If there was one habit that could transform your game instantly, would you adopt it?
We teach 10,000 athletes each summer and find that a majority of the athletes do not use this one habit (when they first arrive). It’s disappointing because it is so foundational, practical, and game-changing that we believe every basketball player needs it in their game.
We’ve all had a similar experience that goes like this: a teammate gets a defensive rebound, we’re all alone down the court, ready for a wide-open layup, and the pass never comes. Your teammate’s habit is to grab the ball, put their head down, and start dribbling — a missed opportunity.
Or what about this one? A teammate catches the ball around the perimeter amid the offense and misses wide-open shot opportunities and cutting teammates because, you guessed it, their habit is to catch the ball, put their head down, and start dribbling — a missed opportunity.
There is another type of athlete, however, that many of us also know, who has excellent court vision and consistently finds teammates when they’re open, delivers on-target passes, and makes life easier for everyone around them.
This player possesses the game-changing habit I referenced above.
Here it is:
The moment your fingertips touch leather, peek at the rim.
It’s simple, but not easy.
Nikola Jokic from the Denver Nuggets is one of those players who has mastered the habit of peeking at the rim the moment his fingertips touch leather. We see him on highlight reel after highlight reel because of the way he finds open teammates, specifically in transition.
While many fans respond to these plays with a look of astonishment and impossibility for how he does it, a student of the game realizes he is better at peeking at the rim than most players.
The benefits of peeking at the rim include:
- Opening up scoring opportunities for yourself
- Opening up scoring opportunities for teammates
- Becoming harder to guard
- Coaches saying things like, “she has a great feel for the game and sees the court well.”
You need this in your game. College players need this in their game. Heck, many NBA players do not even utilize this habit yet.
Here’s how you build this habit. When playing 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 with your teammates, introduce a turnover violation anytime someone catches the ball without peeking at the rim. The first time you play, it will be overwhelming how often you catch the ball without redirecting your eyes to the rim. Do this for four weeks, and you will start to notice significant improvements in your game.
It’s simple, not easy. There’s beauty in simplicity, and this is a habit that can take your game from good to great. It’s a habit that can take your game from two assists per game to five assists per game. It’s a habit that can you help you become a starter on your team and a player that coaches recruit. The moment your fingertips touch leather, peek at the rim.
Athletes, this is for you. We all want to play more minutes, have more fun, and win more games. But there’s a big problem that we all succumb to that’s holding us back from reaching our full potential.
What can you start doing today to win more games?
Join PGC Director Tyler Coston, as he shares four ways to improve your mental toughness, habits and focus necessary for winning more games.
Don’t simply be an in game shooter, discover how to be a fourth quarter and overtime maker. Join PGC Director Marke Freeman, as she shares what it takes to make shots in the clutch.
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.