Like most people, a lot of basketball players are looking for that one thing that will create an immediate impact for themselves and their team. Let’s take a look at five things any player can do to gain immediate improvement.
Fleet means quick-moving, and here it is also a made-up word for “FLoored feEET.” Feet on the floor, on defense. Never leave your feet on defense, not even to block a pass, not even to block a shot. For every pass you block by jumping, two will get by you, and you will be slow getting to a good defensive help-position because you are not FLEET when you are in the air. You have to wait until you come down to move.
There is a basic human instinct that is as old as ‘fight or flight’. When a person feels threatened or under pressure, our body automatically reacts with basic physiological responses. These automatic reactions can hinder athletic performance, if we let them. It is vital to understand how our body and our mind responds to playing under pressure so we can control those automatic responses and keep them from hindering performance.
A leader must always look for possibilities and opportunities and never give in to complaining or worrying about conditions or circumstances. Then always look for ways to turn things around, and never sink into self-pity or get discouraged.
THINK THE GAME
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You are ruining your child’s experience. I know, I know, you are competitive. You are different. You and your child “have an understanding.” Whatever the story is that you tell yourself to justify your actions. Trust me, you are making things more difficult for your child, whether you know it or not. Quit being that parent in the stands that is the coach.
I used to run a basketball camp called the 87% Basketball Camp. Coaches would, on occasion, see a player wearing a T-shirt with that name and almost invariably their comment would be,
“Hey, what’s this 87 percent stuff? You gotta give 100 percent, Man.”
Often they took it a step further. “You gotta give 110 percent.”
Do you think 110 percent is enough? Some coaches demand 150 percent, others want 200 percent. I look for the athlete who gives an honest 87 percent, who knows it, and who is constantly trying to add 2 percent here and 2 percent there.
As division one strength and conditioning coaches my boss Ray Eady and I had not intended to create what has become known as the go-to conditioning drill to get basketball players into game ready shape. All we wanted was for them to stop running and testing the mile run as part of their pre-season conditioning plan.
If you aren’t trying to improve your communication skills and trying to have more of an impact on the atmosphere you are playing in, you are neglecting a big part of sport. Good, intelligent communication is important in just about everything, not just sports. This is a very broad and important subject about which many books have been written, but I am going to touch on just a few ideas for you to consider. The essential point to understand is that it is necessary to make a constant effort to improve your communication.