There really isn’t any hidden secret for getting a player better. In today’s world there is a craze about getting the next big thing to stand out to be better quicker. There are more videos, websites, trainers, and others promising that their way is different and is more “elite” than the others.
I come from the school of thought that there are several ways to do anything. In working with players there are several ways to work with a player to maximize their potential. Anyone trying to sell you on the fact that they have the magical beanstalk beans that only they have is totally full of themselves as well as full of something else.
We live in a world of excitement. Technology has opened up doors to make everything bigger, better, and more exciting. Everyone wants to stand out and to be different while being on the cutting edge of his or her respected industry. Basketball is subject to the same reasoning and philosophies. I spend about 5-6 hours a week online researching player development methods from coaches and players at all levels. What I am finding is that everyone wants to stand out with new drills, methods, and training aids. As there is nothing wrong with trying to be an innovator at your craft sometimes you end up outsmarting yourself.
I’ve been fortunate to be able to watch and or work with some of the best players to play the game. When watching a great player work I try to focus in on their fundamentals, their focus, and the speed they finish a movement or shot with. With the great ones their focus is amazing. Not everyone’s workout is the same as it shouldn’t be. I think that everyone should have routines that they are comfortable with as well as designed for their position, athletic ability, and skill level.
The one common trait from being around Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, and many others are their workouts are all boring. I use the word boring not to be negative but to explain the routine. Their workouts are game shots repeated over , and over, and over again working on the same things until they get it right to the standards that are acceptable to them. Repetition is the key to be great at anything. The great ones aren’t happy until the movement/shot/drill feels 100% good to them. If something doesn’t feel right about it than it is repeated until they get it.
Great players aren’t trying to win beauty contests or be at the cutting edge with their routine, but want to continue their work until they get it right. To have the discipline of repeating something 15,20,25 times before moving on to the next thing is very hard to do. The focus and determination that is needed is pretty intense and isn’t for everyone.
Every position has specific skill sets that it takes to play that specific position well. As a player concentrate on developing those specific skills over and over again until you perfect them. Mastering 4-5 things is what’s going to make you the best possible player. Not working on 20 things so you can be average at a lot of things. Understand that repetition is the key.
Yes there are different ways to accomplish any task. You should keep an open mind about how you develop a player. Your way isn’t the only way and that’s the way life is and that’s ok. Even though there are many ways to do something it all comes down to the same premise and that is repetition is the key to greatness.
You first need to understand what is expected of you as a player and then work on those specific things over and over again until you get them right. As a coach have 4-5 things that you want out of each position so you can communicate that to your players that play for you. As a player talk to your coach about what is needed from you to get on the court as far as your skill sets for your position.
Your workouts that you construct should be all game shots and have a specific goal in mind for each one. Only have shots in each workout that will be shot in a game. Don’t waste time working on something that you saw in an NBA game the night before that looked cool because Kobe or LeBron used it. Work on game specific shots that YOU will take in a game.
You would be surprised how simple someone like Kobe Bryant’s workout is. He works at his specific game shots over, and over, and over again. He will repeat specific things if they don’t feel right to him. I remember watching a move he did in a game that was comprised of 4-5 different things. When it was time to switch the drill I wanted to repeat that specific move. He said no that he doesn’t do it that way as he breaks down each individual move and masters it and it wasn’t one move, but 4-5 different reads on how defenders were playing him. So we broke down each specific move, his thinking was that you can’t be a robot and have your mind fixated one a move that you have to be ready to react to how a defender or multiple defenders will guard you.
If you are a coach and a player makes the amount of shots that you asked, but didn’t go hard at them or didn’t loo focused then have them repeat it. It is all about doing things at game speed and maximum focus.
Player development is like losing weight. There are a million fad diets on the market promising quick results in weight loss by taking a pill, shake, or supplement. People usually fall for them because they don’t need a lot of discipline for them. Everyone wants the newest craze instead of losing weight the old fashioned way by watching what they eat and exercising. Getting better as a player is the same way it hasn’t changed identify the skill sets in which will get you on the court and repeat them over and over with maximum energy and focus.
Sometimes people get carried away by being different or cutting edge. Just identify what works and stick with that. Sometimes boring is the way to go because it will help you get better. Some of the best players in the world were great because they stuck with being simple. I’d rather be boring and great than cutting edge and being at the end of the bench.