How to Maintain Your Team and Player Stock
You can’t live off of the past.
It’s a ‘what have you done for me lately’ kind of world and the same goes for the game of basketball.
Over the weekend, I had some quality basketball discussions with high level coaches at the high school, university and National program levels.
We discussed players and teams during the season that are excelling, and others that are struggling to find their way.
As we are underway in the second half of the season, I want to put things into perspective and share with you some of these discussions…
Produce in All Environments
This is pretty obvious, consistent production solves all…the best players that have come up the ranks over the years found ways to produce in every environment that they played in–Club, HS, National team camps & Showcase camps, which would classify them in the “elite” category.
From an evaluation standpoint, this is the best teacher. I have watched players that have performed tremendously over the summer, but when it came to the high school season, they look like a completely different player. In speaking with many knowledgable coaches in the game, I find it interesting how opinions can vary across the board on some players–I chalk it up to the environment in which they evaluated the prospect.
I see very few of these players in a season that fall into the “elite” category. This leads me to my next point…
Dont Let Rankings Get to Your Head
Ranked high? Low? Unranked?
I’ll admit, team & player rankings are a distraction.That being said, they aren’t going anywhere as they are a part of the game at all levels.
The best of the best are the ones that are able to maintain focus on what matters, producing and winning through a commitment to your teammates and coaches.
At the end of the day, the cream rises to the top —every time.
I’ve heard about teams and players that were ranked high coming into the season, that are feeling pressure, which has effected their play. I have also spoke to some of these players.
My advice would be simple—PLAY BALL.
There will be critics your entire life, whether they are in your classroom, school, community, and some you don’t even know–the higher the level that you reach, the more you will have.
If you aspire to be an elite level athlete, get use to it, but more importantly, learn how to adapt.
It takes ultimate focus toward your team and invdividual goals in order to stay the course and ultimately obtain what you seek–long term success.
Block out the distractions.
Decide How You Want to Play
I say this all the time to players–your shots aren’t always going to fall, but you decide how much energy you give on the floor and how you approach the game.
It’s a decision when it comes to diving for a loose ball, high fiving your teammate, or approaching your on ball defense with a sense of pride.
When multiple players on a team have the same approach, it becomes contagious from 1-12.
How will you approach the next game? Your decision.
Make it Over the Hump
Some people reading this are going through a tough time in their season–your team is losing and you haven’t been playing up to your potential from a production standpoint. The good news is you have a second half of basketball to play this season.
It’s never too late to turn it around, but it is important that you identify the issue and address it. If you’re hearing the same thing being said to you from different people over and over again, it’s likely true. You have to be willing to change in order to improve. Take the criticism and adapt.
Remember…do what you have to for the sake of the TEAM.
Make the adjustment…like right now.