I always loved basketball and I don't know exactly when it was but at some point in my youth I decided I was going to be the greatest player who ever lived. So I began to watch as much basketball as I could. I got basketball game tapes and highlight tapes and watched them endlessly. Again and again I heard the same mantra to be the best you have to out work everyone else. While you are sleeping someone somewhere is practicing and when you meet them they will win. I took this to heart and decided that my work ethic was what would take me to the top. There was only one problem with me training myself to be a basketball player, I didn't know how. There are many mistakes I made. Now that my professional playing days are over and I'm training kids to go BEYOND THIER LIMITS in basketball I keep seeing the same mistakes that I made that slowed my progress. So here are some things to lookout for while you train to be the best you can be.
- Having No Goal. While I was improving as a player I did a decent job of setting goals. I often played a game called beat the pro to 12 points where if I made a shot I got 1 point and if I missed the pro I was playing got 1 point, and the better I got the more points I would give the pro per miss. To get better is a goal but its not a very good one. When you workout set measurable goals. "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it" Peter Drucker. See how many shots it takes you to make 10 of a certain type of shot. Then you have a starting point that you can continue to measure week after week and month after month to track your progress. Having something to aim for will also keep you motivated and focused.
- Not Going Game Speed. When you dont go game speed while training, your negating your workout. You probably will make more shots going half speed but it doesn't matter because you will never be able to shoot those shots in the game. I know you've heard the saying you play like you practice, and there is a lot of truth to it. The game will be much easier if you practice hard as if you were doing it in a game. When you get in the game it will be familiar and you will be more at ease.
- Not Being Coachable. This is the worst type of kid for me to train. The kid that thinks they already know everything so they don't listen and does the drill completely wrong so I have to explain everything 2 and 3 times. Or the kid that every time you correct them, they were just about to do that or already knew that. Being coachable was one of the things that I believe helped me the most. When I got to junior college I was so excited to be coached by someone who actually had success playing that I spent hours everyday in Coach Briggs office soaking in all the information he was willing to give me, and the tips he gave me were priceless.
- Not Making Any Mistakes. While training I constantly messed up but it never bothered me much for some reason. If anything it made me try harder to get it down good. I used it as a sign that I still had more work to do. If you never lose the ball or make a mistake during your workout your probably not pushing yourself. If you want to go BEYOND YOUR LIMITS you have to go outside of your comfort zone. If you only go as fast and as hard as you feel comfortable going your not going to improve much. You should always continue to push yourself to be better and fast every workout, this will show you the most results the quickest.
- To Much Casual Shooting. This is something I was very guilty of growing up. But I grew up in a time were the basketball court is were everyone was and it was the social place to be. It's where you heard what was going on in the neighborhood and in school. Today we have Snapchat, Instagram and other social media platforms. So I used to waste a lot of time casually shooting and talking to friends. Well now a-days when you go to the court the only people there are basketball players. So work hard while at the gym training and socialize after or before, just not during.
- Having No Plan. I knew that I wanted to be a great basketball player but I had no plan to get there. I didn't know my strengths and weaknesses, I had no clue how to become a great player. So I just went to the court and did every drill I could think off. Or I would see Joe Dumars do a move that I liked and I would go to the park and try to imitate it over and over again. My workouts had no focus so while I was working hard and I was improving it was at a snails pace. For instance, if I knew I wanted to perfect jumpers from the elbow I could have focused in on that and improved at a much faster rate.
- Working On Things You'll Never Do In The Game. I remember watching Anfernee Hardaway loose the ball, it bounced back toward half court. He picked up the ball, did a crossover and then a spin move and hit a pull up three pointer as the shot clock buzzer sounded. I went to my neighborhood court the next day and practiced that move and shot for the whole day. Do you want to know how many times in my life I have used that move and shot? Never is the answer. I wasted a whole day practicing something that was highly unlikely for me to do in the game. Its okay to play around and do it a few times but I went to the extreme and worked on it the whole day. To this day I'm still waiting on my opportunity to pull it off lol.
- Not Training Past Fatigue. Here is something that separates the good from the great. At the end of the game and overtime everyone is tired but the great ones can push past and still play at a high level. So if this is something that can make you great why would you not practice it. While training if you get overly tired, shoot a few free throws no more than three and get back to work training your body and mind to perform while your fatigued. It will benefit you greatly at the end of your games. While others will give in to fatigue you will be able to run past them.
- Not Tracking Your Progress Long Term. I trained all the time, but until I was playing professionally I had never did long term tracking of my progress. How will you know if you are getting better if you don't track your progress? Set your goals then push yourself to reach them. Check back next month and the month after that. You will see the progress you're making motivating you even more.
- Not Being Consistent. Sometimes I get people to train and they come for 2 weeks, then I wouldn't see them for another month. then they show up again and I ask them have they been working out and I get a not really. Well if you are not getting better your getting worse, if you are not consistent your hurting your cause. It is important to take time off from time to time but several long breaks and your skills will start to decline. Have you heard the saying if you dont use it you'll loose it? Well its true even with basketball. So be consistent and basketball can take you to where you want to go.
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The best jump training system out there VertShock bit.ly/vertshock-blog
3 Reasons The Most Skilled Player May Not Be The Best Player bit.ly/skill-is-not-production
Beat The Pro bit.ly/beat-the-pro
(Book Recommendations)The Art of a Beautiful Game: The Thinking Fan's Tour of the NBA by Chris Ballard bit.ly/beautiful-game these are here because I believe basketball is very much a thinking game and if you see how the greats think on the court you can train yourself to think the same way. Or you can listen to them if you don't like to read bit.ly/no-reading
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