These 12 easy steps may seem obvious, but even the best players need to review once in a while.
1. Hustle all of the time, even if nobody else is, and not just when the going is good. It is ok to get long rebounds occasionally.
The fear of showing up your more sedate teammates is overrated.
2. Block out on rebounds. Locate your guy and the basket. Then, stay between the two. Note that this is most important when your guy is big.
3. Make it a goal to shoot free throws better than middle school girls.
4. Make lay-ups. You are all tall and can jump, so how long is the shot on an average lay-up? Maybe a couple of feet. And there is a backboard. If you practice, you can shoot off the board at different angles and get good results.
It is fun to practice dunking, and this actually impresses some people, but since they have gone to all the trouble to paint little squares on the backboard to help you aim, the least you can do is to try some other shots out.
5. Continuation plays are great for the old scoring average and always wake up the crowd. However, as with topic 4 above, you must actually make that lay-up. It just takes a little continuation of energy and concentration. By now you should note that slowing down and flipping up casual little shots after you get fouled doesn't work.
6. When a giant person is able to sneak past you in the key or on the baseline, perhaps you should heed what your old 8th grade coach told you about "man, ball" which means you get into a position to see both at the same time. It is amazing that you can easily prevent many of those easy assists, shots and offensive rebounds.
It also keeps your coach from jumping up, screaming at you and benching you in front of 17,000 horrified spectators. Personally, I would do anything to avoid that.
7. Before each game, look at the other team and memorize the color of their uniforms. Then, in the game, do not throw the ball to them.
8. Some successful players look at film and check the scouting report to see what the opposing players can do. For example, back off from players that cannot shoot from outside and closely guard those that can.
9. Learn the rules about those pesky 1st-step traveling calls. After you get called several times, perhaps you should consult one of your coaches and work on this.
If actually seeking the advice of an authority figure is too much for you, watch some film at home on your 105" 1080p plasma alone in the dark.
10. Before each game, take the time to look at the lines on the court, especially those that are on the perimeter. Know that those are the ones you cannot cross when you have the ball.
11. Practice shooting. Note that most of the best shooters shoot about the same way. If your shot does not look like theirs, and you miss too often, then do what it takes to copy their form. Practice shooting in realistic situations. Shoot 'till your fingers bleed. There is no other way, and it works, so just do it.
Get a key to the gym, or learn how to break into it and turn on the lights without getting arrested or electrocuting yourself.
12. Getting an offensive rebound under the basket while surrounded by giant rivals presents a dilemma. First, it is very good to get the rebound, and the crowd cheers. But, then what? Put it straight up and it gets blocked. Passing up the shot is being like a little kitten. Frustrating.
But, there have been many players over the years who have developed various fakes, fades and footwork solutions to this. Many of these players were, or are, not that big. There is a body of work to study and emulate.
There are many other aspects of your playing life ranging from general awareness to choosing the right hair ribbon, but this 12 step program has proven successful for as long as the game has been played.
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Sometimes we make the game much more difficult than it really is...
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Please hand-carry this to the GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
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