We all have our basketball heroes; there are so many of the greats that seem to effortlessly be able to run up and down the court, dodging other players, jumping impossible heights into the air, and finding the net every single time.
However, although it’s fun and exciting to watch these players, don’t forget that there was a time when they had never stepped foot on a basketball court, and they had never held a basketball. Everyone, no matter how great they become, starts at the same point, and that means that everyone has the same chance of greatness. What is it, though, that separates those exceptional players from everyone else? The answer is that they took on the challenge to work and to become the best basketball player they could be. Here is how they did it.
If you want to be a better basketball player or even one of the best, then there is no point in stepping out onto the court and being afraid of making a mistake, or even of losing. Being afraid to fail means that you won’t take risks, and it is sometimes these risks that can pay off so well. It’s true that a risk can also end in failure, but if this happens, then you will have learned, and you can improve for the next time. Even though the greatest players in the world make their sport look easy, they will have made mistakes in the past. They might even make mistakes in the future; no one is perfect. The key is that they are not scared to try, and in trying, they learn what they can do, and how they might improve for the future. This is a massively important lesson to learn.
If you find that you often make excuses for the way you perform, then you are not going to become a better basketball player. You might blame your coach for steering you in a direction you didn’t feel happy going in, or perhaps you feel that work gets in the way of your practice time. Maybe you didn’t get much sleep the night before, or you skipped lunch so you’re hungry and that’s why you think you didn’t play so well.
What you must remember is that a bad night’s sleep, a missed meal, poor direction from a coach, even a minor injury can all be dealt with. If you didn’t sleep well, try to have a nap before the game, or at least take some time to rest. If you missed a meal then make sure you have an energy bar or a piece of fruit – it takes moments to eat and will give you energy to get through the game. Lack of time can be solved by watching an hour less of TV each night and practicing instead. If you have a minor injury, use a calf compression sleeve for the duration of the game. There are always ways to get where you want to go, so excuses just aren’t worth thinking about.
Learn Your Position
It’s good to know as much about the game of basketball in general as possible but to really be a great player; you need to know absolutely everything about your own position first. Understand exactly what you can and can’t do, and what skills are required. Know how you will need to condition not only your body but also your mind if you want to be the best at what you do. Go right back to the basics even if you have been playing for many years. Work out what it is that your position has to bring to the game and make sure that that is your ultimate focus each time you play.
Once you know everything about your own position, make sure you also have a good overview of all the other ones as well because that way, you will know how you can use in your gameplay and who you should keep in reserve.
Don’t Be Everything
Following on from the above point, no one can be everything in a game of basketball. If you understand what it is your position has to do, don’t try to do everything else as well. This will confuse matters hugely on the court, and it won’t make you popular in the team either, which can be a big problem in a game where teamwork is essential for success. You can’t be the best shooter as well as the best defensive player, and your own particular position will tell you what it is you need to focus on. If you want to make a name for yourself in basketball, you need to be the best at what you do, not the best at everything. Working in a team in this way will give you more successes than working individually. If you don’t enjoy teamwork, then you will need to look for a sport that is all about the individual instead. Be honest with yourself and do what you need to do.
Give 100 Percent
No matter how you are feeling or what has happened during the day, when it comes to stepping foot on the court, all of that must be forgotten. You need to be able to focus fully on the game in front of you and, as cliched as it might sound, give 100 percent every single time. This is how to become a better basketball player, and it will be good for you too. If you are feeling stressed in your life, playing basketball is a way to relieve that stress – you won’t be thinking of the problems you are experiencing if you are playing basketball and focusing on that instead. It gives your mind a break from feeling worried, and you might even find that by the time the game is over, you will have come up with a solution for your issue without having to have thought about it at all.