Practice Perfect, Play Perfect

It’s no secret that practice is an integral part of progressing as a basketball player. While some players are born with undeniable talent, the greatest in the game earned their success by enriching that talent with hard work and dedication to the grind. But not just aimless work, strategic work. You could hit the gym and put in hard work, but without a point of emphasis, a strategy, or some sort of structure to develop a specific part of your game, it’ll just be a good cardio workout. Like a road without lines or signs. Sure, you can drive on it, but how will you know where to go? Working on your game should be seen the same way, getting from one destination to another effectively. The player you are now, the starting point and a more complete player, the destination. Just as you wouldn’t get in a car and drive aimlessly until you land in the right spot, player development needs intentional direction to flourish. 

Begin by coming up with specific, measurable, and attainable goals for each area of your game and outline the checkpoints you need to hit to accomplish those goals. Then find a program or tool that can help you get the necessary insights to track progress. For instance, maybe you want to be a better shooter or you want one of your players to be a better shooter. Rather than conventional methods of throwing up hundreds of shots only measuring success based on makes or misses, incorporate your Noah system to drill down specifically to entry angle or shot depth. If you see a trend of flat entry angles, work intentionally on increasing that angle. From there implement repetition, using the instant feedback to adjust your release appropriately. 

Too often players get the concept of repetition, but without the insight to make sure the rep you're taking is correct, you're just conditioning your muscle memory to replicate that same incorrect movement. Perfect practice produces perfect performance in-game. Anything less than that is what you’ll see when you hit the floor. 

Quality practice is meant to strengthen your weaknesses by pushing you out of your comfort zone in order to create new skills while keeping your strengths sharp. Going in and completing excessive dribbling routines and putting up shots from all over the court without insightful feedback isn’t going to get you to the next level. Don’t just practice so you can try to get to the next level, use the specific metrics evaluated at the next level to direct your practice.