Football season has kicked off, school is underway, and basketball season is on the horizon. I am going to assume that you have been working hard on your game all summer: doing sprints and working on your free throws. You are also determined, not only to make a team this year but also to be a contributing member. Or, you might be a returning player who played a significant role last year. Whatever your situation is, whatever level you are playing at, I hope that you desire to stand out and allow others to do the same. By implementing the following keys, you will show your coach and teammates that you are an A.B.L.E player.
Accountability: Do you think about how a bad decision can affect your team’s entire season? A failed class. Alcohol or drugs used at a party. Neglecting to give 100% effort on and off the floor really affects you and your teammates negatively. When your coach calls a “voluntary” practice or workout, he is really finding out who is going to be accountable to the team. You are responsible for your own actions, and should be accountable to your teammates. Do your best to make good decisions on and off of the court.
Be early (15 minute rule): Make being on time to basketball practice/tryouts synonymous with your name. Be the first one on the floor, at least 15 minutes early. While everyone else is talking with friends in the hallway, you should be getting warmed up and preparing to have a better practice. This will separate you from the rest. It is also a good habit to be the last one to leave; make your coach kick you off of the court.
Learn how to speak the “Body Language.” It’s amazing how much you can say without ever uttering a word! You should never role your eyes or shrug your shoulders when a coach corrects you. This is the quickest way to lose playing minutes or get cut out of the rotation altogether. Instead, always make eye contact and when responding, end every response with “Coach,” (e.g. “Yes, Coach”, “ No, Coach”). Doing so, lets the coach know you are respectively listening and desiring to improve as a player. During the next play, go hard, because the coach will be looking at you to see how you respond to correction with your body language.
Energy leads to synergy: This doesn’t come in a pill form or a can. Energy is created, and is also highly contagious. This can be done by: encouraging or complimenting your teammates, diving for a loose ball, clapping your hands, letting out a yell, or slapping the floor. Chances are, you will begin to see everyone start to compete a little harder and the practice will become an engaging, and exciting atmosphere. You have now created synergy, which is increased effectiveness when a team works together at a greater capacity.
So, are you A.B.L.E?
DJ Shaw, Skills Trainer/Player Development at Shoot 360