Soon your high school basketball season will start. You will have a chance to impress your coaches and teammates with your attitude, work ethic and of course your talents. You will either collect your awards or pay the piper for any and all your discretions. The good or bad news is you’re in control of your destiny…nobody else.
All players need to take stock of their game this time of the year. Being honest with ones self is a must. A player must know what is in front of them. Many times you will hear people say, this is the time to start getting ready for the high school season. You will hear all the great quotes ”Great teams and players are made in the off season” …”to be the best you have to beat the best” and so on. The problem with those quotes, is this.. the off season started when you played your last high school game, last season. Every player’s season ended with a real satisfaction or disappointment on some level. Now when that season ended everyone was forced to make a choice. Step back and ask real questions about their next season. Does the future look bright? Is there an opportunity to play a bigger role? What do I need to do, to get better? Then the big one, how should I approach my off season? Everyone answered those questions, hopefully honestly and choose the road they felt was best for them. Some made good decisions and some did not and now everyone is gotta pay up or collect the rewards.
Knowing where you are matters. If you play at a high level competitive high school, like a SJV, RBC or Manchester for example. You better have spent the off season preparing the right way. If you only concerned yourself with AAU games and not personal growth as a player, you could be in trouble. These type schools attract the best of the best players. All three of these schools for example will roll out multiple D1 players. So if you spent the summer not training or playing against REAL competition. I can assure you, while it may have made you feel better doing so …you will be pay for such indiscretions come the start of your season, if your not willing to change your approach.
You may have felt this up coming season was a real opportunity for you to shine. But you forgot the bar at high level talented schools are so much higher. You forgot about the transfers who are superstars that arrive at such schools, there will be mega talented freshman who arrive at these schools. There will be studs who have been waiting in the wings at these schools. Coaches at these schools have a different standard. They expect you to work hard. You don’t get time because you work hard. That’s a given at the TOP programs, you get playing time because YOUR GOOD ENOUGH. When these programs play the real competition in the games that matter. The coaches don’t extend the bench…THEY SHORTEN THE BENCH, unless you’re good enough. So if you did not test yourself, play real competition, train with real competition in front of you… you must pay for these indiscretions. Remember that was a decision you made, you knew that you decided to attend a top level high school last year or before you arrived….NOW PAY UP
If you do not attend a Top high school and wanted to have a great season or be recognized. Well you’ve had plenty of time to start working on that. Maybe you played for a low level AAU team and started and had some great moments.BRAVO for you. But you are still unknown and we still don’t know if what you’re doing is real because of the level of competition you faced. We respected your grind and how hard you worked. We know you are committed to the core. But maybe playing on a high level AAU team, getting less mins and not starting would have been better. Did you train with killers or did you feel the need to feel good about yourself or made to feel important? Maybe you needed to be perceived as talented as everyone else? Ego is important it goes to confidence, maybe you needed the “cheers affect” where everyone knows your name, when you were training. All these things matter…but you were also never tested and that was your mistake. Now Miss Little Hard worker at the low VISIBILITY high school. It’s time for you to pay the piper for your indiscretions. Because if you play for a low visible high school team, you needed to be dynamic and show you could play with next level talent and live outside your happy zone. Hard work doesn’t fix your exposure problems, proof life against killers does….NOW PAY UP!
Every year a new season starts and you hear these words…”everyone is equal and everyone has a fresh start” this my friends is the biggest bunch of crap, you will ever hear. Nobody starts the year equal. Opinions have already been formed by media, teammates and yes coaches. Newsflash Destiny Adams is starting for Manchester. Brynn Farrell is starting for St. Rose. Sophia Sabino is starting at RBC. Folks there is nothing equal in sports, except opportunity. That opportunity comes in the form of performance. You don’t win a spot because you work hard or you’re a good kid. You don’t get time because you’re a senior and paid your dues. Maybe you’re great at drills, shooting, dribbling and passing. But none of that has anything to do with performance. Those things only matter if you can preform, those things are like nice appetizers. They make the meal better, but it’s not the main course. They are accessories, they look nice but they’re not the dress. The performance is what truly matters and it’s how each kid will be judged come December. Everybody is not starting with a new start, you are starting out just where you ended last season. Now you must take advantage of a NEW opportunity.
Once you have paid for your indiscretions or collected your rewards from off-season …here are some things you can do to get yourself ready for your first high school practice
1. Get in the gym vs real competition regardless of your level of play(it truly goes to your competitive nature). Yes sometimes you will be over your head.
2. Raise your conditional level…but never at the expense of having a ball in your hands
3. Make sure you have different defenders in front of you as often as possible
4. Shoot 7 (yes I said 7) days a week.
5. Full Court balling is a must
6. Find a place to train that forces you to be competitive..WITHOUT CRUSHING YOUR CONFIDENCE , EGO or SELF ESTEEN
7. Your HIGH SCHOOL team must always be put first…