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The quickest way to improve at anything in life is to give your best effort going against the toughest competition! Human nature often has us go the easiest or most comfortable route. Resist that temptation. Don’t go play in basketball games that you know you are going to win. Play as much as you can, but seek out the bigger, tougher, more experienced players to compete against. This will force you to improve your skill and allow you to reach your goals. Have the guts to guard the best player on the other team every-time that you play. This will gain you respect and will make you a much better player quickly. It will be real easy to get the assignment also, because everyone else will be hiding when you say I got him!
Just like everything else in life, if you give max effort every-time that you work on a particular skill – than you will improve rapidly. This is why all up and coming players must seek out the best competition available. I was lucky that I grew up in a neighborhood that the vast majority of kids were 2-4 years older than me. Therefore, I was playing 1 on 1 or 2 on 2 against guys that were bigger, stronger and better than me everyday. This helped my game, hunger and confidence tremendously. I can’t tell you how hard I worked to compete with them and how rewarding it was to start beating them on a regular basis! Winning should always be your goal when the game starts and you should work your butt off until the final basket to pursue that victory. However, when teams are being divided up – the best place for you is on the inferior team. This will give you more responsibility, shots and opportunities to improve your game. Make the most of every day on the courts. It will pay you back in success and enjoyment for a lifetime!
Parents – assist your young players to find the tougher basketball competition. The most important way that you can assist is to have this conversation with them and ask them about the competition they played against each week. Other ways you can help include:
- signing them up for a basketball school or health-club that has more games with better competition.
- seeking out a older player that can introduce your son or daughter to some better games.
- signing them up for extra leagues, group lessons or basketball camps that will surely have tougher competition.
Becoming a very good basketball player doesn’t happen by accident. It takes a daily, focused effort that builds like simple math – the harder you work for the most time equals serious game!