As school lets out for many of this week I thought it would be a great time to put together a “Summer To Do” list for basketball players. If your young player is serious about improving their game before next season here are some guidelines to follow this summer.
What is your current skill set? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What is your role on your team? Are you satisfied with that role? How can you grow your role? These are all questions you should ask yourself as you prepare to put a plan in place to get better this summer.
Evaluate yourself in the following areas.
1. Work Ethic
10. Basketball I.Q.
12. Team Spirit/Being a great teammate
After you have evaluated yourself you are ready to begin planning out what you need to do this summer to become the player you want to be. Make sure that your actions match your goals!
Notice in the self-evaluation list that work ethic is #1. Without that nothing on the rest of this list matters.
Based on your self-evaluation prioritize what skills you are going to work on. Continue to improve your strengths while also attacking your weaknesses. Master the fundamental skills required of any player and then zero in on what YOU need to do to maximize your basketball skill set.
Plan where and when you are going to work on individual skill development. Players today don’t spend nearly as much time alone in a gym or on a court as they used to. Make that a priority this summer, regardless of what specific skills you are working on.
Figure out where and when you are going to play some actual games. In addition to your skill work will you play in a summer league? Pick-up games? Your goal should be to have at least 3 individual skill development hours for every 1 game you play this summer. That’s not easy to do, but it takes time and dedication to be a great player.
There are great resources out there everywhere, Stronger Team is an excellent source for the latest information and training techniques.
What you put into your body determines what you can get out of it. Eating healthy helps you to reach peak athletic performance. Healthy Baller is a great resource for sports nutrition advice and guidance.
When you practice, you can’t be afraid to make mistakes. Pushing yourself to the limits of your current ability and then beyond results in the greatest gains in skill level. Players all over the country go out to practice and go through the motions. Don’t be one of them! Go hard! I knew a kid when I was in high school who used to brag about how much he practiced, but whenever I saw him he would be shooting, then walking after his ball, dribbling lazily back to the perimeter to launch another shot. Then, he’d be talking to anyone who came in the gym or riding the exercise bike at a leisurely pace. Afterwards he’d tell me he worked on his game for 3 hours. All I could do was laugh. I was covered in sweat knowing that I put in some real work!
I don’t care what position you play or what kind of shooter you are today. In the summer you need to get shots up. There simply isn’t time during practice in season to get up enough shots to become a good shooter. Design a workout that gets you game shots at game speed. Check out our Make the Team Plan for 90 days worth of purposeful, specific basketball skill development workouts.
Learn from different coaches, play against different players. You’ll be exposed to new drills, new ideas, and be challenged in ways you may have never considered. Learn to deal with new personalities, develop your leadership skills, be a great teammate. The more knowledge you acquire about the game the higher your basketball IQ will become.
Get these items done and by summer’s end you’ll be a much improved player!
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