Practice Football or Practice Joy? Why not Both?

Tonight nearly 100 million people will be watching the Super Bowl.  100 million viewers is not a record but it is almost unfathomable to me.  It is exciting too!  How nervous must everyone be?  Football players, coaches, game officials, Justin Timberlake, dancers and musicians, cameramen, commentators, and ticket takers.  The musician side of me considers the insane magnitude of “putting on a show” of this size.  But as a lifelong performer, it makes me tingle with excitement!

Practice makes perfect.  I don’t care what it is.  Here is a list of what we do when we practice perfectly (or as close to perfection) each time:

  1. Practice reinforces a skill.
  2. Practice makes you stronger, faster, more skilled at what you are working towards.
  3. Practice lets you reflect on what you need to improve.
  4. Practice can be broken down to micro-moments to focus in on one thing with absolute precision.
  5. Practice builds character.
  6. Practice builds stamina.
  7. Practice creates discipline.
  8. Practicing something you LOVE is FUN!

When you’ve practiced and seen growth or improvement, the results are amazing. In the Super Bowl (or any other high level athletic competition) you will see a high level of skill and a fierce competition based on who practiced more.  Did one team out practice the other in regards to defense? Or offense? Running the ball? Completing passes? You get the idea.

What if we practiced JOY like we practice other things?

This video is completely accurate.  Did you know that a special type of brain tissue called myelin actually helps us acquire and master skills? And that children are like myelin generating machines? This enables them to absorb information more rapidly than adults.

Children learn quickly. They learn how to catch a well thrown spiral pass. They learn how to play a scale on a musical instrument. They learn how to be kind to others. They learn how to cook. They learn how to love. They learn how to ride a bike.  They learn how to be of good character and go through this life with integrity, joy, and love….but only if we teach it and model it every day.

~Karen Wood

Author: Karen D'Avino

I am a passionate educational leader who cares deeply for the improvement of instruction through professional development and equitable practices and policies in schools.