Communicate Effectively

Changing others attitudes by speaking effectively on the court has been an effective tool for changing the momentum in a game. Just by saying "Way to go!", "Let’s get ‘em!" or even, "Yes!" has been known to change the ebb and flow of a game. Motivating younger ballers of today is a good sign of communication going on between the generations. There seems to be a lack of communication between the old time ball players and the new generation of ball players. New generation players can learn a lot from the older players about the game of basketball. Just ask older player about your game. Where can you improve or change your game to make it better. Ask your basketball coach for his/her opinion about your game. Take the comments and use them as appropriate to enhance your game. Keep the lines of communication open. It makes this game more effective. Communication on defense is very important. So, how will your teammate know if there’s a pick coming if you don’t tell him? How will your teammate know if someone is getting ready to take the ball if you don’t tell him? How will your teammate know which play you are running if you don’t tell him? Can you tell him/her with you’re your body language? Communication can also be non-verbal. Your face can communicate fear or it can communicate fearlessness. For example, when LeBron James goes to the basket to dunk, he has fearlessness on his face. You know to move out of the way. But when Darko Milicic goes to the basket, he displays fear in his eyes. Body language is also a communicator. Bending over pulling on your shorts can communicate fatigue. Flopping in the paint area can communicate weakness because you are not willing to get in there and bang with your opponent. Sometimes it’s a good idea to talk with the refs before, during and after a game. You could say something like "good call ref" or ask the ref to clarify a call rather than screaming or going off on the ref. You can talk with the ref before the game to find out his/her style of officiating. On the other hand, it’s just as important to be a good listener. Stay focused on the game. Is your teammate trying to communicate with you? Did you know that you cannot talk to the opposing player in the NBA? Some players were being intimidated...WOW! Did you know you can't trash talk in the NBA? Some players were losing there cool...WOW!Are you aware of where the ball is at all times? Communication is a two way street. 7 of 10

Never Stop Learning

"A mind is a terrible thing to waste." Study the game of basketball through magazines, videos, newspapers and books. Talking to "old timers" (old skool) and high school & college players (new skool) can be very beneficial too. Discover what successful ball players are doing, and "model" (modeling is emulating what someone else does) yourself after them. For example, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar perfected his sky hook shot. It became known as one of the greatest shots [If not the Greatest]in the history of basketball and when it is mentioned, only one player’s name comes to mind. Learn how to sharpen your senses (sight, feeling & hearing). Pick a basketball role model and study him. Why is he successful? Whatever you don’t know or don’t have in your game, find out who does have it and study what they did to get to that point. Research what the successful players have done to become successful. Watch old tapes of games over and over studying the moves of the players. Try to identify any of their moves that you can incorporate in your game. Whatever you don’t know or have in your game, learn it. Learning is a continuous process. " Clyde the Glide", "Earl the Pearl", "Magic". "Chocolate Thunder". Why did these guys have these names? Was it a special move they developed? Can you incorporate one of these moves in your game or develop your own? Oh Yeah! It’s just an updated version of an old move. Did you ever study the way Dennis Rodman "Worm" in for a rebound? If you want to become a good rebounder, then studying Dennis Rodman’s moves would be a good lesson to learn. Study that until you get it down to science. Keep learning!!! 6 of 10

Persistence And Hard Work

Never give up! You must focus on your goals and press! Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t let anything stop you from working your plan. If you are playing a game and your team is down 10 points in the 1st or 2nd quarter, don’t get worried. It’s a strong start in the beginning of the 3rd, giving it all you got and having something left in your tank in the 4th that counts. Don’t allow outside influences to interfere with your work out program. If you have to practice in the rain... Just do it! If you have to practice in the hot sun... Just do it! If you have to practice in the snow... Just do it! If you have to practice at night when it’s dark... Just do it! It will make you better at your game and keep you committed. When you practice on your game, don’t become content with yourself. The way you practice is the way you will play. Perfect practice means perfect play. Keep practicing your left hand lay up or your right hand lay up until it is perfect. People always work on their strengths. But, the great ones also work on their weakness to make them better. Allen Iverson has mastered his crossover move with his right hand, but can he do it with his left hand? This is something to think about. Keep pressing to do more and become better at what you do. Can you practice 2 – 5 hours everyday? That’s what it takes to achieve greatness. The Greek philosopher Aristotle said, "Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit." You are what you repeatedly do. 5 of 10