Skill development is great for youth basketball players. Developing skills is great for players of al levels in fact. But it takes more than just skills to be a great basketball player. There is an intangible component to greatness that one can’t measure in a per game average or shooting percentage. But you can still see greatness when it’s there. From over 20 years of being a diehard basketball fan in addition to being a player at various levels, there are 3 qualities I’ve noticed that most, if not all, great players have. Here are 3 major keys to being great on the basketball court. And these are things that you can implement starting today.
Here Are Three Keys To Go From Good To Great In Basketball Training
Great Basketball Players… Set the Tone
Great players set the tone on the basketball court. There’s a quote by author Robert T. Kiyosaki that sums up what setting the tones means: “There are those who make things happen, there are those who watch things happen and there are those who say ‘what happened’?” Great players make things happen. And they do that from the opening tip. No waiting for your teammate to give you the ‘green light’ to go block a shot on one end or attack the rim with the ball on the other. No waiting to see how good the other team is before you start to exhibit your skills. Great players go out and cause the other team to react to what they are doing, not the other way around. If you want to be a great player, you have to be a tone setter with your skills, no matter what your skills may be. You can set the tone with shot blocking, perimeter defense, running in transition, 3 point shooting, passing, driving, post scoring, etc. Whatever it is that you do, there is some way for you to set the tone for your team. And great players make sure to do it.
Great Players… Take Responsibility
Great players take responsibility for their own performance and sometimes even the performance of their team. Taking responsibility for your own performance means not blaming the refs for an off night, holding yourself to a high standard, and working on your game in the offseason. Players who take responsibility allow themselves to be great because they take complete ownership of their game and performance. When you take ownership like this, you can effectively correct mistakes and work to improve your game in the areas where it is lacking. Conversely, players who don’t get what they want in the game of basketball can choose the lower road of blaming referees, politics, and teammates, etc. for their own lack of success. These players limit their ability to improve because of their “it’s not my fault” attitude. Players who take responsibility for the performance of their team don’t blame teammates after losses. Even when he or she might have played well, a great player will ask themselves “what could I have done better to help my team win?” This attitude causes great players in the NBA to raise their production in the playoffs. Instead of saying “Well, I scored about what I usually did tonight; I did my job”, a great player will say “Well, I’ve scored 30 so far but I need to do more so we can get this win.”
Great Players… Play with Competitive Fire
Truly great players play and train with a competitive fire. Do you know what this means? A competitive “fire” refers to an insatiable appetite. That appetite “burns” inside the great player just like a fire. The figurative fire or appetite cannot be quenched by looking good on the basketball court. It can’t be quenched by a few highlight plays. It cannot be quenched by “not messing up”, and it cannot even be quenched by statistics. A competitive fire can only be quenched by competing and winning! Players with this mindset often end up looking good, making highlight plays and having pretty good statistics. This is because that competitive fire drives you to put it all on the line and do whatever it takes with whatever skills you have to win the game. When you are playing this way, those other things are the by-product.
My advice to youth basketball players work on being GREAT on the basketball court. Do not settle for anything less than greatness in doing what you do. Being great does not mean you have to average 30 points per game, nor does it mean you must have the best skills of those around you. It means bringing greatness to the things that YOU do on the basketball court. We encourage you not to settle for anything less than greatness in this wonderful game of basketball. Be great!