Becoming a great defender is not an easy thing to accomplish. It takes a certain dedication and athleticism to steer your opponents away from the basket and counter offensive moves while keeping enough distance so as to not foul or give up easy baskets. While athleticism is an ongoing skill that you increase by coming stronger and quicker, dedication is a bit harder to describe let alone teach. My best description of what dedication is or how to describe is to ask this question “How great is your attention to detail?”. When the ball is being passed around and your team is communicating to keep the opposing team from scoring, your attention must span the width of the court to constantly be looking for the ball at the same time keeping track of the player your guarding. When you are an on-ball defender there is opportunity to disrupt your opponent and get them out of their planned set or play. Your “attention to detail” is what gives you this opportunity. Also remember, the better defender you are, the more playing time you will get. Being a poor defender is #4 on our list of signs that you are a bad basketball player.
You Close The Gap
Pay attention to the body language of your opponent. When a player is tired it is common to see them standing up straight with no athletic stance whatsoever. When you see a player like this it is great time Close the gap between you and him/her. Taking another step towards your opponent can sometimes be enough pressure to make them turn their back or expose the ball long enough to get a deflection or steal.
You Don’t Get Caught Standing
While standing up is an opportunity you look for from your opponent, don’t make the mistake of taking it easy yourself while the ball is in front of you and get caught standing up. Simply put, if you are not in an athletic position to move and react to your opponent then you will get beat to the rim and you will have shooters looking for a chance to have you guard them. Consider it a cardinal rule of defense that if you are standing up on defense you are practically playing for the other team. There’s a reason they say players who move without the ball are more effective so you might want to stay in a defensive stance.
You Push The Offense To The Sidelines And Baseline
The ultimate goal of defense is to protect the basket. Use your defensive stance to continuously be angling your opponent to the sideline or baseline. Use the lines of the court as an extra defender to trap and disrupt the flow of the offense and force unwanted passes than result in deflections and steals for your team.
By adding these characteristics to your defensive effort you dramatically improve your court awareness and become a more effective defender. Performing these acts are an example of your dedication to being a great defender and better player overall.
Struggling to keep your shooting percentage at an acceptable level or not able to raise it higher no matter how much practice you put in? You are likely experiencing inconsistencies in parts of your shooting technique. When it comes to shooting the basketball, consistency is crucial in all parts of your shot form. However, there are 2 key techniques that have greater impact than others, and even may be able to help youbecome the most improved player on your team.
Square Your Body To The Rim
Many players practice shooting hundreds of shots a day to get better and sadly a lot of young players are practicing with poor shooting alignment. Having your body square to the rim simply means your entire body is facing the rim from your feet to your shoulders. From the beginning to the end of your shot, your body needs to remain facing the rim. The benefit of this is that it removes unnecessary movement in your body during the shot. When you begin to twist your upper or lower body when shooting, you are adding in movements that make it impossible to replicate consistently and therefore it becomes EXTREMELY difficult to practice and get better no matter the number of reps you put in.
When practicing your alignment be sure to carry it through to every shot you take. Whether it be a perfect free throw or a jumpshot coming off of a screen, your first and last thought should be “was I lined up properly all the way through my shooting action?”
Get Your Elbow To Eye Level
A great way to increase your shooting percentage is to fine tune your follow through when shooting. It’s very common to see players shooting with otherwise good shooting form except when it comes to the release of the basketball. At the end of every shot you push the ball up towards the basket and flick the wrist to get the desired backspin on the ball. BUT if your elbow doesn’t make it above the level of your nose it’s an easy indicator that your shots will be flat and likely rim out a good percentage of the time. The simple fix of getting your elbow high enough, so that its even with your eyes at the end of your shot will help in a variety of ways. First, you will naturally increase the arc of your shot which is very important so that the ball has an opportunity to drop more vertically into the basket rather than coming in at a narrow angle. Second, you will begin to use the correct set of muscles for shooting(shoulder) the ball up, rather than your chest muscles to push the ball forward. Third, you will find it easier to shoot over taller defenders and players looking to defend you. You may not even notice, but these small changes will create a profound improvement in your shooting form and shot percentage.
By implementing these 2 simple techniques you can increase your overall percentage as much as 20-30 percent. A good way to self-test yourself is to use these tips while you try our top 4 shooting drills from 2016! Getting lots of reps with these 2 concepts done correctly is what creates good shooting habits. And with your hard work and attention to detail there is nothing that can stop you from becoming a knock down shooter for your team.
