One thing that players occasionally forget is that improvement doesn’t stop once a practice or a game is over. Players need to maximize the time they spend working on their own time to improve their game. There is a lot of wasted time when players don’t work when the coach isn’t around.

There are many things that players can do on their own time, by themselves that will go a long way in assisting them in becoming the better players that they wish to become. Players need to take the initiative and take the drills, and suggestions that a coach makes during practice and games, and put them into play when they are alone. This allows the player on their own to figure things out, or allows them to see a different view of things that they otherwise would miss because they are busy with team activities.

While some people don’t learn the best on their own, it doesn’t hurt to get some alone time a few times a week, just to allow yourself to clear your mind, and to get out any potential pre-game day jitters. The alone time allows a player to sort out their head, and while some people think that it’s unnecessary, if a player goes into a game with doubts and fears that haven’t been addressed, they can wreck havoc and become more of a factor than they should be.

Mental preparation is something that needs to be factored into game preparation, and this preparation varies from player to player. Some players get themselves going by listening to music, some by doing some exercises, yoga, or even just simple meditation. Whatever works for them, may not work for you and is why you simply have to attempt to find out what works for you through the trial and error method. If you have something that calms you down and mellows you out in other aspects of your life, try to apply it to basketball.

Improving your game is simply finding a balance that works for you between the mental and physical aspects of the game. Working too hard on one or the other can cause you to throw one out of balance, and when one is out of balance, you will find your game completely out of whack. If you’ve tried some exercises to improve various aspects of your game and things just aren’t working, sit down with your coach. Don’t just assume that you are a failure; a coach is there to help you. They will help where they can, and sometimes just a quick brainstorming can go a long way when you have another head in the situation coming up with potential solutions.

There is never a short cut to becoming a great basketball player. It takes years of hard work and dedication to become good at the sport. You have to avoid all of these schemes and methods that guarantee you become a NBA calibre player over night and use the one thing that will ensure you will be the best that you can be, and that’s dedication!

Photo credit: ollesvensson

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