Training v practice

Saw this post the other day on The Talent Code blog and thought it was something fastpitch softball players (and their parents) would find worthwhile. It’s on the negative connotation of the word “practice.”

According to the post when players hear the word “practice” they think of boring repetition – something to be avoided if at all possible. Yet we all know those boring repetitions are necessary to learning our sport.

What author Dan Coyle suggested is replacing the term “practice” with “training.” Here’s the thinking.

Practice sounds like something you do for its own sake. You practice to learn, but you don’t necessarily have a specific goal.

But training is something you do in preparation for a something. Prize fighters train. Olympians train. Everything they do is aimed at a specific endpoint.

I happen to like the term “training” (this is a new concept for me), but what do you think? Is there a real difference? Does training sound better than practicing? Or does it not matter what you call it as long as it gets done?


About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on November 25, 2012, in Coaching, General Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Yes, practice should be intentional and training is a good term to convey that. One minor point, you may practice/train to change or you might train to reinforce what you already have. Knowing what you are trying to achieve is obviously key to intentional practice/training. Any drill can be perverted if you don’t understand the goal and many poor drills can be used profitably if you understand your end goal. I’ve most often used the word training related to improving rotation. Commonly youth players don’t rotate well either in hitting or throwing. This can be worked on/trained in many ways without a ball or bat in their hand.


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