Young people – like all of us – can have a hard time appreciating the importance of practice. The payoff often isn’t immediately apparent, so this life skill isn’t always addressed and developed in youth.
This week’s free session idea therefore contains some youth group activities and discussion ideas exploring the importance of practice and why it can be so vital in helping them fulfill their dreams.
Show the video below to your youth group. Before watching it, explain the background of the clip briefly.
The video features a Norwegian called Havard Rugland who has a dream of playing in the NFL as a kicker. He filmed himself kicking a football and sent it out to NFL teams and now has a trial with the New York Jets. Here’s why:
Having watched the video, here are a number of questions and areas for discussion to help explore why practice is so important.
- How long do you think Havard has practiced kicking for?
- Do you think it shows?
- Why do you think he persevered by practicing that much?
- If he hadn’t practiced his kicking skills, do you think he would have developed his talent as much?
- How many hours of practice do you think it takes to become successful at something?
- In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, he states that it takes 10,000 hours of practice. This equates to 2.5 hours a day for 11 years. Does that sound like too much effort?
- Do you have enough spare time to practice something that much each day?
- If not, how much time do you spend each day watching TV, playing video games, texting, etc?
- If time and practice wasn’t an issue, what would you like to be skilled in or be an expert at? Why is that? (n.b. Be prepared for either completely random or incredibly profound answers!)
- Even if you couldn’t commit 2.5 hours a day to it, what are some steps you can take to start gaining those skills?
- What are some of the benefits of being an expert in that area? (If they struggle to think of any, benefits could include job opportunities, higher income, sense of satisfaction, prestige, using the skill to teach or help others, etc)
- Thinking about the benefits, does this make practice seem more important?
Related Youth Group Activities
We’ve published a number of other related youth group activities in the past, so this session on the importance of practice would tie in nicely in a series covering some of the following:
- Helping youth achieve their dreams
- Goal setting – part 1
- Goal setting – part 2
- Youth using their skills to benefit others
Question: What activities would you do with your youth group to help them explore the importance of practice? Let us know in the comments below.
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