We have all heard the quotes “practice makes perfect” and “perfect practice makes perfect”. These quotes are catchy and get to the core that the repetition over an extended period of time will produce some type of improvement. The real truth is that no one will ever perfect the game of basketball or any single skill. The goal is to reach your full potential and push that limit. One does this by sticking to 3 main concepts 1. Consistency 2. Intensity 3. Translation.
- Consistency – We are talking about time, effort, and attention when we talk about consistency here. One must put in the time to work on each aspect of the game. Once or twice a week working on a skill is enough to maintain, but it would be difficult to truly show great improvement in such a little amount of time. One must put in the effort. When working on your game the average player works at a level they are comfortable with. The best of the best work at a level of such high energy, speed, and focus that they get everything out of each repetition. (Example: a ball handling drill should be done to the point where you are almost losing control of the basketball(s), you should be out of breath after your first rep, and your focus should be 100% on the skill and task at hand). When we talk about attention this is crucial. One must be so focus on all of the little parts of the game in practice situations so that when it comes down to game time it is a habit. When pressure is applied we rely on our habits. (Example: when working on shooting no one has the perfect jump shot. Some have great form some are very consistent, but none are perfect. One should always focus on form and correcting errors. A good shooter knows why they miss each shot (elbow was out, didn’t hold follow through, pushed the ball with guide hand…).
“Anyone can be great for a day or a week. It is consistent, long term excellence that is most impressive.”
- Intensity- All Players know if they are giving it there all. There will always be excuses why you can’t go hard on a certain drill. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obdd31Q9PqA The key to remember is you will never get that practice time back and the more you let slip away the farther away from your goals you get. You can either maintain your current skill level or bring the intensity to make yourself and your teammates better. You don’t want to be surprised at game time by a team or player outworking you or your teammates. Games should be easy to how hard you and your teammates work in each practice. Some athletes don’t know what type of level of intensity they can reach as coaches and trainers it is our job to help them to realize this.
“The brick walls aren’t there to keep us out, the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.” -R Pausch
- Translation- All the skill, cool ball handling tricks and made shots in practice don’t count for much if they don’t translate to in game success. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FP5trAgjK4o&feature=g-vrec&context=G26d9666RVAAAAAAAAAg It is crucial that players know why they are working certain skills and how they apply to game situations. It is also extremely important that everything being done in team practice and individual workouts is being done at game simulation. This includes they skills being worked on, the focus, the energy and so on. Real pressure should be faced before the game starts to make being down 3 with 10 seconds left in the game seem like a walk in the park.
HoopGrind Director of Player Development | Pro Skills Trainer | Athletic Director | Former D1 Hooper