As a player I always looked forward to the new basketball season because it was a chance for me to display all the things I had worked on over the summer. I would come into basketball training or practice and be ready to go. It is important to make sure that you do a few different things when starting preseason and as a player who was able to have some success in the game of basketball I want to help you out with a few tricks I have learned during my playing career. These tips will help you in preparing for the new basketball season coming up.
The first thing you need to have in your mind is the idea of a “clean slate.” It doesn’t matter how much success or failure you had the year before because that is all in the past. When you start this year you need to be thinking about what you are going to do help your team, as well as how you are going to achieve your personal success. Make a good impression with the coaches. Come in and work your butt off from the very first minute you step on the floor. It is a new season and first impressions with the coaches are big.
Secondly as a player you need to go in to preseason with “confidence.” There are going to be people who doubt you and who support you, but the biggest person that matters is you. How can you expect your coaches or teammates to have confidence in you, if you don’t even have confidence in yourself? Confidence is not arrogance and a lot of people confuse the two. Have confidence in your ability, but don’t be a show boat or try to be a selfish player. If you are struggling with your confidence get on the court before or after practice and work on your game. The best thing to build confidence is repetition.
Another thing you need to do in the preseason is “set goals.” As a player do not be afraid to dream big. Write down a list of individual goals as well as team goals. Just as a runner is looking to the finish line when he runs, you need a goal to look to, and achieve. Your goals shouldn’t just be about how many points you are going to score. Make goals on how many rebounds you are going to get a game, steals, assists, etc.
Make your goals are big, but realistic. Along with making a list of goals make a list of how you are going to achieve those goals. Ex. Shoot 100 shots after practice, do ball handling drills for 20 minutes, run extra, watch more clips, etc. Make this list realistic as well, and hold yourself to it every day. As you progress through the season you can look at this list of goals and use it at motivation and accountability.
The next thing you want to do as a player is make sure that you do the “little things.” Coaches are not just looking for scorers. Let me repeat that one more time so you really understand this. Coaches are NOT just looking for scorers. Sometimes the best way to get the attention of a coach is to hustle after a loose ball, box your man out, play defense, etc. Don’t get caught up in the idea that you are only valuable if you score points.
There are many different roles on a team and if it is not your role to score then find your place doing something else. If it is going to be your role to score the basketball then you need to focus on doing the little things even more because you are the leader and if you are willing to do it, then the rest of your team will follow.
The last thing that I am going to talk about is being a “good teammate.” From the beginning of the year you should start with the idea that every player is in it together. If a player falls down rush over to pick him up. When a teammate makes a good play let him know, encourage your teammates.
Don’t let fighting over the same position make you a bad teammate. You should work as hard as you possible can for your position, but do this in a team building way. If every player is working their hardest then that is going to make practice competitive and make every player that much better.
As a player if you try and hold to this list for preseason you will set yourself up for a good season. You need to build a strong foundation because you and your team will be tested during the season. Do things the right way right from the start of preseason and give yourself and team a chance to do something great this year.