The Average Player’s Goals

There is no formula for being a great player. I have no answers to your questions on becoming the next Michael Jordan Kobe Bryant, or Larry Bird. I think having dreams is great in life. Although as a basketball player I think honesty is the best policy especially when evaluating yourself.

Today there is such a misconception when you use the phrase to be average. For our whole lives people have told us to push for greatness. Everyone wants to be great, but there are only so many spots for great players especially in our game. Greatness should be strived for without question, but there has to be a balance of average players to great ones and its not a equal one at that.

One of the biggest problems in basketball especially with young players is the development of role players. Everyone wants to become the next Kobe Bryant or Kevin Durant. Every player wants to emulate greatness. The only issue with this is that players will practice for four hours the impossible moves that the game’s elite will perform, but wont spend nearly enough time practicing the simplistic skill sets that will being value not only to themselves but their teams as well.

I’ve had the honor of working with Kobe Bryant for the past 3 years. In this time I’ve learned so much in dealing with him. First off I respect him for his ability to deal with criticism something that 99% of young players have large issues with. The second and most important is the amount of time he spends developing simple skill sets in the game. He practices shots in which he will take in a game and work on them for hours at a time. He prepares for what will make him not only a serviceable player at his position, but also of the league elite period. The reason I bring Kobe’s name up isn’t to earn your respect or get your attention, but to pass the message of how much an elite player works on the simple skills that he needs to be effective.

As a young player and adult you must continue to invest your precious time to things in which will help you in life. The meaning behind this statement is to have you work on things that will benefit you and not waste your time. Players today spend so much time working on senseless moves and skills. You have to be honest in the assessment of yourself and not spend time on senselessness. It will be beneficial to research the position in which you play and what skill sets are needed to serviceable at your position. Have these skills close to you and make something that resembles a checklist for these skills.

One of the biggest lessons that learned in evaluating talent is when I was an aspiring scout working in the NBA. My mentor told me not to worry about scoring as much as does the player that I am looking at have a skill that can get him in an NBA game. What this means is don’t worry about if the player averaged 30 points a game. The thing that I should looking for is if you dropped him in NBA game could he score or do at least one thing that will give him value. For the average player you have to ask yourself is there something that you can do skill wise that will bring value to your team and get yourself on the floor? This skill can be any variety of things including shooting, passing, rebounding, ball handling, shot blocking, and many others.

A big problem in today’s game especially at the grassroots and college level is players lack the ability to play in the halfcourt. Most players seem to thrive when the game is up and down and played at a fast pace. But, once that game starts to slowdown in the halfcourt where defenses are set players tend to struggle. Very rarely do you see players enter the ball in the post, use a screen, or defend off the ball on a consistent basis. Most of this is a foreign language that they fail to understand. Dominating the ball and taking shots is something that comes second nature to them, but put them in situations in which they have to make basketball plays failure tends to take place

Efficiency is the key to becoming a good basketball player. No one wants to see players shoot the ball 35 times and make 6 shots with no rebounds or assists. Try to do more with less meaning instead of
dribbling the ball constantly before you shoot try making cuts away from the ball or do less isolating. Be able to read defenders not only guarding you, but also guarding teammates. This will increase your ability to not only be a scoring threat but also develop your basketball IQ to be able to make basketball plays for others.

In closing I hope everyone achieves their goals and dreams in the game of basketball and beyond. My reasons for writing today were not to be negative but a wake up call to a lot of young players and coaches. There is a lack of substance in our game when things gets tough people tend to quit or take the easy way out. Develop your skills that will help your team and also help yourself in the process. I suggest watching as much video that you can to emulate not only great players but average as well. It is all about being efficient and trying to do more with less. Be efficient and continue to work on the skill sets that will get you in a game. Remember your time is precious.

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