Author: Ryan Thomas
Many successful people carry the mantra “failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. This could not be more true.
Great achievement is almost always a result of great preparation. The elite realize that many things are out of their control, however they control the controllables.
One of the all-time greats, Lebron James, spends about $1.5 million per year just to take care of his body. Some of the things he is spending this money on are a personal trainer, skill development, cryotherapy, hyperbaric chambers, and a personal chef among other things. LeBron’s mind for the game has also been well documented. He is truly a student of the game and spends countless hours studying his craft. Lebron works hard to control everything in his power before tipoff.
Obviously, most people do not have the same resources that Lebron has at their disposal, however many of the same principles that make up LeBron’s regiment can easily be adopted at little or even no cost. The biggest cost to get what you say you want is not money at all. It is the sacrifice of things like time, comfort, parties, hanging out with friends etc. The cost is not giving into what you want in the moment, but working for what you want in the end.
Those that take their craft serious are serious about their preparation. There are Five major components that athletes can control which have a major impact on performance outcomes. Here we will look at these 5 controllables TRAINING, MINDSET, NUTRITION, RECOVERY AND SLEEP.
TRAINING – SOME DREAM OF SUCCESS WHILE OTHERS WAKE UP EVERYDAY AND WORK HARD FOR IT.
Five steps to effective training
- Build a map
- Focus on the details
- Push yourself outside your comfort zone
- Train using game actions
- Create a clear and detailed plan for development. Through tools such as film, direct feedback, and observation one must learn what their strengths and weaknesses are. Areas of strength should be honed as they are your calling card as a player. However, you must always be working to add new weapons to your arsenal as a player and sure up areas of weakness.
- Skills must be broken down to the smallest details, working on ball placement, effective fakes, attacking angles and using your body. As you become more comfortable, your speed and intensity level should increase. After many 1 on 0 reps you add the defender at half speed and work your way up to
- Once proper movement, mechanics, and footwork have been learned, the athlete must push themselves beyond game speed in their reps. If we are working on ballhandling drills, we want to overemphasize the pound and ball speed of every dribble almost to the point of losing the basketball. A turnover with proper mechanics that occurs because an athlete is pushing themselves outside their comfort zone is ok in skill development training. It is actually encouraged as mistakes are a part of the developmental process.
- Every drill must have a purpose and you must know how that drill translates to the game. YouTube and Instagram are two great resources however you must avoid running drills and “working out” just to get likes on social media. 90% of the game is played off the ball. Yet 90% of workouts are done with the ball in your hands. This does not make sense. Work on developing skills without the ball. Learn the situations that occur most often in games and focus on those types of reps. Too many players “workout” with the ball in their hands making 14 dribble moves before taking a shot. This is not effective and does not translate to game action.
- Compete with yourself, with the clock, and with defense. Games are not played against cones or chairs. Games are played against real defenders with varying defensive styles, strengths and weaknesses. Once skills are learned, we want to compete against live defenders as much as possible. Emphasize game speed moves with special attention to ball security, using your body and creating space and angles. Cones and chairs are great to learn movements and spatial awareness, but they are no substitutions for live defenders.
MINDSET – ONCE YOUR MINDSET CHANGES, EVERYTHING ON THE OUTSIDE WILL CHANGE ALONG WITH IT
You must train the mind as well as the body. Areas of your mindset that must be developed are your ability to handle adversity, communication skills, basketball IQ, mindfulness, and daily habits. Success leaves clues. Find successful people that have been where you want to go and study them. If you are impressed with what Kobe Bryant has accomplished don’t only study his game on the court also study his habits off the court. That will be the only true way to understand his “mamba mentality”. Once the mindset changes behavior changes.
Ways you can create an elite mindset
- Listen to and read about successful people
- Study the game
- Breakdown your own game
- Challenge yourself to learn everyday
- Teach others what you learned
NUTRITION- IF YOU DON’T EAT ACCORDING TO YOUR GOALS. DON’T EXPECT TO REACH THEM.
Athletes don’t diet and exercise. They eat and train! We have already talked about training your body and mind for success, now we look at eating as fuel for success. Many athletes don’t realize how much nutrition affects performance. This is one of those things that a lot of people hear about, but not many take advantage of. Think about your body as a machine. The better fuel and additives you put into a car the longer and more efficiently it will run. The ability to change the way you eat is a sacrifice that only the truly committed are willing to make.
Small changes that can make a huge impact
- 6 small nutritious meals per day
- Consume about 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram (2.2lbs) of body weight per day
- Drink half your weight in ounces of water per day
- Cut out sweets
RECOVERY- ANYONE CAN WORK HARD, BUT THE BEST HAVE THE DISCIPLINE TO RECOVER.
In order to be at your best, your body needs to be at its best. With such a high level of specialization in today’s society, athletes start playing basketball year-round at a very young age. This causes an incredible amount of stress and strain on the athlete’s body. It is imperative that a major focus be put on daily recovery activities.
Here are a few simple recovery techniques that should be implemented daily
- Foam Rolling
- Heat Therapy
- Cold therapy
SLEEP- MUSCLES ARE TORN IN THE GYM, FED IN THE KITCHEN AND BUILT IN BED.
Sleep is an active state of repair, rebuilding, regeneration, and reorganization. Student-athletes are at high risk for sleep difficulties because of extra time demands, training, traveling, and balancing academics. Studies show that most athletes get less than 7 hours of sleep per night. 8-10 hours of sleep is recommended for optimal performance. It is imperative that athletes find a way to get consistent quality sleep to reach peak performance.
More sleep means…
- Faster reaction times
- Higher intensity workouts (get more out of your training!)
- Better mood and alertness
- Better coordination
- Better memory
- Better injury recovery
“It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters”.
You have no ability to know what will happen to you. However, you have complete control over how you prepare and how you respond. Make the most of it! There are no secrets. Prepare for success, stay focused on the task at hand, use failure as a guide to future mistakes and remain confident in your