Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

‘Not a game, not a game, not a game’: outline of some theories of practice

McKinney, Cait and Mulvin, Dylan ORCID: 0000-0002-8925-2460 (2014) ‘Not a game, not a game, not a game’: outline of some theories of practice. Seachange. pp. 37-59. ISSN 1923-3582

Full text not available from this repository.


Cait McKinney and Dylan Mulvin use ex-NBA star Allen Iverson’s 2002 “Practice Rant” as a starting point for their dialogue. Iverson’s broadside was part heated press conference and part poem, a speech in which the point-guard dismissed the importance of practice. Practice, for Iverson, is negligible because it is, by definition, “not a game.” Taking our cue from his speech, we define practice as the repertoire of necessary and repetitive activities that precede “performance”—activities that are ignored, elided, and generally taken for granted because of their necessity and repetitiveness. Our dialogue considers the relationship between sports practice and intellectual practice, focusing on the question of whether graduate school might be productively or provocatively thought as a form of practice or apprenticeship. As long-time friends, sports fans, and mediocre athletes who have often practiced together, we consider a range of practice-related sites: drills, pre-game rituals, dissertation writing, comprehensive exams, the academic job market, and our jump shots. Ultimately we ask whether sports practice, in its often-deferred promise of improvement through the production of habit and bodily comportment, might help us better understand the complex pleasures and disappointments of ascending toward academic careers.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 the Author(s)
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2018 15:49
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 15:08

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item