Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Getting to the Next Level

Posted by Lee Miller | Tuesday, January 17, 2012 | Category: |

When I direct camps, clinics, team trainings, or one-on-one workouts, I always start with the same question…”Who wants to play at the next level?”  Ninety (90) percent of the hands will rise quickly.  This could be the high school varsity level, collegiate level or professional level.  It’s easy to set the goal and say “I want to play at this certain level”, but it’s very difficult for players to understand how much work, effort, and determination it takes to achieve this goal.  Roughly five (5) percent of players at the high school level will go on to play at the Division I level.  So how hard do you have to work, and what’s the successful formula to achieve your full potential and goals?

The first step for today’s players is to simply stop playing 5on5 all the time.    I understand how much fun competitive play is, but players must devote time daily to improving their individual skill set.  Almost every team, at every level, runs some variation of a motion offense.  This means no matter what position you play or how big you are, you will find yourself in every position on the floor.  Bigs will end up out on the wings, and guards will eventually find themselves in the post.  All players are called upon to handle the basketball, pass the basketball, and shoot the basketball on all areas of the floor.  Your skill set will determine how efficiently you can make plays on a consistent basis.  For example, scrimmage for a couple hours and you may be able to perform a shot fake and going to your left 4-5 times.  Work-out individually on this move, and you can perform 30-40 times.  Which way do you think is the best way to improve a weakness or better a strength?  Repetition and discipline are the keys.

The second step is to learn to love the process of getting better.  Basically, becoming mentally tough.  You have to work on your athleticism and body, and be in great shape to play the game of basketball.  This requires the weight room, running wind sprints, individual daily work-outs, practice and games.  Players must learn to love the weight room, love and want to win every wind sprint and never take a day off from skill set development.   Again, the fun part is the games.  The hard part is all the effort it takes to get better daily.  Learn to love these areas and players will see their game improving rapidly.  When you do have the opportunity to run scrimmages and play in games, you will be able to perform at a higher level.

The final step is simple.  Never settle for how good you are now.  The goal is not to be the best player on your team, the best player in your city, or the best player in your state.  Every player’s goal should be… To be THE BEST THEY CAN BE.   This requires a daily commitment and constant development.  Taking no days off.   You will never reach this goal, as every player can always improve in some area.  ALL PLAYERS.  If you take off, I promise there are thousands of players working on their game at that specific time.  Remember, five percent of players have the opportunity to play Division I.  Here is a formula for success to follow:  One hour and a half developing your body, athleticism, and getting in superior shape, one hour and a half individually developing your skill set, and one hour and a half playing 5on5.  I understand this sounds like a lot.  I also understand how many player s are playing in today’s basketball world, and how many players have the same goal you do.  You simply have to out-work other players.

I wish every player the best of luck in reaching their goals in the game of basketball.  Every player can achieve whatever goal they set out to achieve.  They simply have to be disciplined, be dedicated, and be committed to hard work.

James Lee
Elite Hoops 
South Carolina Director
"Release Your Potential"

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