5 Ways to Separate Yourself from the Pack

Are you looking for a way to gain the winning edge this upcoming basketball season? Would you like to be your team's leader?

It’s not easy to gain the universal praise of everyone around you. But if you implement any of these small tips, it will make a huge impact on the way you view yourself as a player--while increasing your productivity on the basketball court and the level of respect from your peers.

Be The First To Practice And The Last To Leave

If you want to stand out, and establish yourself as a team leader you must be willing to go the extra mile. If practice starts at 7:30 a.m., get there at 6:45 a.m. and be warmed up and ready to go. This will show both your coaches and teammates that you are serious about making an impact, whiling giving you some extra time to be mentally and physically ready for the practice.

After practice, spend some time with your coach and go over key concepts that you thought were important. Ask your coach what his expectations and roles for you as a player are and spend some extra time working on those areas before you leave the gym after every practice session.

Know Your Coach’s Playbook

If you want to be a team leader and get tons of playing time, you must separate yourself from the rest of your teammates. Having a solid understanding of your coach’s playbook and knowing the plays inside and out will help elevate yourself to a go-to guy when the game is on the line.

Don't just know your plays, be able to execute them and know the specific times and situations in the game when they must be ran.

Know The Strengths And Weaknesses Of Everyone

Every single person you will ever play against has certain tendencies as well as strengths and weaknesses that they possess on the basketball court. By knowing the strengths and weakness of your teammates and opponents, you can learn to anticipate their actions on the court so that you can make key plays down the stretch.

A great way to learn this skill is to study tape of your team as well as of the players you will be playing against. Remember, video tape doesn't lie.

Lead By Example

If you want to be a team leader, you must first take the lead yourself.

When you are in the game or practice make sure that your shoes are tied, and that you are looking presentable with your shorts and jersey nicely fitted. If you are really serious you will even tuck in your jersey in practice sessions to emphasize your dedication to excellence.

When you compete in your daily drills, make sure that you perform them at game speed. When you are on offense and defense don’t forget to use your voice as a weapon, and look for ways to help the team to develop better chemistry and consistency in the flow of the game.

Do not ever put your teammates down. Instead, give them positive words of encouragement and show them with your actions how things should be done. Don't ever be afraid to do the little things, because over time people will notice, and your positive attitude and dedication to greatness will spread to everyone around you.

Respect Everyone You Compete Against

No matter who you compete against you must always have respect for your opponents as well as yourself. An easy way to do this is to pretend that every play of every game is your last play. If you play with this mentality then you will play with passion and always do your best.

If you are truly passionate, then everyone around you will raise their level of play as well and you will bring out the best in everyone, ensuring for a great competitive atmosphere and fun competition.

Remember basketball greatness is a choice, and it will never be handed to you. If you dedicate yourself to implementing these steps, you will make great progress this season and finally start earning the respect you deserve on and off the court.

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