utilized in social and communication skills as well. Often, it is important for us to practice methods of healthy communication before we get into serious settings with others where our natural instincts will arise. This helps to feel more comfortable and to navigate such in public settings. When it's game time, or those big conversations, your instincts are now trained in healthy communication instead of our default defensive communication. Trust me, you don't want to be on your first date and unable to control your most vulnerable emotions. That may leave you both on the bench.

Here are ways to practice:

-Exploring emotional expression with our close family and friends and receiving feedback

-Ask questions on responding to anger, fear, triggers, or pain with supportive group and try different responses

-Build the level of communication that help to articulate what you need. By practicing this in safe spaces, this helps to strengthen the skill and confidence in using healthy communication with others.

Just like shooting in the game, you will miss some shots. Therefore, remember to show yourself grace if you didn't get that communication moment perfectly right with someone. We won't be perfect at it, but practice will perfect your game--makes sense?

Remember this Drop of Honey: It's not about making 100% of the shots, but it's about giving the best you can to every shot so that even more will go in.

Think about who in your circle you can practice communication skills on, and what specific emotions you would like to practice expressing!

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