Perfection This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   All my life my dad has quoted the famous basketball coach, John Wooden. His favorite would have to be the updated version of the moral, "Practice makes perfect" - "Perfect practice makes perfect execution."

Being a basketball player, practicing is one of the most important things I can do to improve. That's why this quote pertains so much to my life. Not only because practice is important, but also because the only way to do things right is to practice right. It is impossible to be flawless, but in my few years, I've learned that doing things right the first time helps you out in the long run. Perfection is more than being flawless, it's your determination, effort, and attitude toward what you do. Without these qualities you can never truly be "perfect," nor will you ever reach the goal of being perfect.

"Perfect practice makes perfect execution." What exactly does that mean? To me it means giving 100% whenever I practice, or more than that, in everything I do. When I don't practice my hardest, or do things the right way, my brain remembers. The next time I am in a situation when I need the skills I've practiced, nine times out of ten, I'll do it wrong because I didn't practice it right.

Determination. What does determination have to do with practicing perfect? Determination is having the will to get something done. It's putting forth your best effort to be your best. Look at Olympic runners like Michael Johnson or Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Each race is about determination. Everything they have is focused on their determination to cross the finish line first. When athletes practice without determination, they are not practicing their best, nor will they ever work their hardest.

Effort. When athletes put forth their best effort, they also put forth their personal best. When you don't put forth effort, practice will be horrible, and you'll never reach your goals. Take Michael Jordan, for instance. His goal was to be the best basketball player he could be. Everyone wants to be the best they can be, but there are few who actually work toward that goal. Even after he was cut from the freshman basketball team, he didn't give up. In fact, his effort made him work harder, and just look how he turned out. His game is about as close to perfection as it gets.

Lastly is attitude. Athletes who practice with a lazy attitude, play with a lazy attitude. Attitude is everything, which is something I have had to learn to accept. It is what completes perfection. Without a good attitude, we will never have a good game, career, or life. That means that if someone wants to be perfect, they have to practice with a perfect attitude.

"Perfect practice makes perfect execution." Practicing is one of the most important things an athlete can do for their life. Not only is practice good for athletes, but for anyone who has the ambition to succeed. When people practice perfect, they have a better chance to play perfect, and a better chance to fulfill their dreams. l


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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