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What can I do to get better at basketball?

I’m sure you already know all the various stats that you can improve on – rebounding, points, steals. But something that NBA announcers always say that is equally important, if not even more, are the intangibles. I would even argue that intangibles facilitate improvement in the hard stats.

The tangibles, such as footwork or shot mechanics, make you a good player. The intangibles make you a great player. The difference between a great player and a good player is simple – a great player rises all boats where the sum is greater than its parts.

In my opinion, the most important intangible is communication skills on the court. It solidifies your team. It leads to quicker help defense, which can really disrupt the opposing team. It leads to smarter decision-making, as now you are a collective mind. Space and positioning is amplified as now you can hear where your teammates are rather than relying on potentially blind sided vision. It creates a reciprocative environment of encourage and motivation. If you listen closely to professional players in an NBA game, they constantly communicate with each other, even during stoppage or on the bench.

Of course you still need to work on the fundamentals, the shot fakes, the post ups , the turnaround shots or whatever. But good communication makes the game come easy and attracts others to want to play with you.

Becoming the best basketball player you can be requires you to do what others aren’t. If your friends are getting their basketball fix via video games, then you should be the one outside or in the gym shooting the ball for hours on end. Every. Day. You need to be the player who doesn’t mind sweating every day while doing the mundane things. If you hit 100 free throws, then you need to raise the bar to 200 and so on.

Natural talent does help, but I’ve seen more than enough players who have the look and physical tools to succeed flop because they won’t do the work necessary to take their game to the next level. For every Michael Jordan or LeBron James, there’s hundreds of players who had the skill to belong among the elite yet fell short because they weren’t like you. They didn’t choose to ask the questions and — worse — chose not to do so when they did get the answer.

I cannot promise you will become an NBA star, but don’t cheat yourself our of the chance of being the best player you can be. There’s plenty of leagues around the world to hone your talents and even if that doesn’t work, know that you’ll be one of the first guys picked in recreational leagues. Most of all, you can go forward every day knowing you put your skills to the test. That counts for far more than you can imagine.  Read More: What are the fanciest basketball shoes?

About the Author Dela Cruz

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