You know that one game you played where you couldn’t miss. That game where you could have shot the ball from half court blindfolded, and it would have gone in. That game where no one could guard you. If you work hard enough and play long enough, everyone experiences this. But how do the great ones do it day in and day out. Every time you watch Steph Curry, it seems like he never misses or you’re surprised when he does. Why can Kobe Bryant go for 60 points in his last game and lead his team to victory?
What’s the difference between you and these great players? There are a few key differences and don’t believe that it’s all physical ability or genetics. Please don’t buy into that. An insatiable work ethic and commitment to being the best is where greatness starts. Let’s jump into the 5 steps that you can take today to become unstoppable on offense.
Step 1) Repetition. Practicing the correct way over and over is going to create mastery. Great players never accept good as good enough. There is a constant and unquenchable desire to improve daily. The thing about repetition is that most people get bored or “over it” while unstoppable players love it. Don’t be most people. Repetition is the mother of all skill. Fall in love with the repetitions of correct practice daily.
Step 2) Extended Focus. When you are able to focus for long periods of time, the game gets slower and the opportunities to score are endless. You see gaps and areas of weakness in the defense, and capitalize on them. Players who lack focus reach their limits very quickly. They’re easily distracted by the circumstances of their day, distracted by their friends and family, or distracted by their current level of play. When you are unstoppable, the tedium of being the best at your craft is exciting and enjoyable. The great ones focus for an entire practice, an entire film session, an entire game, and most importantly, an entire season. Present moment awareness and the ability to lock in to what you are doing NOW, will set you apart. Do that for the long haul, and you will play in rare air.
Step 3) High Skill Level. Being able to make the moves you want to without any hesitation will change your game. You know that it is going to take repetition now, but what else will it take to raise your skill level. Position specific work is a great start and you can expand from there. Notice how Jordan, Kobe, and Lebron didn’t really post up much when they first came into the NBA. They would dunk on you, hit you with a jumper, or draw a foul by hard attacks at the rim and finish at the Free Throw line. Later in their careers, they started adding other skills and specifically posting up. You can do the same now. What area of the game are you already above average? If you’re a guard with nice shot, make yourself into a no-miss shooter. If you’re a post with a great drop step, add a counter move, which could be a baby hook. A high skill level is developed when you know you’re strengths and then you work like crazy to be the best at them. Don’t be good at a lot of things. Be great at a few aspects then over time, add other attributes to your game. Become a master at your position first.
Step 4) Footwork. Offense, whether at the point guard, off guard, or post position, is predicated on good footwork. To make this point to the players I train, I often ask, ” Who can run to that opposite baseline without using their feet?” No one can. You cannot going anywhere on a basketball court without your feet, yet so many players never focus on improving this area. Learning how to pivot and pivot under pressure are important at all levels of basketball. Being unstoppable on offense starts with your foundation and your ability to make the right steps and right moves with your feet. Learn the game from the ground up and commit to being a player with impeccable footwork. It is such a lost art, but those who learn proper footwork will be impossible to guard.
Step 5) Positive Mental Attitude. Ever the optimist, unstoppable players always see the glass as half full and then they go get more water and make the glass full full. Take responsibility for the way things are and then work to improve the situation. A positive mental attitude is one that looks at their teammates and sees the good and the bad, but chooses to focus on the good, and how you can help your teammates improve. A player with a positive mental attitude accepts coaching and implements what they learn, and are always excited about receiving feedback. When you take this approach, you literally shatter all limits to your growth. You’re grateful for every opportunity to improve your game, your team, and the outcome of your season. A positive mental attitude will ensure that you are always stretching and growing and pursuing excellence. When you step on the court, no one can guard you because your mindset is too strong. You know that you’re going to score at will, and you expect to win. The 50 point, 12 assist outburst is just the details 😉
Stay relentless. Play the optimum way.
Article by Brandon Cochran
Co-Founder Optimum Basketball
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