Because most coaches don't assign "homework" after practices, players may come to believe that attending and working hard at practices are all it takes to become a great player. At younger ages, this might be true, but as age increases so does the need for players to take an active interest in their own training and development.
Self-imposed homework tasks can include activities to improve skills, as well as activities to improve knowledge. Players should consider the following activities for their personal practice time:
- Watching players at older age levels (not just professionals) and learning from their play.
- Discussing the sport with players who have been playing longer or at more advanced levels.
- Running and other exercises that help stamina.
- Doing push-ups and other exercises that improve strength.
- Sprinting and other exercises that improve speed.
- Practicing specific skills repetitively to achieve higher performance and consistency.
- Reading books and other materials to increase game understanding.
- Using older players, private instructors or camps to assist with skill building.
- Working with friends to develop skills such as passing.
There are many things players can do to improve themselves and players cannot rely on coaches to give them a precise roadmap for success.