The Morris Basketball Program is the best basketball skill program in New Jersey and prides itself on seeing immediate improvement from each of it’s participants!
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This basketball season is soon coming to a close. This is a great time for reflection and self assessment. Whether you led your team to a tournament championship or found yourself riding the pine with a losing season you are the only person that can hold yourself accountable for your performance of lack thereof.
1. Be Honest with yourself.
What does it mean to be accountable to yourself? When talking about your skills and awareness on the basketball court you MUST have a critical view of your own performance. Did you have a problem committing turnovers? Or maybe your shooting percentage wasn’t what you hoped or expected it to be.
When having the conversation with yourself about what went well and what could be better it is vital that you do not sugar coat it; that you use the season that you are coming off of as tool to identify the areas of your game that need immediate attention.
2. Don’t Procrastinate; Get Better At Something
If you look at players considered the best at any level of play from high school through the pros you will see a common theme. Players that are considered the best are CONSTANTLY working on 1 or more aspects of their game. They understand that the off season isn’t for the players- it’s for the spectators. The time to get into basketball training for dribbling, shooting, running a fast break or applying pressure defensefull court is NOW. Between now and November you have the opportunity to visualize the type of player you want to be and with that in mind you can put your head down and begin to grind out the bumps and smooth the edges of your game until you become the player you see yourself capable of being. Get to it.
3. Seek Out Help
We would all love to believe that we can figure things out on our own all the time but sadly that just is not reality. We all need help at some point to push us to the higher levels we reach for. Don’t let complacency or embarrassment hold you back from achieving your goals and feeling the satisfaction of reaching and surpassing your own expectations. Search for the resources that are available to you. There might belocal basketball classes or private basketball training that you can take advantage of to get you on track for next season. The internet is a great resource to get ideas for training individual skill sets if you can’t find resources that are local to your area.
4. Commit And Follow Through
This is probably toughest thing for many people to really accomplish. Sure you may have really analyzed your season and come to some tough realizations about where you need to improve. You might have begun researching the resources that are available to you and have a plan to put them to use but until you start the process, none of your preparation matters. Put a start date in your calendar and stick to that commitment. Taking the initiative and getting back in the gym to work on your game will put you a head of 75% of your competition when the next season arrives. So just showing up and beginning to work gives you and edge but in order to get ahead of the other 25%; well that’s a topic for another article but it starts where this one ends. Who knows, you might get voted as the Most Improved Player heading into next season! GET IN AND GET WORKING.
If you wasted your preseason you are already one step behind in the game.
Sports in general (but more specifically basketball) are one of the things that are nothing like riding a bike. If you don’t use your abilities and try to constantly fine tune and improve your basketball skills you will most definitely lose them. You can’t take the entire off-season off, and step back on the basketball court and expect your game to be the same. A lot of time, effort, and sweat must be given in order to see real improvements in your game.
The preseason is considered to be the period of time from the beginning of the new school year up until basketball tryouts beginning during the end of the Fall. So we can consider the basketball preseason to last about three months. Three months is a lot of time in terms of basketball conditioning, but it is not when it comes to basketball skill training.. It takes many many hours to master a skill. It only takes a few weeks of heavy dedication to get into basketball shape.
Here are 4 things that can ruin your basketball season before it even starts:
1. Not Taking Training Seriously
In today’s basketball world, intense training is a given. Back in the day, you could probably get away with not training as hard as you could and still see some kind of success as a basketball player. But those days are over. There is way too much competition (who are probably in the gym training right now) to think you will be fine if you are not constantly pushing your game to new heights. The majority of players these days are in the gym consistently on their own, playing on multiple teams, and seeking out PRIVATE BASKETBALL TRAINING twice per week in an attempt to get an edge on the competition. So if you are in the gym training on your own regularly, you are doing just enough to stay one step behind your competitors.
2. Not Being In Basketball Shape
A lot of players underestimate the significance of being a well-conditioned basketball player. Players tend to understand why they need to improve their actual skills, but don’t see how being in tip-top shape can make basketball skill training easier. The better shape you are in, the more likely you are to perform your drills at game speed. The more you train at game speed, the better chance you have at translating your improved skills into the real game. A prime example of this is the ability to constantly MOVE WITHOUT THE BALLto tire out your defender and find open shots you normally wouldn’t be able to shoot.
