Pivoting, passing, dribbling, shooting, and guarding your man. Here are five things you should always be working on to improve as a player. These are skill areas a coach measures a player by in order to develop their game in a well-rounded manner. Also, if one of these is particularly weak, it could keep a player from excelling or finding success in games.
1: Pivoting - Moving your defender with your feet. Managing spacing and ball protection in traffic or vs pressure. Creating space. Footwork.
2: Passing - Being able to make the right read for a pass and being able to physically throw that pass. Taking care of the ball on the pass is key! Weak hand passing is often underdeveloped.
3: Dribbling - Moving/Attacking to create advantage. Taking the ball into areas the defense doesn’t want you to. Moving your defender with deception.
4: Shooting - Knocking down shots consistently. A must for every good player. Takes a lot of work and repetition. Key words here: repetition and consistently.
5: Guarding your man - To contribute on a team and advance as a player, this is a must. Can you stay in front, play without fouling, and contribute on defense without forcing rotations.
If you want to be a great player, or you are about to level up, these are the areas to focus. It’s this simple, but you must work through it, try and fail, and play live. For younger players, this is a great checklist. Rank your strengths and weaknesses, and work to make both better!
How You Do Anything
...is how you do everything. First off, I do not think this is always 100% true. But I do think the lesson here is spot on (Maybe 98% true). If we approach some things with all of our focus and effort, and other things with a passive sense of just scraping by or getting it done, we are reinforcing two different mindsets in our habits. The better choice is to chose to be present and give full effort, or not engage at all.
Let’s looks at a few examples...
-You aren’t that interested in school, but you want to graduate or earn the prestigious degree you are working towards. You could skate by and be an average student, which will become part of your behavior and lead to average work in many areas of your life. OR, you could sell out to vigorously studying and collaborating and become the best student you can be, and this will spill over into your other goals or future work after school is over.
-You have a decent job, but your heart is on the next promotion or another venture in your future. You do your work, but you rarely go above and beyond. When your opportunity arrives, you constantly have to fight bad habits of “just getting it done.” OR, you work everyday at your job as if it were the interview for your big break. You grow, you impress your boss and peers, and you build habits of initiative and a strong work ethic.
-‘Its just training, I’m more interested in the game.’ You go 70% when you workout, assuming you will turn it on during the real competition. Over time, after your athleticism and natural ability catches up to you with better completion, you don’t have the skill acquisition you need to be good enough to perform and win. OR, you approach every game and practice with a competitive spirit and a tireless work ethic, trying to find that edge to make yourself better. As competition increases, you find a way to hang, (not always winning, but always competing and learning) and you’re ready for higher levels of play.
How you do anything is how you do everything. As summer comes to a close, let’s be sure to remember this thought, and build ourselves into people who are proud of how they show up. All the time.
Change Drains Us
When change happens in our lives it drains our energy. We are functioning less on autopilot, out of our routines. Both positive and negative changes use up our energy as we work to adjust to the newness. Learning new behaviors and norms. Increased focus. Overthinking. Worry.
BUT… But don’t bail yourself out of responsibility thinking there’s nothing you can do about it. We all need to take care of our mental and physical health, but we also must understand we are largely in control of our energy! Elite competitors are not dependent on their environment to create energy. They create their own.
Because of the loud change we are all going through right now, plus the added complication of new changes each week, we are getting fatigued. Learning to work from home, adjusting to remote learning, finding new ways to work with and lean on friends, and keeping ourselves safe and sane on a daily basis. This major reshaping of our lives is a taxing thing. And in order to create our own energy through this time where it feels like it’s all being sucked away, we must evaluate our habits, mindsets, and commitments. Create that energy today, regardless of the changes that try to wear you out.
"Get Better" is our PEAK blog, providing you with content to help enhance your game, your mind, and your relentless pursuit of the process! Enjoy.
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