This article is the 3rd of a series from Pat Freeman of our partners at Midwest 3 on 3. We are very fortunate to work with Pat as he has tremendous experience within basketball training and coaching.
Now-a-days everyone is looking for the fastest and easiest way to improve. I frequently get asked from parents and players: "What is the best way to improve?"
And my response is always simple: Have a plan and stick to it each day.
Step 1: Goal Setting
Think of a few short-term and long-term goals for yourself. These goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time bound (SMART Goals). What are you going to do every day to accomplish these goals? For a high school player, it might be dedicating 2-3+ hours a day in the off-season to work on your game. For a youth player, it might be 15-30 minutes a day, but the key to remember is consistency. Finding a balance is also important. For a youth player that might be practicing reps and skills 3-5 days a week in the off-season.
If you’re a parent or coach, be intent on not forcing your kid(s) to practice, but rather convey the benefits of what dedication to a sport could result in. All too often I have seen many kids get burned out or quit over time as they no longer have fun playing the sport they used to love. There may be times when it’s appropriate to drag them to the gym but it’s essential that the player creates their goals and plan of action to empower ownership.
Step 2: Sacrifice
What are you willing to sacrifice to achieve your goal? Time with your friends, social media, or Fortnight and other video games? Great players make sacrifices to improve their game. Kevin Durant sacrificed his social life and didn’t even attend prom. Kobe Bryant “lived” in the gym repeating the exact same move for hours until he perfected it. How bad do you want it?
Step 3: Create a Consistent Routine
Working out with a basketball trainer or coach 1 day a week will simply not get it done. Especially if you sit at home and eat potato chips the other 6 days. Talk to your coach and find 2-3 areas you want to improve this off-season and create a plan. Working on your between the legs, behind the back step back fadeaway off 1 foot from the 3 point is not going to get it done. Keep it simple as it takes thousands of good reps (hopefully using Dr. Dish) to improve each area of your game.
Step 4: Find ways to say yes instead of making excuses
Common excuses for not putting in the time to train: “I’m tired… I’m sore… I have nowhere to work-out… I don’t feel great…” Get rid of these excuses. Don’t have a gym membership? Get a 20-30 minute ball handling routine done in your basement or garage each day. It’s cold outside? Go shovel snow off your driveway and get some reps in with your off-hand. Want to get stronger? Find a strength workout routine online that you can do at home, including: push-ups, burpees, lunges, wall sits, and planks. Typically most kids have access to a place where they can get shots up (if they want to) whether it be a park, neighbor’s house, etc. Great players find ways to make it happen, the average players make excuses.
We appreciate Pat sharing his insight on consistency. We've said it before and we'll say it again: There are no shortcuts to greatness. You have to put the work in consistently.
However, we want to make sure every basketball coach and player maximizes their time and effort by using Dr. Dish shooting machines. Beyond just the consistent reps, you can set goals and assign specific workouts to accelerate skill development faster than ever!