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A good friend of mine asked me what a player needs to do to become a baller. What is the recipe…?

I have to be honest with you, this question looks simple but it is definitely not an easy one.

Firstly, let’s try to define what a” BALLER” is.

This morning I sent this question out to some of my previous players in France and here in South Africa, to hear what they had to say. Their perceptions of” BALLER” vary and we can quickly see that we have two categories of answers:

  • The people who define a Baller as a player who needs to be the best they possibly can be in all individual areas.

  • The people who define a Baller as a player who needs to be the best they possibly can be in all individual areas, to help their team to win.

The concern is that people gave the first answer more often than the second one. However, sadly, this does not surprise me. We live in a world which frequently forgets the concept of community, the family and the team, but highlight the individualism.

A lot of players believe that by repeating moves, they will be able to become a great player.This is true. BUT they will only be great ”pick up game” or ”practice game” players.

Why? Because most of the players and coaches forget that basketball is an amazing OPEN sport.This is not all about the technique. We just not have to go from A to B and try to put this funny orange ball into the hoop!

This amazing game is all about making the RIGHT choices. As a player, you will be confronted by hundreds of different situations during a game.

Your capacity to read the game and find the correct answer will define you as an average or good player. The defense will challenge you. You will have to play with your teammates, follow the instructions of your coaches. This is not all about you, this is all about the team.

As Michael Jordan (considered by most as the greatest player of all time) used to say: ”Talent wins games but teamwork and intelligence wins championships”.

As teachers/coaches/instructors, our job is to teach you the real goals of basketball which are:

  • How to cooperate to attack the hoop

  • How to cooperate to win a game

  • How to cooperate to win championships

So, what is the plan? How do we answer my good friend?

We will need a lot of articles to cover all we need to share on how to become a great TEAM player in basketball, but we can start to define the outlines.

To master a move, you will have to repeat it. Again and again. To use a certain move, you will have to know why you use it more than a different one. To know why you use a certain move more than a different one, you will have to know how to read the game.

  • What kind of passes, dribbles or shots can we use and in which situations?

  • What kind of moves can we use close to the basket, in mid-range or outside the perimeter?

  • What kind of roads or spaces can we use on the court to efficiently interact with our partners?

  • What kind of defensive options can we use to destabilize our opponents and win the game?

As a player, you need to make the effort to know the rules, to watch games, to practice every day to make your body stronger, your technique unstoppable and your shot accurate.This is not only about team practices. You do not need a coach with you every day, to work your ball handling, your strength, your ability to move, etc.

The coach will give you the drills, guide you to use the correct ones and advise you if you are doing too much or doing wrong.

The journey becoming a Baller begins by being ready to make efforts on a daily basis, for you and more importantly for your team. The most important is commitment, then practicing becomes the easy part.

So let’s see if you are you ready to become stronger, faster and better… This is in your hands now… What is your decision?

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