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The 3 “I’s” that will cut your basketball career short.

🕐 4 minute read 

There are 3 fateful words that can end any basketball career short. Some end careers at the professional level, others by the time you reach college. Yet some of these terms can finish your competitive playing days before they even get started. Here are our 3 “I’s” you should avoid to keep that basketball clock ticking for as long as possible!

Inefficiency

What are you spending your time on? Did you have a goal in mind when you arrived to the gym? Are you just “getting shots up”? Being efficient on a basketball court means working smart vs. working hard. Getting up 1000 shots passively may not be as useful as getting up 200 shots efficiently. It all depends on how you spend your time on the court.
 
Come to the gym with a plan in mind. Come with a focus and an objective. Say to yourself , “I will not leave this spot until I make 20 pull up jump shots that were all swishes”. That is the necessary mindset for on court success and longevity.  It is far more effective than “I shot 200 shots from that spot and I made some”. Value your time, because you’ll never get it back.
 
Injury
 
Circumstances will occur in life that are often unpredictable and can sometimes be damaging to what you hoped was your life’s “plan”. The same principle applies to basketball and injuries on/off the court. Fortunately for most hoopers, the vast majority of injuries can be avoided for youth athletes if they make sure they are flexible, agile and mobile. If you can’t bend down and touch your toes easily with your legs straight, that’s a problem. If you cannot hop from one foot to the other without losing balance down the length of the court, that’s strike two. A third test is to attempt a perfect squat or lunge. If you can’t complete those, you may be off to a rough start!
 
Most injuries are due to compensatory patterns that players adapt when they aren’t moving properly. Over time compensation can be devastating on the court. There are not many athletes who come back stronger after injury, and compensation is the culprit.  So why not take our advice and save yourself the extra headache? Stretch, bend, reach, squat, lunge. Your body needs movement to thrive so the more often you put yourself in bizarre positions, the better it will adapt when you call upon it!

“Come to the gym with a plan in mind. Come with a focus and an objective .”


Insecurity
 
How confident are you in your skills? How hard have you worked on your own to get ready for the day the bright lights come on? Being insecure about your skills will put you at a disadvantage on the court when it comes to a game as competitive as basketball. Everyone is out there trying to be faster, stronger, and smarter than you on each possession. If an opposing player “smells blood”, they will certainly attack your weaknesses. Your job as a player is to be as prepared as possible every time you step on the court so you can feel confident before every dribble, pass and shot. Would you show up to your science midterm without having studied any of the material and assume you will get a perfect score?  We certainly hope not.
 
Some players are fortunate enough to have what we call “constant confidence” that is unwavering despite the quality of their game.  It is impossible to teach but great to possess (in moderation).  “Constant confidence” players are the ones that can miss 10 shots in a row and never even hesitate about taking the 11th.  That level of confidence alone, can make for a selfish player. However, that level of confidence paired with a great work ethic off the court, can create a special one!
 
Try to keep the 3 “I’s” in the back of your mind and we promise it will add some years to your career. Otherwise you may find yourself sitting on the sideline with the 3 teammates that never leave your side. Me, myself and “I”!

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  1. These are great tips. Whether it’s MJ, LeBron, Kobe, Steph Curry…or Tiger Woods. The pairing of great talent with an incredible work ethic has been the formula for excellence. For those without instant confidence…which may or may not be based on fact…there is “certainty” confidence that comes from practice that results in skill elevation. Especially for younger players, coaches should emphasize the importance of making contributions in the game-not just scoring but hustling for rebounds, making a pass, making foul shots and playing determined defense. Helping your team with these contributions can enable players to perform more confidently under game conditions as they get into the “flow” of the game.

  2. This is wonderful advice for anyone trying to improve in any field! Very wise and practical. Just another reason to be impressed with Infinite Athletics!