November 27, 2023
How to develop better basketball foresight
Foresight takes the lessons of the past, with the knowledge of the present, to build the best foundations and decisions to step into the future. Basketball is a perfect example of the importance of foresight. For example, consider this family. Their son is in fifth grade. They place him on a select team. His team dominates everyone in the city. They wear awesome gear and fly around to tournaments. He shoots during practice and gets a few shots up during the games. In fifth grade, he is one of the better shooters in the city. His dad brags that he will play for Gonzaga. As time continues, the boy’s shooting doesn’t really improve. He develops some mechanical bad habits that impair his shot. He keeps shooting but his accuracy is lower. He gets less and less playing time on his “elite” team.
Meanwhile, consider another fifth grader. His dad is a coach and they head to the gym for workouts every day, they play tournaments occasionally, but the foundation of their practice is the development of muscle memory, accurate skills, bedrock fundamentals, and of course excellent shooting mechanics and hundreds of hours of practice. His shooting isn’t based on comparison to other students but on his own future development. This player’s shooting becomes rock solid.
What can players learn about basketball foresight? First, you can’t do what you don’t know. If you don’t come from a coaching background, you may be mesmerized by the AAU scene and the glamor of flying to tournaments and games. This could also be a huge mistake. The foundation of great basketball comes from 10,000 hours of real work in the gym or home court. This can’t be built playing 5-on-5. You simply do not get enough touches with the ball.
Next, a player must transcend mere fundamentals and develop the mental vision, strategy, and intuition of the game. This training comes through education experientially, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.
Experientially, you need to get games in a variety of settings. Go somewhere you are the best player, and you learn to maximize your dominance. Go to settings where you are the role player or experience a different angle on the court. Officiating games, coaching, playing various positions, 1-on-1, 3-on-3, all these add to your experience and perspective of the game.
Intellectually, you need to understand the game, the flow, the importance of leverage, fakes, spacing, flow, tempo, and motion. Your basketball IQ works in tandem with your experience and muscle memory to build your intuition and court savvy.
Emotions are important to the game and require wisdom to use to your advantage. One player could only have a peak performance when he got angry. This helped him play with aggression but then when he went to the NBA, he struggled because he couldn’t sustain this emotion through the course of a long season. Some athletes get ruled by their emotions and some cut it out entirely which cuts off their passion and heart. Emotionally intelligent athletes are crucial because they combine poise with grit, and calm with aggression. This paradox is vital for a valuable player.
Spirituality is the final and most bypassed aspect of the game because it is complex and controversial. Faith is the bedrock for a person’s beliefs whether as an atheist, agnostic, or believer. Faith resides in the heart and the heart dictates the thoughts, the words, and the actions. Heartless lives make us inhuman. Our faith connects us to the heart. In scripture, it says, “I will take from you your heart of stone and give you a living heart.” Stony hearts keep us from connecting with teammates, from our mission, and with what matters most in life. A heart of stone cannot love, and love is crucial for great basketball.
About NBC Basketball
If you love basketball enough to work hard, you need to come to NBC Basketball. Since 1971, NBC Basketball has been training athletes to play with commitment, conviction, confidence, character, and courage. Camps are intense and built on solid fundamentals, understanding of the game and especially building leaders to play with wisdom and power. For more information visit www.nbccamps.com.