3 tips for player success

After another tough loss to the Blue Devils last week, it is difficult for a Tar Heel to quote their head coach. But Coach K is onto something here: “Everything we do has our own personal signature on it. So we want to do it as well as we possibly can.” This message is important for both the young and more seasoned players.

Over the years, I have noticed the slippage that can occur once a team is selected. During tryouts, the players show up on time, are attentive to instruction, hustle at all times and generally look to make sure the coach is respected. Once a team is selected, there is a normal decline or relaxation to some of the focus displayed at tryouts. It is human nature taking its course! As a coach, it is up to us to make sure the slippage is temporary and not tolerated. The best players and the ones that want to succeed will not fall in this trap. Players should see every situation — from tryouts to practices to games — as an opportunity to display their personal best.You’re creating a name for yourself and should hold yourself accountable!

As the school season comes to an end and the travel season begins, it is important for each young player to recharge his determination. Heck, everyone makes a team for the spring/travel season. It is easy to fall prey to the NBA-like schedule of games every weekend, sometimes three a day!

Here are 3 tips for players as they progress this spring:

  1. Remember to rest. Make sure you do not play every weekend, and don’t play on multiple teams. Your body is still growing and it needs time to rest and recuperate. Weekends off should be used to work on your skill development. Players get better during practice, and the games are the place you get to show the results of your efforts.
  2. Push yourself during games to play with maximum effort. Sprint to both ends of the floor. I promise you will stand out and catch the attention of everyone in the gym by playing with a “motor” no one else can match.
  3. Have someone film the game. Take the time to watch your effort while on the floor. You will be shocked at what you see. Every player goes through this the first time he sees himself on film – you won’t believe what you see. Unfortunately, the film does not lie. By watching yourself during a game, you will be able to better see areas for improvement.

Travel/AAU season is here. The constant challenge of getting up for another game does not go away. Stay focused, play with effort and take the advice of Coach K: put your best foot forward in every circumstance, and you’re bound to succeed!