Being an NBA fan and a basketball coach I have been constantly searching for the secret to what makes a successful basketball player. I have come to find that the secret for basketball success is the same secret for success in any area of life and that is the mindset of a person. Did you ever think about the fact that an NBA basketball player was born without a basketball and did not know of basketball until he was exposed to the game, meaning he learned how to play the game during his life. For some it means starting to play when they are two or three years old and others you find started as late as 15 or 16. Personally I started playing when I was 8 years old. So why is it that some players can pick up the game later than others and become much better players in a very short period of time?

A great and very famous story is that of Michael Jordan. I’m sure most people reading this know that Michael got cut from his high school basketball team and then went on to become the most amazing basketball player of all time. What happened when Michael was cut was he developed the mindset that no matter what, he was going to become the best. He was not born with that talent, he did not even have that talent when he was 15 years old but as soon as he changed his mindset so that it was a must for him to become the best his actions followed.

The most important thing to remember about being a basketball player is that its not what you can do that makes you a great player it’s what you will do. It’s the actions you are willing to take that make you great. I have seen a lot of players with great talent and great talent for a reason, they actually worked really hard to become great but be careful that if you are already a good player and if you stop practicing hard and smart you won’t remain the good player for very long. If Michael Jordan didn’t practice every day with the intent of being the best he would have been still a good player but definitely not the best.

I can not overemphasise enough that it is what we will do in life that makes all the difference. The difference is waking up early on a saturday morning to practice your ball handling skills or paying $ 20 to hire a basketball court if none are available because you must take 200 shots every single day. It’s doing what it takes as oppose to doing what you feel comfortable doing. The people who went the extra mile are now playing in the NBA.

Think about how much an NBA rookie would practice in their rookie season. You will find they come to training early and leave late. They practice every single day more than they have to. Again it’s what you will do that makes the difference. I suggest modelling the practice habits of an NBA rookie if you one day want to be an NBA rookie.

It is important that if you commit to becoming an NBA player that you work hard at the right things. Do not spend 2 hours per day working on post moves if you are 5’10. Now that is a simplified example but simple tips like practice shooting at game speed are as important as spending 2 hours per day practicing. You absolutely need to seek good coaching! If you don’t have a good coach you may find it very hard to achieve success.

I also suggest that conditioning your body is very important for reaching your basketball potential. One of the main things that needs to be looked at is speed and jumping ability. When you increase those two things your basketball ability increases so much. Your defensive ability is much better because you can move your feet faster and you become very hard to contain offensively when you can jump 8-12 inches higher.

On a final note I commend you for taking action in advance. The best thing that can happen for you as a basketball player is belief, belief in yourself!

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