Become A Better Athlete
Author Ryan Tate
Posted March 6, 2013 in category

 

basketball_endowment

  • Be willing to work hard. Can you define hard work? For a top level high school and college coach, here is what hard work means. Your attitude and demeanor on the court needs to be intense, focused, aggressive and no-nonsense. Your play should include taking charges, diving on the floor for lose balls, running the floor, constant “in your face” pressure on the ball when defending, strong attack moves to the hoop which are effective. Effective=ends with a basket.
  • Be powerful. Great players are not pushed around. They dictate the tempo, intensity, rhythm of the game. You decide where you want to go or not go on offensive, not your opponent. On defensive, you decide where your opponent goes. You disrupt his or her game. Learn to use your body to impose your WILL both offensively and defensively.
  • Be smart and understand the system. Every coach has a system and philosophy to be successful. You need to know what he or she wants. Some teams require a point guard to have no more than 3 turnovers a game. If you take too many risks on that team as a point guard you are going to sit down. Know what the coach values. Does he or she value conservative play? Does he or she want run and gun? See the big picture and learn how to play within this system.
  • Be strong, fast and quick. These are the separators between high school athletes who will go on to the college level. One of our alum campers playing in the NBA is an amazing athlete a premier shooter, but he is getting beat on defense because his foot speed is too slow to stop a player one-on-one and even though he is 6’7″ he is not strong enough in the post. We want him to do well and encourage him to work on his strength and speed, to get a program and change his game through elevating his quickness and strength. Be sure to meet with a physical therapist as well as a trainer because you need to know what you must do to prevent injury. Live in the weight room during the off-season.
  • Be humble and lead by example. Care for the team by being selfless and by not being concerned about your name in the paper. Do the little things well, serve others and you will be blessed.
  • Key Thoughts: God has given each of us natural abilities. A girl who is 6’3″ as a sophomore, really quick, long and strong may not have good skills but she will get letters from Division 1 programs. Coaches recruit body types. If you genetically do not have a Division 1 build, you have a much harder road. You have to rise above the multitude of athletes who all have the same dream. You have to find the separators: speed, strength, wisdom, leadership, shooting, passing, impeccable skills, and the WILL to work harder than your competition.
  • Be an outstanding student. Being a great student expands the ranges of schools you can attend and shows a coach you are committed to excellence and are organized and disciplined enough to handle college academics and playing ball. Unless you are a bona fide All-American, coaches are tired of taking “risks” on kids who are poor students. This is the first question every coach asks.
  • Be a great teammate. Every coach I have ever talked too looks to recruit players that are coachable and who get along with their teammates. No one wants a jerk. Be the teammate everyone loves to play with because you are unselfish, are committed to team goals, and raise the level of those around you. Don’t take for granted how important enthusiasm is. Being a great teammate can raise your stock tremendously! I have seen players lose a coach’s interest because of bad body language or acting like a jerk when they don’t agree with a foul call or when they come out of the game. Before college coaches ask me to evaluate a player’s athletic ability, they always ask, “Is he a good guy?” “Do you like working with him?”
  • If you can’t, don’t. Stick to what you do best and play to your strengths. Stop doing what you think coaches want to see. If you aren’t a great 3-point shooter, STOP SHOOTING 3’s! Coaches want players who know, understand, and accept their role. Nothing can lose a scholarship faster than trying to show off for a coach during a practice or a game. All you are doing is exposing your weaknesses.
  • Do the little things. Contrary to what most high school players think, it is NOT all about scoring. To play college basketball, you need to do the little things that make a big difference like: have good footwork, know how to set screens, box out, share the ball, communicate, play solid defense, dive for loose balls, work hard, and be a leader on and off the court. These things alone will separate you from 95 percent of the players who are your size and skill level. The little things can earn you a big scholarship!
  • Maximize your ability. You can’t control your height, and certainly some folks are born “more athletic” than others. But you can make sure you are as strong as you can be and in as good of basketball shape as is humanly possible. You should be on a year-round strength and conditioning program and work on your ball handling and shooting daily. College players do this stuff year round. Do you?

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