Next time you watch a college or pro game, pick out who you think the best
players on the floor are (and I don't necessarily mean the players who are the best
scorers). Approach it like you are a coach, building a team, and you need to
pick the best players to build your team around.
Who is the best rebounder? Why? Is he always in the right place at the right
time? Does he make a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th effort to go after rebounds? Is he the
only player on the floor that seems to go after (and be around) nearly every
missed shot? Is he a terror on both the offensive and defensive boards? Study the
way he plays. Learn from it.
Now, who is the best passer on the court? What makes him good? Is it floor
positioning? Are his passes crisp and sharp? What makes him the best passer...and a
player you want on your team?
Who is the best defender on the floor? What makes him tough? Is he quick, and
slides faster than anyone on the floor? Does he seem to get a hand on nearly
every pass, and a hand up on every shot? Watch how he plays. What is he doing
right (more often than not), and what would do you think he can improve on?
Watching good players play the game can be a great educational experience. Even
better is to watch games on tape. That way, when you see a good play take
place, you can rewind it and watch how it played out. How did a guy get open? What
made his pump fake so good it got the defender off his feet? How did he get by
the help-side defender than came to help? Watch the play, frame-by-frame and see
how good players play the game.
Then, your job is to use that information to improve your game. Watch, learn,
then implement those skills and traits into your game.
Don't sit and watch basketball just for the fun of it. Watch for fun, but also
watch to improve your game.
Patrick Chylinski is a former college and professional basketball player. He is now a private success coach based in Los Angeles. His website: www.basketballsuccess.com has tips for basketball players on how to improve the mental and physical aspects of their game.