Not everyone can be born a natural athlete, gifted with the ability to make picking up new concepts, plays, and overall skill look easy.  And if you're anything like the rest of us, you know you have to try everything you can think of to try and improve your game to excel at basketball.  These 5 tips are going to make your basketball training a lot easier.

These simple tips will help to improve your overall game and make you exceed as a player.

BE A STUDENT OF THE GAME

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Just like you wake up everyday, go to school, and do your homework (like a good kid because we all know that without grades, there's no raids - you know, those raids that college coaches perform when they raid your house looking for you to recruit because you're just THAT good), there's also this thing called PRACTICE.  Now, I don't mean practice as in going to the local street court to play with your friends.  No, no, I mean real, legitimate, down to the nitty gritty practice where you learn proper footwork, shooting techniques and better ball handling drills.  The type of practice you don't see other "ballers" doing because they're too busy "practicing" all the wrong techniques they've picked up from playing street ball.  This type of practice involves studying the pros, breaking down their skills move by move and understanding the why behind it all.  This type of practice is what we call "being a student of the game," and this type of practice is what makes the difference between a street baller and a pro.  This blog is the perfect place to be in order to learn the why and how and everything in between (so don't forget to subscribe if you don't want to miss a thang)

BE COACHABLE

I cannot tell you how many skilled basketball players I've trained that have just been the worst kids to coach.  You know their kind.  The ones that think because they're better than the other kids on the block that they automatically know everything there is to know about the game.  The ones that just do whatever they want during a game because they "think it's better for the team".  The ball hoggers with so much attitude they end up getting kicked off the team for not showing up to practice enough, or simply for being too lazy.  All of these things make a player un-coachable. 
The right thing to do would be to ask questions about the calls your coach is making, be ready to learn, be proactive about your own development and able to take criticism constructively. By giving other players the opportunity to play into their strengths, showing leadership while also being respectful of others, and going that extra mile to show your coach that you are there, ready to learn and be a team player, you will be seen as a great basketball player who is coachable and a pleasure to teach and recommend to other coaches in higher levels. 

LEARN YOUR WEAKNESSES

What better way to grow than to first know where you need growth? If you don't know what areas you need to improve on, then I suggest asking someone you trust to give you some solid critique on where they think you have some room for improvement.  Sometimes being too deep in the box makes it harder to see what's inside of it so asking for some outside perspective (whether you agree with it or not) can be helpful in understanding what to focus your training on.  And for those of you thinking that you're perfect, think again.  Do we ever see pro athletes just stopping their training, saying it's good enough as is?  Heck no! They are always working on something to improve and usually have a solid plan of action in place for how to achieve their goals. It may not necessarily even be basketball related either.  Have you checked your grades recently?  They better be on point, is all I'm sayin'! If you want to keep your chances of making it pro, then your grades are half the battle.
 

TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH

I don't know how much more I can take seeing young athletes on the court play as hard as they do and then go and eat from a fast food joint right after or do drugs.  I don't care that they may be in high school and not know how to cook or fall victim to peer pressure, but you have to think about what's going to set you apart.  Becoming a better athlete actually starts with what you fuel your body with.  Getting enough rest, staying well hydrated and eating for your specific needs are crucial to recovery and your muscle building efforts.  I always suggest to my clients to hire a nutritionist that specializes in athletes.  They know exactly the tips, tricks and tools necessary to achieving an ideal level of health through the foods we eat. Also, staying away from all the nonsense that clouds today's society, ie. drugs, alcohol, etc., is going to keep you fresh and ready for anything on the court. So stay healthy, fuel our body properly, get plenty of rest, and stay away from drugs. 

HIRE A COACH

This is probably the most important tip of them all. Think of anyone who you view to be successful, whether it's an athlete or someone completely not related to the industry. Do you think they got there on their own? Of course they didn't!  No one on this earth creates success solely by doing everything on their own, and sure as heck not an athlete.  All the pros have coaches, trainers, life coaches, mentors and more surrounding them all the time, pushing them to be the best.  If you are serious about getting better at basketball and eventually making it pro (or even just looking for scholarship opportunities), then the best thing you could do is to invest in yourself by hiring a sports performance coach who can help you manage all the areas outlined in this post.  Life is hard enough as is, and sometimes having that team of people in your corner is enough to get you through those times you may feel overwhelmed or discouraged and help you see the bigger picture when you're struggling to, or create that game plan that is going to help set you apart from the rest through personalized basketball training and skills development. 

There you have it!  My top 5 tips for excelling at basketball. By focusing on these 5 things you can drastically improve your game, better your chances at meeting your goals, and be the athlete you were meant to be.

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