There are a lot of options out there for you to train and improve your game. There are all kinds of articles, videos, online workouts, training equipment and personal trainers. But the big problem is that most of it is not very good information, bad information, and some of the techniques taught may even hurt your progress. I'm going to hop in my time machine and go back to 1994, the year I went from getting cut from the JV team to a year later becoming a All-State basketball player by training myself with a method that will always be relevant. I'm going to give you the step by step method I used to transform my game, and I did it all without spending one cent.
The quote at the beginning of this article may seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. You don't have to recreate the wheel. You don't have to start from scratch, because success leaves clues. The fact is that many people have already had massive success with similar game and strengths to your own. I'm not talking about skill level but skill set, your skill level is how good you are at certain skills. Your skill set is the skills that you are best at. No matter if you are a undersized, non athletic center that finishes around the basket, or a tall point guard that doesn't shoot well but is a good passer, or if you are a athletic wing that shoots well but has poor ball handling. There are several people playing at the highest levels all over the world with a skill set very similar to yours.
Choose Someone With Similar Strengths
At the time I started to train myself David Robinson was my favorite player but it wasn't likely that I would grow another 9 inches and develop freakish athletic ability, so I decided to study Joe Dumars. Dumars was a player that I looked up to, he won two championships with the Detroit Pistons and had several all star game appearances. At that time we had similar skill sets. The things Dumars did well was also the same things I did well, of course Joe Dumars was much much better than me at all these skills. It was just that the most effective parts of his game were also the most effective parts of my game.
I was living in Detroit so just about all of the Pistons games came on TV. We had a VCR (for the younger readers it was the DVR of that time). You could record what was on TV and play it back later. I taped every Detroit Pistons game and I would watch them over and over again. But when I watched those games I only watched Joe Dumars. No matter where the ball was or what was going on on the court I watched Joe. I saw how he reacted in every situation. I watched how he positioned himself on defense, on ball and off the ball. I watched how he played a shooter verses someone who would primarily drive. I watched how he played the passing lanes. I also watched him on offense, how he faked one way to come off a screen the other way. I watched how he played off the ball, and also with the ball. I studied the moves he did to get a shot in one on one situations. I watched everything from his body movement to his favorite moves to go to when his team really needed a basket.
Next I would write down at what time in the game Dumars took a shot and go back later and watch every shot he took and how he got those shots. Then when I got to the gym I would practice every shot he took in the last game until I felt comfortable doing them. I would go through a whole play, screening imaginary players and coming off imaginary screens to shoot. I even practiced fast break layups. If in the game he got a steal and sprinted down for a layup, I would practice that. I would act like I got a steal and sprint down for a layup. I also practiced defense but I only did this in my basement. I'm sure it would have been very odd to come to the gym and see someone playing defense on an imaginary player, so I did this in my basement several times a week. Also I would try to get to the gym early or go at a time when it would most likely to be empty, because I was embarrassed because of what other people would think. But no one ever gave me a hard time because of me training this way.
Put it to use
Now that I had all the moves Joe was doing on a nightly bases, I started doing them myself. In pickup basketball before long I would find myself in similar situations as Dumars and I wouldn't even have to think, I just did them because I had been practicing and preparing for these exact situations. The more I used these moves the more my confidence grew. If you have been following BYL you already know that I think confidence is the most important factor in being a good basketball player. Training the way I did really helped me more than just doing drills because I was imagining game situations while I was practicing. I wasn't just dribbling around a cone and shooting. I was imagining getting checked by Jordan and other NBA players and doing the moves that were working for Joe Dumars.
This is the exact process I went through to take my game to the next level. Before you start this process I suggest that you choose someone with similar strengths. So if you are not good at shooting already, you shouldn't try to play like Steph Curry. It will be much more difficult for you to have success that way. Go for someone with similar strengths as you because you won't have as far to go to be great at it. Don't study highlights, they are exciting because they rarely happen. You want to use your time studying the parts of a player's game where they score the bulk of their points. Also if you are just beginning at basketball you may want to choose a college player or a player at a lower level because at the college level players do not attempt to do advanced moves as much and it will be easier for you to imitate a college player.
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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1. Choose Someone With Similar Strengths
2. Watch closely
4. Put it to use
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