Well, it’s the Fall of 2018 and the start of what smells and looks and feels like a new season. What this means for players all over the city is tryouts and tension as girls and guys sweat it out to land on the team of their dreams.
But here’s the kicker: No matter what level of play you are eventually slotted for (Div. 1 versus Div 6, Varsity versus JV) the two greatest influences on your play this year will be: (1) how smart and dedicated you are to the processes around improving your game and those that make your teammates better, and (2) coaching.
Enuff has been said about #1. You get it. We all do.
So here’s my take on #2… No matter who your bench boss is this year, find the aspects of their teaching that resonate for you and learn as much as you can from that guy or gal. Need a tip for how exactly to do that? Here’s 3 of them, in fact:
Show up early for practice and warm up by focusing on basics (jogging, stretching, close-in-shooting, passing off a wall, etc).
Stay late after practice (cool down properly, work on what wasn’t working during the previous hour, take 50 foul shots, etc.).
Ask your coach, or his/her assistant, what you can work on to get better. It’s amazing how this small question can make a big difference. It quickly reveals things about your game that you likely didn’t know or see, and it indicates a level of interest in learning that coaches will never forget. But be genuine; don’t ask if you are only hoping to impress the coach. After all, every coach eventually moves on leaving just you, a basketball, and a hoop. And when that happens, it’s only a matter of how hard you work — and how smart you are about the practicing you perform.
Have a great 2018-19 season!