Do you have a full understanding of what your strengths and weaknesses (S&W) are as a basketball player? Rest assured, we all have weaknesses! If you do not know them, have some detailed conversations with basketball people you respect about identifying both your S&W. This is very important as you focus on improving as a basketball player. A few areas to consider - are you a strong or weak: ball handler, shooter, post player, screener, perimeter defender, post defender, rebounder or free-throw shooter.
So now you should have those broken down into your Top 3 Strengths and Top 3 Weaknesses as a basketball player. What do we do with that information?
In every game and team practice, focus on utilizing your strengths as often and as effectively as possible. Avoid the areas of your game that still need work. An example would be a player focusing on his post-play, screening and rebounding that he has confidence in. He would turn down excessive ball handling (1 dribble max) or shooting until these areas improve. Every day you should be looking for self improvement time that may occur before or after practice. During this time you work on your weaknesses exclusively. DO NOT worry about anyone commenting negatively on your post-practice extra effort! The exceptional people in life put blinders on and get to work!! So the example player we mentioned above would be doing aggressive ball-handling, shooting and perimeter defending drills every day until they become strengths. Likewise, when you are guarding a player in a game, send that player to the weak parts of his game and make it very difficult for him to utilize his strengths. Just watch his mind suffer when you send him to his left hand every time he touches the ball when he hates going left!
Strengths and Weaknesses is the key to maximizing your team’s potential. You should know the S&W of every player on our team and all of your game-planning should be to put them in position to utilize their strengths and hide their weaknesses. A small portion of daily team practice should focus on improving each players weaknesses. The other very important part of the S&W discussion is knowing our opponents S&W. All of our game planning should be to put them in positions that expose their weaknesses and doesn’t allow them to utilize their strengths effectively. The most obvious example would be to swarm your defenders to their best scorer and make it miserable for him to get any shots off. At the same time, every team has at least 1 player on the floor that isn’t comfortable taking outside shots. This player should be dared to shoot by having his defender at least 8 feet off of him. This will make your opponent very uncomfortable and as a result their confidence will begin to shrink. Basketball isn’t a gentlemen’s game that just has 2 teams going up and down the court and running their stuff. Just like football, boxing and wrestling it is a physical, mental and emotional challenge that will eventually have 1 team imposing their will on the other!