This article was written by Georgia State University Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach Chris Kreider.
The Importance of Great Habits in Basketball
When it comes to having success (both on and off the court), I believe that the number one determining factor in this process is our habits. In basketball, there is always a winner and a loser. Let’s all agree that our habits will always fall into either one of two categories: good habits or bad habits. There are no exceptions!
If we are honest in our assessment of winners, they are usually characterized by good habits, while the opposite is also true. As we begin to examine and evaluate our habits, acknowledging this is very important because there is not one thing that we do (both individually and as a team) that does not directly influence and correlate with winning and losing. Because we all want to win, we should all have a heightened awareness of our habits!
The Daily Commitment
Now that we are on the same page, let’s proceed. In my years of coaching basketball, I have yet to meet a player that does not want to win and get better, and it seems most even have greater aspirations of playing basketball professionally. The common struggle at any level is to prepare and work every day, with the understanding that each and everything we do will directly affect the results and outcomes in this game.
The tendency is to think that a game or championship is won or lost, or a scholarship or contract is gained or missed out on directly due to one specific moment in time. I am not saying that performance in the moment is not required. However, what I am saying is that what happens in the moment of truth when the result is of utmost importance all comes back to the daily habits we have chosen to embrace.
If we are chasing success in this game and in life and wish to accomplish the goals we have set, here are a few general thoughts and observations regarding our habits.
10 Habits of Success in Basketball
- Get better every day! Work hard. Study hard. Play hard. Do not look around at others, but instead hold yourself to a higher standard for your work ethic.
- Come up with a personal daily routine! Take it seriously. Stick to it, no matter what. Embrace the “Theory of Two”: Two minutes to show a skill. Two weeks to get comfortable with it. Two months working at it every single day to execute it.
- When you start something, take pride in finishing it: an assignment, a workout, a basketball drill, etc.
- Be early. Stay late. Get the job done.
- Talk. Communicate at all times. Quiet teams are selfish teams.
- Be a great teammate. Be selfless. Consume yourself by serving others.
- Know, embrace, and take pride in your role.
- Always say thank you.
- If you do not know something, never hesitate to ask.
- Take care of your mind, body, and soul at all times.
Taking Advantage of the Off-Season
The best thing about the summer and the offseason, in general, is that we are allotted more time to focus on our individual habits. Take a minute to evaluate what you do daily as it relates to your personal goals and aspirations. Keep in mind that participation and just “showing up” guarantees absolutely nothing.
For example, if you say you want to become a better shooter but haven’t developed a daily plan on how to get there and aren’t consistently in the gym doing basketball shooting drills and getting hundreds of reps every day on your own or with a teammate or coach, guess what, it’s most likely not going to happen for you.
On the other hand, if you dedicate yourself to getting up 1,000 shots (of all types) a day at a game-like pace while charting makes and misses, I think it would be safe to say that you will most likely see improvement in your shooting percentages next season. Take this simple example and apply it to other scenarios just like it, and the result will be the same.
The Habits of Success in Basketball Conclusion
There is no secret formula, no magic pill, or any special step-by-step program for success. It boils down to this: our habits will determine whether or not we even have a chance to win that game or get that scholarship or contract. By doing the right things and taking positive steps towards improving every day, we give ourselves a chance for our dreams to come true. After all, we are only as good as our habits!