Are you really working at basketball as hard as you possibly can?
When I was a high school athlete, I thought I was doing everything I could to become a great basketball player. Little did I know, the first day I joined my college teammates for an individual workout session, I was on the sideline puking after 15 minutes of working out. These guys worked out at such a high rate of speed and with such precision that I just could not keep up. It was a sorry site seeing a former “Player of the Year” be absolutely embarrassed on the court. On the other hand, this was exactly what I needed. I needed to realize that my body and mind could give so much more. I would now have to take care of my body off the court. Get in the weight room and build my strength and stamina. And probably most importantly, become mentally tough enough to withstand a workout like this day in and day out.
About 2 weeks after coming into the college program at Northern State University, my Head Coach, Don Meyer (NCAA all-time leader in wins), began pushing me to levels I didn’t know I could reach. See, in high school, I was never pushed to the brink. I could play at 80-90% and still be the best player on the floor every single night. Now if I played at 90%, I would never see the floor.
If you are a high school player, I would encourage you to seek out collegiate players and not only play with them, but more importantly, go through an individual workout with them. You will quickly notice how much quicker the pace of the workout seems and how you are struggling to keep up. Keep doing this week after week though and soon you will be on their level. If you currently workout for 2-3 hours a day, I recommend instead finding a way to work so hard that you can only possibly workout for 45-60 minutes at a time. If you are not drained at the end of a 1 hour workout, then get a heart rate monitor and never let your heart rate drop below a certain level. This will also tell you how good of shape you are in, by how quickly your heart rate can recover from a tough drill.
If you can’t find a higher level player to workout with, then just think about your own individual workout program. Do you have a consistent, constructive workout where you workout at a high rate of speed, or do you just kind of come in and get some shots up at a leisurely pace? That type of workout is great for old men’s league or to win a game of HORSE, but you only develop proper fundamental skills by working out at an uncomfortable rate of speed. Do this in your workouts and in every drill you do: “Start slow, get a rhythm, then go fast enough to make a mistake”. You learn by going so hard that you make mistakes. This will develop the fundamental skills you need to become great.
Also, watch the video below. But, don’t just watch the NBA players working out, but listen to the message and think to yourself. How bad do you really want it? Bad enough that you will sacrifice anything to become better? Are willing to pay the price to achieve greatness?