The little things that make you a better player
After watching LeBron James chase down and block the shot of Andre Iguodala in game seven, to set up Cleveland’s first NBA title, it got me thinking. If the best player in the world (sorry Steph Curry) can get himself into a play starting three metres behind it. Why can’t we all understand the importance of never giving up on a play and doing the little things that go unnoticed that win ball games, the little things that make a big impact on the game.
While having one of the many basketball conversations with my good friend and old teammate Ian Robilliard, he sent me a speech by John Longmire, head coach of the Sydney Swans. After winning the premiership in the 2012 season, Longmire was faced with motivating his players again after achieving the ultimate prize. In fact the Swans had appeared in 14 of the last 17 finals, so their coach was having to dig deep for inspiration.
What the Swans coach came up with was a number of important factors in a game that were essential for his team to succeed.
So I’ve changed his list to the basketball equivalent, I suggest you jot them down and see how many your kid has in their next game. These points are all measurements of how much positive energy your boy or girl is giving to their team.
1) Take a charge – putting your body on the line for the team.
2) Offensive Rebound – Every coach in the world loves a kid who gets them extra possessions.
3) Deflections – By mirroring the ball or getting a hand in the passing lane.
4) Chasing down an opponent – Starting out behind the line of the ball but hustle to get yourself back in the play.
5) Set a screen leading to a score – One of the most underrated aspects of the game.
6) Successful block out on a rebound – Limiting a team to a one shot possession is HUGE.
7) Forcing a jump ball – This usually occurs on loose balls, getting your share of these is once again HUGE.
8) Help and recover – Getting back to the shooter to make him rush or alter his shot.
9) Pressure on the passer – Ball pressure on the passer resulting in a turnover.
10) Getting up after being knocked down and making a play – PRICELESS
Start with 10 of these per game and challenge you kids improve on that number throughout the year.
“Success is NEVER a given, you are NEVER EVER entitled to it”