By: Natalie Morse of Indiana Girls Basketball
Everybody knows it takes time, effort and patience to achieve any goal you’re working towards. Throughout my years playing and coaching in the game, a few things become more evident every day that I learn from kids of every age. Here are a few tips that I think are important for every player to learn in order to become a well-rounded ball player.
1.Love the game – There are going to be days where you don’t feel like going to practice or don’t feel like going outside to get up some extra shots. Be honest in your assessment with the game and if you truly love it, you’ll find reasons to show up. Showing up is vital. If you’re consistent, coaches will recognize that and you’ll be rewarded. Sounds simple and it is.
2.Be an excellent teammate – People say it a lot, but what does it mean? It means being the first one to take initiative in every drill, getting outside your comfort zone, learning how your teammates tick, being vocal, and being honest. Excellent teammates make great leaders. We are so often are afraid to ask a “stupid question” (doesn’t exist) to our coach and then we waste reps because we don’t know exactly what’s expected. Everyone learns differently but it’s important everyone on the team is on the same page. Someone must step up and they must do it consistently.
3.Think the Game – When you train, it’s extremely important to visualize the defense so you are repping out moves with a purpose. There is a big difference in kids who compete at higher levels than other kids and I’ve noticed a lot of that is more than just talent. The player’s focus is laser-like. They make moves and shots no matter what setting their in at game speed. Don’t go through the motions when you’re training. Think about if you realistically could get by a defender with the moves you are making and work at the quickest speed you can while controlling your dribble.
Basketball is so competitive, and it will expose your weaknesses pretty quickly. You’ve got to minimize your weaknesses and play to your strengths. It takes years to figure out your game and that’s ok! Be patient with it. The more time you spend doing the three things above the better off your natural game will be in the situations it matters most. I think it’s really important to learn how to see the game or watch the game on TV as much as you can. You can learn so much from all of the great players out there who stick to the fundamentals and do things the right way. Everyone’s game is a little different, but be a sponge and soak up as much knowledge as you can through your journey with the game.