The 2015-16 basketball season is almost here … Are you ready?
The first day of basketball practice has become a holiday in our household. It’s always such an exciting day as my players come together as a team after an offseason full of individual workouts and begin the process of developing the chemistry necessary to become a cohesive unit during the coming season. I await opening day like a 6-year-old sits wide-eyed in bed on Christmas Eve in the hopes of hearing Dasher and Comet prance across the roof. There’s no feeling like it.
It’s almost that time of year again. Players, you have little time remaining to hone your craft this offseason before it’s time to prove how hard you’ve worked to improve yourself—both on and off the court. With that in mind, consider the following “must dos” that you should be focusing on now—if you’re not already—to help ensure your team has an opportunity for a special season in 2015-16.
- Decide NOW what you want your team’s season to look like.
Too often, I meet with players who wait until the season starts to really begin thinking about what they want the year to look like. By that point, it’s too late to decide to be special. That decision needs to be made in advance, so the vision can be cultivated. And once there’s a vision, you can begin to implement a plan to accomplish those goals.
Former Dallas Cowboy coach Tom Landry may have said it best: “Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.”
- Take responsibility for yourself.
Special teams are made up of special players, and special players take responsibility for their own improvement. At PGC Basketball, we challenge athletes to be wild animals, ready to fend for themselves, and not a zoo animal that depends on someone else for food. Average players wait for a coach to open a gym in order to go “work out.” Special players don’t need a coach to get better.
Players, set the standard for hard work in your program and show what it means to do more than your share. Don’t make someone else do it for you.
- Be a star in your role.
One of my all-time favorite quotes comes courtesy of Doc Rivers: “Not everyone can be the star, but you can be a star in your role.” Too many basketball players (and athletes in general) are only interested in what they think is best for themselves instead of trying to figure out what’s best for the team.
Players, ask to meet with your coach and talk about your role for the upcoming year. Find out the ways your coach thinks you can help the team the most and begin working on those things every day! That kind of meeting is also a great time to let your coach know about any additional roles you’d like to play. Ask for feedback on what you’d need to do in order to fill that role as well.
Coaches want to put players on the floor that they trust, and one of the easiest ways you can earn that trust is to put in the time to become a star in your role.
- Be a great teammate—now.
Being a great teammate isn’t just an in-season task. That’s what typical teammates do, and teams can’t be special if they’re made up of typical teammates. Special teams are made up of great teammates.
Becoming a great teammate isn’t a difficult task either; it just requires you to be intentional in your relationships with your teammates. It’s the little things that matter in developing the habits of being a great teammate. Send a text to see how someone’s weekend was. Offer to pick up the guy who’s missed the last couple of workouts. Plan a night out with everyone. Most important, be an example of the teammate you want your teammates to be. It’s contagious!
These four steps aren’t complex. They probably seem simple, and the truth is, they are. But few players invest the time needed to move from typical to special. Now’s the time to change that mindset on your team. Starting today, stand out and be special.
THINK THE GAME
Join us this summer and discover how to become a playmaker, lead your team, and run the show.
Too many players waste time working on things that don’t happen very often in games. One thing all great players have in common is their intentional training of game-specific actions
This is a correspondence between PGC owner Dena Evans and a long-time PGC grad. I was so moved by Dena’s response to this player, which the player’s father shared with me, I decided to ask Dena, and this athlete, for permission to share this correspondence publicly. If you know the heart-ache and disappointment of not reaching your team or individual goals, this is a must-read.
Far too often, basketball players make the game too hard with their go to move. They use multiple dribble combo move that rarely result in a successful attack. James Harden
PGC Basketball provides intense, no-nonsense basketball training for players and coaches. Our basketball camps are designed to teach players of all positions to play smart basketball, be coaches on the court, and be leaders in practices, games and in everyday life.
We combine our unique PGC culture with a variety of teaching methods and learning environments to maximize the learning potential of those that attend our sessions. In addition to spending 6-7 hours on the court each day, lessons will be reinforced through classroom sessions and video analysis.
Our goal at PGC is to empower you with the tools to fulfill your basketball dreams, while also assisting you in experiencing the joy of the journey.