When speaking to coaches at all levels there is a frustration with the lack of skill level of players. Many blame grassroots coaches, mostly AAU/Club Coaches for the lack of skilled players produced. Many complain of how players these days are harder to coach than any other era. Players are not as dedicated to getting better as well as being coached as they were 10,15, or 20 years ago.
My answer to them is that the problem doesn’t come from the lack of skills taught by their coaches at the younger levels. Yes there is a small issue with the amount of games that young players play in comparison to the working on their game, but that’s got very little to do with the lack of dedicated basketball players in the United States today The problem is that no one teaches them how to be pros early.
When you hear that probably the first thing you think of is how to make players more like Kevin Durant, LeBron James, or Kobe Bryant. That wasn’t what I was going for, it has nothing to do with how talented that you make your players, but it’s the habits that you instill in them early on. Everyone wants to try to make their players into superstars like the ones that I mentioned, but to be honest it’s almost impossible. To recreate the work ethic and drive of a Dirk Nowitzki or Kobe Bryant is almost impossible and not fair to the player or coach. No, what I mean is teach them the habits that solid professional basketball players have that make them relevant in the sport. Talent for the most part is something that players are born with. Repetition, drive, dedication, and good habits are what mold talent.
In todays post I want to go through some of the habits that should be instilled in our young players to not only help them in basketball but in life. In my 20 years of being in basketball I’ve come across some special professional players. Yes some were superior talents, but many found a way with limited talent to stay in professional basketball a lot longer than they supposed to. What kept them in pro basketball so long were the great habits obtained from listening to great teachers, coaches, veteran players, and others. I hope this helps coaches at all levels instill great habits in values in your players.