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Be one of the Greats

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“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”

― William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

To be better at something, constant practice is necessary. And if you want to achieve greatness, you will have to forge desire, determination, mental toughness and perseverance together into your own self to be one of the Greats.

The following are great ideas to become a better and great basketball player, extracted from Alan Stein´s The Coaching Nuggets Volume 10. More great ideas and coaching tips can be found at Alan´s website: StrongerTeam.com

 

GREAT POST PLAYERS

…knock down their free throws when they get to the line.
…have go-to moves with either hand to use in the paint. They also have a countermove for every move.
…enjoy banging on the interior and setting solid screens.
…are exceptional at help defense. They stop the ball when it’s in the paint!
…can hedge on the perimeter and get back to their man QUICKLY.
…draw double-teams, recognize them and react quickly to get the ball to an open teammate.
…never over dribble.
…run the floor – rim to rim – on offense and defense.

GREAT GUARDS

…are relentless on both ends of the court.
…use pump-fakes and ball fakes often. They set up the defense to go one way and pass/go the other way.
…know not to telegraph their passes. They use their eyes to create deception.
…welcome defensive pressure. They see it as an opportunity to score an easy bucket for their team.
…are patient with the basketball. They read the defense & act accordingly.
…facilitate every facet of the offense.
…don’t try to find the ball, they let the ball find them!
…are ALWAYS communicating with their teammates to ensure cohesiveness.
…hustle back on D when they get beat. They set the defensive tone!
…rebound their position – they don’t leave that to the ‘big guys.’
…push the ball up the floor and try to find an opening in the defense for themselves or a teammate.
…get everybody involved by sharing the basketball.

GREAT TEAMMATES

…call out screens so their teammate doesn’t get clobbered.
…don’t care whether they start or come off the bench – they just want to win!
…HYPE their team UP before the game and during halftime.
…are an extension of the coach – on and off the court.
…are positive, supportive, honest, and enthusiastic.

GREAT TEAMS

…dig in on defense until they get the ball or the buzzer sounds. They NEVER give in because they’re tired.
…listen to their coach – they understand that he/she is looking out for their best interests!
…know who they want to get the ball to in the clutch – they have a game-plan.
…close out games and know how to play with a lead. They also know how to fight back when they are down.
…are willing to share the ball on offense – they don’t care who scores they just care that they score.

GREAT PASSERS

…make scoring easy. They put the ball where it needs to be, when it needs to be there.
…can throw every type of pass – with either hand – depending on the situation.
…make the simple play, not the flashy play. All they care about is a positive outcome, not how it looks.
…fake a pass to make a pass.

GREAT REBOUNDERS

…are quick off the floor – they anticipate where the ball is going and go get it!
…just don’t want the other team to get the ball – they clear out space for teammates to get the rebound.
…assume ‘shot is taken, shot is missed.’
…protect the ball after the rebound.
…attack the glass on both ends of the floor.
…have soft hands and great body balance.
…always think the ball belongs to them.
…find their man when the shot goes up, make contact, block out, then pursue the ball.

GREAT SCORERS

…can beat you in a myriad of ways – they are not one dimensional.
…develop exceptional concentration and focus.
…don’t get discouraged if they miss a shot or two. They always think ‘my next shot is good.’
…know how to keep the defense off-balance.
…attack their opponent’s weaknesses.
…have multiple weapons and keep defenses guessing.
…finish strong, even through contact. They embrace getting fouled!
…know how to control, read and react to their defender.
…know the moves, angles and tricks to create space.
…recognize scoring opportunities and get open easily.
…practice game-like situations against tough competition.
…make great ball fakes and shot fakes. They use their eyes to deceive.
…are comfortable in the paint and can finish around the bucket.
…have confidence in their game. A bad game doesn’t phase them.
…can score from all three levels. They have their 3-pt, mid-range, and interior games on lock.
…run hard on the break and get points off of offensive rebounds. They always look for ‘easy’ buckets.
…make free throws. Period.
…can get their shots off quickly, but without ‘rushing.’

GREAT DEFENDERS

…take pride in deflecting passes.
…have their heads on a swivel and see the entire court (always see their man and the ball).
…play the pick & roll effectively – they hedge with a purpose!
…delay the other team from getting into their offensive sets. They keep the offense out of rhythm and control the tempo.
…pay attention to the scouting report and film sessions. They know who the other team’s best players are.
…are CONSTANTLY talking – they relay information quickly & efficiently.
…are NOT afraid to take a charge – in fact, they embrace it.
…dive on the floor for loose balls whenever the situation presents itself.
…communicate when they are double-teaming or when a screen is coming.
…don’t gamble. They make the right play, the easy play, the smart play.
…know that THIS possession is THE most important possession of the game – regardless of time and score.
…play aggressively but intelligently.
…never take a play off. Resting is NOT in their vocabulary.
…dictate what the offense is going to do.
…approach each game thinking ‘I’m going to shut my guy down tonight.’
…do not let the ball go to the middle of the floor on penetration.
…understand the concept of ‘ball-you-man.’
…keep the offense uncomfortable and off balance as often as they can.
…understand that defense wins championships. If the other team can’t score, they can’t win.
…don’t commit lazy or stupid fouls.

 

“Great men are not born great, they grow great . . .”

-Mario Puzo, The Godfather

 

photo by: *sean

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