My coach Carlos Briggs called me into his office “Kevin what are your goals for this upcoming season?”
Me not having set any goals trying to come up with something…
“Well, I think I can average about 16 points 6 rebounds and 3 ast. This is college and it surely will be harder than high school where I averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds.”
My coach bursted out in laughter…
“You’re selling your sell way short. With your skill level and the things I’ve seen you do training there is no reason you can’t lead this conference in scoring and be conference player of the year.”
Me thinking in my head… yeah that would be nice but theres no way thats going to happen.
Later that week we had open gym and I completely dominated the open gym. We played to 140 points against D1 college players and some pro's from overseas(this was part of our conditioning and everyone had to cross half court for a point to count) I probably had about 70.
My coach pulled me to the side and pointed out a guy on the other team. “Thats the guy that was last years conference player of the year. He is playing for University Of Detroit this year and you just dominated him.”
What a bombshell If this is the guy that was conference player of the year last year. I thought I was surely at least his equal on the court.
That was the first time I thought to myself maybe I can be a great player in Junior College.
And thats one of many things Coach Briggs did that gave me confidence to be a much better player. I will discuss these in later blogs. Confidence In my experiences is the biggest factor toward playing performance.
3 Things You Can Do
It was about this moment that I started experimenting on how I could become the best scorer in my conference. Here is what I found to make me more effective…
1. Always catch the ball in my scoring range.
In my first year of college my range was just inside the college three point line. So I did a lot of work early to catch the ball in my range even if I had to post up on the wing. What this did for me is it made me instantly a threat to score every time I touched the ball. The defense had to play me honest because I could shoot or drive. If the defense was late I could shoot right away, and if they were there I could go right into a effective scoring move. Also If I attacked the basket and got cut off I could shoot a pull up jumper which would be very close because it would take a defender a few steps to cut me off leaving me with a contested lay up or very short jump shot.
2. Limit my dribbles to score the ball and don’t waste dribbles.
If I couldn’t get a good shot in three dribbles from inside the 3 point line (where I was catching the ball every time) I was dribbling to much and needed to pass. This also limited my turnovers greatly and it improved my decision making ability. I never played with the ball I was able to strike quickly knowing that if I took that third dribble I better have a good shot or a teammate to pass too.
3. Use your footwork and fakes(jab step, shot fake, and pass fake).
I was simply blown away by how effective pivoting was to get past my defenders, and how often players would bit on fakes. When I would catch the ball I would reverse pivot and sweep through one dribble and be right at the basket. I would jab and the defender would put down there hands and I would shoot. A lot of the time I would have the defense beat before I even took a dribble. I would jab one way and go the other and by the time the defense recovered it would be to late.
These are three of the techniques I used to not only become the top scorer in my conference but the top scorer in the nation. Ahead of guys like Steve Francis, Shawn Marion, and Pete Mickeal.
Now here is what I would like for you to do:
-The next time you go to play try out these three techniques. Then come back to this blog post and leave a comment to let me know how they worked out for you.
Sorry for the photos I played college basketball at a time before everything was on the internet and digital ha ha.
Thanks for reading.
Old School Grit- The willpower to persevere with passion and a sense of purpose is what matters most in whether a person succeeds or fails, is what this book is all about.
COMPLETE CONDITIONING FOR BASKETBALL -This is a very comprehensive book on basketball-specific training schedules and methods.
How To Be Better At Basketball In 21 Days- This book has basketball drills that can help you develop basic skills, tips on how to increase your basketball shooting accuracy, and how to toughen your mental state so that you play with confidence, courage, and control.
Audible- You can listen to them if you don't like to read
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