How to increase productivity at practice

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Here’s some tips about how to get the best out of practice in the least time.

Tip 1: Make sure that you’re not overpracticing. If you practice 24/7, you’ll just be tired, not motivated, and you may actually retrogress because of this. In general, practice for three days a week and two hours each session sounds about right. Don’t go crazy about practice. When I was on the drill team, one of our rivals at competition used to practice in the morning before competitions, and eight hours on Saturdays. That’s just overworking it. It’s unnecessary to do that to your team–and to yourself!

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Tip 2: Don’t do any unnecessary practicing. Read about this in my article about endurance.Tip 3: Come to practice prepared. If you are a leader and forgot to bring the music, or do not have clothing to practice in, then you have let the team down and already decreased the rate of productivity at practice. Bring everything and have it ready to go by the time practice starts. In the case that you don’t come to practice unprepared (which should rarely happen), don’t use it as an excuse to waste practice time. If you don’t have music, for instance, just count out the routine.

Tip 4: Don’t waste practice time. Start when you intend to, and not five minutes afterwards. Of course, part of having a team is bonding with one another, which results in sometimes talkative practices. Try to eliminate this by not having any “down-time”. By this, I mean keep working and don’t stop for a team talk. If team members are dancing, they are unable to talk to each other because they’re focused on dancing, so keep the focus, and don’t let it stray (and as a leader, don’t lose your focus, either!). If you are a captain or other team leader, remember that you are a model. If you initiate side conversations, then everyone else will. Be a role model, not a hypocrite. After reading this tip, you might think: “well, how will the members improve if I don’t stop them from dancing and tell them their mistakes?”. Well, here’s the answer: stop only when you absolutely have to, and don’t allow anything else to happen. Most practices work in a similar fashion–you do the routine, and when you’re done, you listen to what the coach has to say about your performance. But, usually the case is more like this: you do the routine, get a drink of water, talk to a friend . . . then go listen. Change that habit–eliminate the “down-time”. One drink of water per 1.5 hours is enough to keep you hydrated, unless some special circumstance calls for more. Practice should be like this: perform the routine, walk directly to the coach and her his/her opinion–no down-time. Of course, each team has a different practice method and might not run this way, but in general, your goal is to keep the water breaks and talking to a minimum.

Tip 5: Be happy, and in a good mood. This always makes things go faster because people are happy to get things done. Come to practice refreshed. If you had a bad day, pretend to start anew. Do not let any unimportant aspects of your personal life distract from your performance. Naturally, when everyone is happy, everyone tries harder. So keep up the good mood at practice!

This is just a start of my list. I will be updating this post later with more tips; I hope that these help your team!


  1. Nice touches on your writing. Is English your primary language (if you don’t mind me asking).

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