3. Not Building Team Chemistry
A big mistake players (especially new players to a program, such as high school freshman) make is not taking the time to build chemistry with their teammates. Although this may seem small and insignificant, it can make or break your chances to make the team for the year. This is especially true if you are a newcomer to a team with a returning core group of players. You want to show you can fit in with the current system while also showcasing your skills! This goes hand in hand with #4.
4. Not Knowing Your Role For The Upcoming Season
Knowing your role on your basketball team for the new season is just as important as being skillfully prepared. If you are not aware of what your role might be, how could you properly prepare for it? Although everyone wants to be the star player of course, everyone has to start somewhere. Your role could be anything from being a top scorer to being a glorified practice player. Whatever your role is, you should take pride in the fact that you may have a spot on the team and have a chance to contribute. As long as you have a role, you have a chance at climbing the totem pole on your team and also you can know how to prepare in the off-season.
If you didn’t make the cut but still think you have what it takes, the Morris Basketball Programcan help you to secure your spot on your team’s roster!
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This shooting drill is a good game situation simulator. For offenses that utilize this type of screen, you’d be surprised how often you can find yourself open at the top. The key here is trying to stay on balance; straight up, straight down.
This drill is strictly for 2 things–either becoming a better shooter, or getting in better shape. This conditioning shooting drill will end very quickly if you can make more than 1 shot in a row. If you miss more than 2 in a row, you’re in for a long night.
First to make 3 (you can set your own score limit) wins. If you make the shot, run to the far free throw line and back. If you miss, full court sprint and back! You’d be surprised how hard it is to make 3 shots when you put a tiny bit of pressure on yourself.
3 Pros and Cons of playing the game of AAU basketball.
Many many years ago, there was only one way to get recruited to play college basketball-believe it or not. This can be known as the Traditional Method. The Traditional Method was pretty simple–play for your local high school program, win games and put up good numbers. If your team finds some kind of success or you put up huge numbers, college scouts would flock to your games. If they were impressed, they would inquire with your coach for more information. If the coach puts in a good word for you, then most likely you would be getting some face time with the scout.
That is pretty simple and straightforward process. It worked for some, and hurt others’ chances at getting that coveted scholarship.
Over the years, AAU basketball has grown exponentially and has added an extra channel for recruiters and players to interact. AAU seasons can run from the end of regular basketball season all the way up until the start of the next season, many times overlapping the regular basketball season. There are countless teams, all with different age brackets/gender teams.
Here are the top 3 Pros of AAU Basketball:
1. You Meet And Play Against Different Types Of Competition
Most school teams only play against competition in a generally local area, unless your team is a perennial powerhouse. For those who have played AAU, I’m sure you remember the days of long road trips, possibly flights, and playing against a different team pretty much every single game. Going against these odds can make you immune to the uncomfortable feeling of playing against an unfamiliar playing style, which can pay off later on in your career. Also, some of the players you will meet up against you might see on TV one day. Exposure to competition from all over can only help sharpen your game.
2. You Get ALOT Of Game Action
That is, if you see the court. For those that get regular playing time on their AAU team, they have multiple seasons worth of games in just one offseason. Just be sure not to burn yourself out. But if you are not getting much playing time on your AAU team, you may be wasting your summer. If this sounds like you, we suggest you sign up for ourSunday Group Workoutsin order to learn How To Earn More Playing Time On The Basketball Court
There is no greater teacher than game experience itself. Get as many games in as you can and try things you might not be as comfortable trying during your school season!
3. You Can Try Things You Might Not Try During The School Season
One of the best parts of AAU is that it gives you a chance to further develop your game, especially your individual game. This is not saying that you should be selfish during AAU season. Selfish basketball is never good and should be minimized. But you get a chance to be a little selfish with what moves you try to pull off against the defense, different types of passes you may not be comfortable trying during the school season, or even trying a new position. AAU is supposed to be about development and growth.
1. There Are Just As Many Politics, If Not More Than Your School Team.
Many teams can be run by parents, or coaches that could have a predisposition for certain players they may already know and be comfortable with. Many times these politics can be worse than even the worst situations you might encounter for your school team. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to players and/or parents.
2. You Might Not Learn The Fundamentals
AAU basketball is centered around quantity of games, rather than quality of games. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is common to see in AAU games players not using the basic fundamentals of basketball to guide their play. And in the AAU system, this is rarely seen as a problem. Wins/losses, championships and college scouts matter to most AAU teams, so for the most part, you might not learn some of the most crucial basics that will give your entire career its foundation. If fundamentals are what you need, we suggest aPrivate Training Sessionwith one of our professional coaches.
