It seems like good basketball players are born more often than they’re made, but the reality is that couldn’t be farther from the truth. While a player’s chances of making the NBA are very slim considering how good the athletes are and how few spots there are in the league, there are still tons of spots available for players at mid-major colleges and even lower-level colleges and plenty of scholarship opportunities are available.
Here are some good rules to live by for a young basketball player looking to play his way into a scholarship:
1. Practice with a purpose-
Basketball is an easy game to pick up and play and many basketball players play a ton of games and/or shoot around every week. But there’s a big difference between playing for fun and playing to get better.
Try working on new moves and techniques in pickup games instead of just using your go-to moves all the time against over-matched opponents. They’re only for fun and it will help you in the long run.
2. Repitition is the key-
Basketball is a game of repetition. There is a lot of room for freestyling but at the same time skills like jumpers and bounce passes are things that should be practiced over and over again with great focus. This will improve muscle memory and improve your chances of making the shot or the pass well as often as possible.
3. Define your role-
As I said before, basketball at its highest levels is played by superior athletes. But in high school and college (and sometimes the NBA as well), a player who knows his role and plays it well can be very valuable.
Decide what your size and athletic skills allow you to do best and then do your best to develop your game in order to best utilize the natural talents you were given.
For example, if you’re short and not very athletic or quick , you probably will need to work a lot on your shot in order to find a spot on a good team because you won’t be able to drive around people very easily.
4, Be a team player-
Let’s face it, the modern era of basketball has become all about the me-first player, the big shoe contract, and things of that nature. But being a good passer and doing little things like setting screens will get you noticed as much as any dunk or flashy cross-over by a good coach.
5. Talk, talk, talk-
Nope, I’m not talking about trash-talking here. I’m talking about your communication and leadership skills as a player. Communication is the most underrated skill in all of sports and will set you apart from other players.
If you can be a leader on the court and communicate with your teammates about what’s going in the game it will help you out a lot. This mostly comes in handy on defense for when you need to call out switches and rotations on defense. Help defense is one of the most important aspects of any winning basketball team.