Off Season Player Skill Development
Player Responsibility for Improving Skills
Value & Benefits of Playing 3-on-3
Player Improvement: Off Season Training
From October to April, teams are made. From April to October, individual players are made. This is the time of the year that players must develop and improve their individual basketball skills and techniques along with their physical attributes. However, to be successful, they must first take the time to do a self‐evaluation. Players should compile a list of the things they did well this past season, and the things they must or could improve. Things that they can do to make themselves more solid, stronger, aggressive and intelligent when they take the court this coming season. They should also seek input and specific recommendations for off season improvement from their coaches . Then use this self‐evaluation to plan and execute their off season workouts and skill development.
Player Improvement: Do It Yourself Program
Players should not depend entirely on coaches, parents or personal trainers to be successful. They must be self-motivated and rely on themselves. Baba Watson’s recent winner of the Masters’ Golf Tournament is a prime example of self motivation and development. He won the most prestigious professional tournament in golf without ever taking a golf lesson. He has learned and perfected the game of golf on his own initiative. Basketball is like a savings account at a bank. What you put into it, is exactly what you will get out of it. Players must prepare for the best. They should work individually on the things they need to improve, not just their strengths. Individual improvement is not all fun and games. Much of off season skill development is repetitive, monotonous and tedious. Bad habits can be practiced as well as good.
Success on the court is not by chance or luck. Successful people have learned the value of setting specific goals and focusing their efforts toward achieving them. “Goals are the bridges that allow you to cross from DREAMS to REALITY.” A player “without goals is like a ship without a rudder.” Goals are what give direction to physical and mental training and improvement. They are the basis of self-motivation and the foundation of all achievements. However, goals must be personal. Something that players, personally, want and have a strong desire to pursue and achieve. It is because of this intense, personal desire to reach goals that will push them through adversity to success. Accomplishing goals and making dreams come true is incredibly satisfying. However, it is the journey, not the destination, that is the most important and rewarding part of dreams. Players must never stop improving and making it a goal to get better each and every day in some small way. Daily improvements eventually add up to huge gains. They should always keep moving forward setting new goals and dreaming new dreams. Players may never reach their ultimate, long term dream. However, this is irrelevant. The important thing is that they will become like their dreams.
However, remember: “If it’s going to be. . . It’s up to me.” – George Raveling.
Player Improvement: Playing Three-on-Three
Players should organize and play a lot of three-on-three half court competition during the off season. Since 3-on-3 provides for much more shooting, passing, rebounding, screening, and defensive repetitions, it is by far, the most efficient and effective use of their time in practicing and improving their fundamental skills. In a full court game of approximate a hour and a half, How many shots does a player take? How many rebounds do they grab? How many passes do they make? How many screens do they set and use? How many times do they guard a player with the ball? How many times do they defend against dribble penetration? How many times do they guard a player without the ball? Compare these figures with the totals that they would receive in playing the same 1 1/2 hours of three on three half court and you will instantly see the importance and value of 3-on-3 in improving and developing individual basketball skills to their fullest. In addition, after a long, hard season, 3-on-3 also saves additional wear and tear of players legs. It also will help eliminate burn-out.
Caution: Playing full court only reinforces current abilities.
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