South Africa's basketball community

Day 1: Be intentional about learning

By on September 1, 2010 in Resources

This article is the first in our new series “30 days to being a better basketball player“.

It only seems right to start off a series of articles on improving your game with one about the importance of keeping an open mind and always being ready to learn.

"Children listening attentively to their teacher" by Air21 Express,via flickr

"Children listening attentively to their teacher" by Air21 Express,via flickr

If I asked you how you got the skills you have now, the answer would probably include some combination of practice, playing around and watching others play basketball (whether in person or on television).

But if I asked what helps you make the biggest improvements in your game now, what would you say?


"Learning curve" by billso, via flickr

When you’re just starting out with basketball, the learning curve is steep. You’re constantly learning new things about the game itself and about your own game. As time goes by though, that learning curve becomes flatter and it becomes harder to learn new things, or at least it certainly feels that way.

This is where the challenge lies – to constantly be looking for ways to improve your game, by making a specific point of learning about yourself and the game.

Be aware of everything around you and watch out for anything (or anyone) that you can learn from. Think back to how you felt when you first started playing or watching – try to set aside all the things you know and look at the game with fresh eyes.

Don’t be fooled into thinking you know it all. Even when you know a lot, there’s still a lot you don’t know.

To see how important this is, just think about how players change their games as they grow older. Michael Jordan is a prime example – when he was young, he was more athletic than 99% of the opponents he faced so he could out-run and out-jump everyone and win using those abilities. But as he grew older and the younger players had an advantage over him athletically, he couldn’t rely on those things and had to find a new way to score and to win. One of the ways he did this was by out-smarting his opponents. And how did he learn to do this? By constantly watching and learning, and using that knowledge to his advantage.

So next time you’re sitting at practice feeling a bit uninspired, look around at you at the things you don’t usually notice – there might just be an amazing learning opportunity right in front of you!

Tags: , , , , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Comments are closed.