Pre-Season Reminders for Players

With the new season upon us, it’s always wise to remind players of time-tested principles that never go away- no matter how much the game changes over the years:

  • Condition!  The more conditioned you are, the better are your chances of maximizing your potential.  Be a beast in this area.
  • Compete!  I watched a player this summer get so caught up in “doing the right thing” that he forgot that above all, it’s about competition.  All coaches want execution but not at the expense of thinking too much.
  • Put “highlight plays” in perspective.  When a player makes a truly great play, it is an adjustment to the circumstances.  They are almost never planned.   
  • There are more ways to increase one’s playing time with really good defensive play.  All players think about offense. Fewer players visualize themselves being great defensive players.  
  • On defense, a sound game plan is to take away one thing before you can take away another.  For example, take away the drive first, then work on taking away the perimeter shot (or vice versa).  If you’re always in between, you’re probably giving up both.
  • Stop the Bleeding!.  The best players in the world make bad plays, have bad games and miss a lot of shots.  Don’t turn one bad play or day into two or more. If you’re missing good shots, keep firing.  Next Play Focus-Not Last Play Regrets.
  • The most overlooked, taken for granted skill in basketball is running.  EVERYONE can hard for entire practices and games. You will be surprised at the results.
  • You can play 20 years and never change an official’s call.  It’s not your job to worry about calls. Keep playing through everything.
  • The smallest of plays can pay huge dividends. Good players make all kinds of plays that help win games and aren’t found in box scores.  Deflections, out of bounds saves, knocking the ball off an opponent out of bounds, rebound tap-outs, loose ball recoveries, blockouts, drawn charges, cutting off drives, and help and recoveries are among the number of non-box score plays.
  • Keep a simple practice log. Write down a grade for yourself for every practice and a few reasons for the grade.  Honest self-evaluation can be learned and improved this way.

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