Developing healthy practice habits starts from day one of beginner band. And it's a skill that lasts a lifetime. If you're going to excel at ANYTHING in life, whether it be playing an instrument, performing complex mathematics calculations, or effectively communicating with a potential employer, practice is the means for accomplishing any goal or task.
Band students know that if they want to perform at their very best, they must diligently practice their instrument. The countless hours in the practice room can yield amazing results if approached the right way. We've all heard the phrase "practice makes perfect." But it's the quality of practice that really matters. Instead I like to say "perfect (or deliberate) practice makes perfect."
So whether your student is embarking on their 1st year of learning to play an instrument, or their 10th, encourage healthy practice habits at home. Don't let them just "play" their instruments, but perform every time they make a sound. Encourage excellence in everything they do. They certainly deserve it!
I frequently visit a blog called The Bulletproof Musician. The guy that created it is a Performance Psychologist on faculty at The Julliard School. I consider him an expert on the field on practice and has tons of advice for budding musicians :-)
Check out this article by Geoff Colvin (editor and columnist for Fortune magazine and author of Talent is Overrated), which argues why you don't have to be naturally talented to be successful.