As leaders, we need to better distinguish between these three activities.
In three domains that are "performance" domains, these words have somewhat different connotations.
Professionals: Doctors and Lawyers practice – that is they perform their profession. They do not rehearse, nor do they exercise, at least they do not differentiate between the performance of their profession and the preparation for performance.
Artists: Musicians and Actors practice – that is they spend time preparing themselves for a performance event. This can be in the form of a rehearsal, a planned unattended performance of all or part of some body of work that is to be performed. They also do exercises or drills – repetition of non-performance work designed or selected specifically to improve technique, capacity, or dexterity.
Athletes: Virtually all athletes practice, that is they spend time preparing themselves for a performance event. Their practice is in the form of simulated play or drills, repetition of simulated performance activities designed or selected specifically to improve technique or agility. They also exercise, but this is primarily to improve or maintain capacity or flexibility.
So leaders, when you coach your teams, are you conscious of the difference? How do you help your teams build technique or agility? How do you help your teams maintain or improve capacity or flexibility? How do you help your teams prepare to perform? Practice, Rehearsal and/or Exercise?