How to Start Your Basketball Career Off Right

Starting something new is exciting, scary and similar to entering an unfamiliar dark room. You don’t know what is in front of you. You don’t know which way to turn. When I started my career in college basketball, that’s how I felt. I was in unfamiliar territory. People were speaking languages that I didn’t have a clue about. My coaches were yelling 1,2,3,4,5, elbow, short corner, and maxing out.  I was being tossed new terms and acronyms left and right.

If someone would have told me the things I’m about to share with you, I would have had an extremely successful college basketball career. Instead, I was a below average to average college player.  I eventually became frustrated, couldn’t dig myself out of my frustrations and stop playing basketball my junior year of college.

At the beginning of something new, everyone has the opportunity to be successful. But only the ones that do specific things will end up successful. Below are some of those specific things you can do to have a successful basketball career.

Find A Mentor

A mentorship is a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. Communicating with and learning from a more experienced person gives you a great advantage.

Who should you look towards as a mentor? Older basketball players, former college players, trainers, current coaches, and former coaches.

Develop a Vision for Your Career

Where do you see yourself in the future?  What would you like to accomplish as a basketball player? Create some long term and short term goals to help move you closer to your vision.

This is not an easy task during the beginning of your career, however, it is an important task. That’s why having a mentor is important. Remember they have more experience in what you are about to encounter.

Get with your mentor. Discuss what accomplishments are available at your level to pursue.

Commit to Skill Development

The only way to gain new skills, increase your basketball IQ and become a better basketball player from year to year is to work outside of team practice.

Ways to Commit to Skill Development:

  • Attending local development sessions with a trainer.
  • Attending basketball camps hosted by individuals, organizations or colleges.
  • Studying personal game footage.
  • Watching college basketball games.




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