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Basketball Essentials/Habits Every Player Needs

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How you prepare physically and mentally will determine your results on the court.  It directly affects the outcome of your performance on the court and the overall success of your team.  Effective pre-game habits are not just something you do an hour before the game starts.  Some of the most important habits occur a day or two before the game.

1.  REST - You can't perform at your highest level if you are always tired.  Staying up late does NOTHING for your performance!  However, too much sleep can leave you feeling sluggish.  Listen to your body.

2.  WATER - ALL players need to have a water bottle!  Numerous studies show not drinking enough water has a negative impact on your performance.  Players tend to fatigue quicker, impair decision-making abilities, and cramps.  Keep your water bottle with you at all times.  Hydrate the day before and during game days.  

3. STRETCH - PARENTS: your basketball players need to have the following:

(PLEASE NOTE: THESE ARE NOT REQUIREMENTS.  THESE ARE SIMPLE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR YOUR PLAYER.  WE DO NOT REQUIRE THE FOLLOWING TO BE A PART OF OUR PROGRAM.) 

4. LOCK IN - At times, it may be hard to stay focused on game day.  So, set a time to "lock in" and become game-ready mentally.  Go somewhere you can clear your head and visualize the game.  Visualise defense, offense, your shot, making big plays, etc.  Mental preparation will leave you more focused, prepared, and confident for the game.  This separates those who are serious about the game from those who are pretenders.  

5. ROUTINE - Your routine should include everything we just mentioned, but there are a few things to include.  Having pre-game shooting and ball handling helps you to lock in.  STOP with the random practice shooting.  Instead of doing reps at game speed with both shooting and ball-handling. This will allow you to be laser-focused on the areas you will need most.   

  • SHOOTING - Start with form shooting close to the basket.  Get us to the rim, backboard, etc.  Afterward,  start working on game-stead mid-range shots.  This is where most of your points should be, at the rim or mid-range.  Practice 3's but not as much as high percentage shots.  

  • BALL-HANDLING - Get a feel for the ball before the game.  The more comfortable you are with the ball before games will help in reducing turnovers.  Whether you are a post player, guard, or shooter, warming up with ball-handling is an essential part of any game day routine.  

So whatever it takes to get you pumped up and ready, do it.  Just stay focused.  Don't let anything distract you from the mission in front of you.  

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