Being present in practice is as important as being present in the game.
"We're talking about practice." - Allen Iverson and Ted Lasso.
I first heard this speech on Ted Lasso. It's a powerful scene. Only recently did I realize this scene was based on an actual speech by NBA star Allen Iverson.
In Ted Lasso's case, the speech is about the importance of practice. He is driving home the point that the best players take practice as seriously as they take the game.
In Allen Iverson's case, he had just had another argument with Sixers head coach Larry Brown over Iverson's commitment to practice. More importantly, Iverson was still dealing with the pain of having lost his best friend to violence earlier in the year, and practice just didn't seem that important in comparison to losing a friend.
It's true that few things compare in seriousness to life and death. But in our work, in our 'practice', we can find peace for that period of time if we refocus our mind to the task at hand. In practice, it's acceptable and expected to shut out everything else. Being present in practice is as important as being present in the game.
If you find practice boring, tedious, or simply a waste of time, it's a sign that you're not present and focused on the moment. Practice is where you refine your skill and ability, the game is where you fall back onto the habits that you established in practice.
Ultimately, it's all about practice.