Basketball is a fun sport to play whether it be a relaxed game of five versus five at the local rec center or a competitive state championship game. No matter what level you play at, there is always room for improvement. For beginning players, it may seem like an impossible task to become an outstanding player. So, as a high school varsity basketball player who has been playing the game for over 9 years, I present to you 3 short tips/advice for those who seek to play basketball at a higher level.
1) Make a Commitment:
Like most things, becoming a great basketball player does not happen overnight. Lots of hours are needed to practice and hone in on skills such as dribbling, shooting, and passing. Thus, a time commitment is necessary to progress as a player. Oftentimes, those who half-heartedly pursue basketball fall between the cracks, or in other words, do not achieve the goal they desire. For younger players, committing can come in the form of spending less time playing video games or watching TV and practicing instead. For the older audience, committing may be developing a schedule that revolves around basketball (designating times for practice, weight lifting, and recovery would be making a time commitment to advancing as a player).
2) Use Your Resources
More times than not, a player or their parents will demand private coaching and training. But finding a valid trainer is sometimes a tough task as well as an expansive investment. Finding a friend, teammate, or sibling who is willing to help out pays off just as much as a personal trainer does. But above all, a good coach will never deny a player’s request to spend extra time with them to sharpen their skills. So for those who are already affiliated with a team, do not be afraid to ask your coach for anything. And for those who are not a part of a team, try to find a peer who is willing to help you out because you never know how much of a help they can be.
3) Practice Does Not Make Perfect
The cliche saying that “practice makes perfect” is actually false. In actuality, perfect practice makes perfect. When you practice, pretend you are in a real game situation. Coaches will often use the term “babying” to refer to a player who is too afraid to make mistakes during practice, so he/she will often take an easier route to finishing a drill or a scrimmage. Practice is a time to make mistakes, but mistakes are okay! In fact, pushing yourself and making mistakes is a great way to learn which areas of your game need improvement. So practicing like how you would play in a game would constitute “perfect practice.” Naturally, if you practice hard, the skills that you pick up during practice will translate into your game. So to summarize, practice like how you would play in a real game and don’t baby yourself.