3. It Can Make You Lazy
The lifestyle that comes with AAU basketball can be dangerous–especially if you are an elite player. AAU, and the clout and notoriety that can come with it can fool a player into thinking he’s already “there,” and doesn’t have any weaknesses. This makes a player lazy because it conditions you to feel like there isn’t an urgent need to get in the gym and work on your game. And basketball IS NOT like riding a bike. If you don’t sharpen your skills regularly, unfortunately you will lose them. We suggest tryingThe Most Complete Basketball Workoutto keep you in top basketball condition.
To sum it all up, AAU basketball is a double-edged sword. It can be your best friend, and open your career to many new and exciting opportunities while toughening up your game. But if used wrong, or in the wrong situation, it can actually harm your game. Be careful out there and play hard!
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Ways To Tell If You Might Be A Good Basketball Player.
In today’s game, being a good basketball player means you possess certain qualities that help influence the outcome of each game in a positive manner. Bad players do just the opposite. If you have an eye for the game of basketball, you can usually spot a good player out from the crowd; something just makes them stand out above the other players. Here is a list of some qualities that give a player a reputation as a good player:
1. You Understand The Fundamentals
All good players have a strong foundation. They learn to play basketball with more good habits than bad. What are examples of good habits? Not making one handed passes, setting effective and useful screens, boxing out their defensive target before every rebound…the list goes on.
For good basketball players, it is easy to tell that they have had some coaching somewhere. They have had the fundamentals ingrained into their game from an earlier standpoint and it shows. Good basketball players usually seem a little bit more polished on the court, and make things look a little easier than the average player. If you have not had the proper fundamental coaching to become a good basketball player, we suggest you sign up with the Morris Basketball Program to sharpen your skills!
2. You Give More Effort
Good basketball players not only have the fundamentals down, they give maximum effort to get the most out of each play. There is a clear cut reason why it may seem like only some of the “lucky players” on a team get all of the meaningful stats– points, assists, rebounds, steals, etc. These players MAKE things happen through giving continual effort for the entire game. Whether your game is 32 minutes, 40 minutes, or 48 minutes, you can catch a good player giving it his all.
3. You Understand Time/Score
Solid basketball players are always aware of the Time/Score of the game. I’m not just talking about when theres under 10 seconds remaining and the game is on the line. Good players are aware of this facet of the game from the opening tip until the final referee whistle. Eight times out of ten, if a player understands time/score, they will have a sturdy grasp of #4.
Good basketball players understand when there is a need to milk the clock to stretch out a small lead. Conversely, they understand how to play with a sense of urgency when time is running out.
4. You Play Within The Ebb & Flow Of The Game
An easy way to tell a good basketball player and a bad basketball player apart is to watch how they react to situations within the flow of the game. Normally, good players will either blend in with the flow, and rack up their solid plays/statistics seamlessly in the game, or will only stand out for having more spectacular plays than bonehead plays. The opposite holds true for bad players. Bad players stick out, whether from turnovers due to #1, or maybe they stick out in a negative way for being too lackadaisical on the court. This is also very easy to notice.
5. You Work On Your Weaknesses
This one is simple. Good players stay in the gym, and are constantly sharpening their skills. We have alluded to this in previous articles, and there is just no way around this. If you want to be good, you have to put the time in. No one ever accomplished anything great with zero effort. The Most Complete Individual Basketball Workout is a great way to nurture a well rounded game. Developing your game takes time, patience, determination, and a desire to see incremental improvements! Another way to work on your weaknesses would be to watch your favorite player, or another player whose strengths are your weakness! Youtube is a great option for watching more experienced players play.
So there you have it. If you know anyone who exhibits these qualities in the basketball world, you know a good player. If only a few of these qualities describe your game, you may just be an average player. Or if not many or none of these qualities at all describe you, you may need to know the5 Quick Signs You Are A Bad Basketball Player. If you are a bad player, we recommend you join our program to increase your skills. If you are already a good player, we encourage you to attend our Sunday Workoutsand challenge yourself against better players.
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A reputation is a very powerful thing– hard to make, so very easy to break. You can work for years to grow and maintain your reputation as an elite or hardworking player, and watch it get shattered in the blink of an eye. You can destroy an entire basketball career’s worth of good reputation over the course of just one play.
Basketball is a tricky sport in which it is a completely team oriented game, but just one player, at any time, can change the fate of each and every game. There is a little magic to that last statement. It means that a hero can be made any moment. But bad basketball players can be created or identified in the same exact process. You most definitely do not want to be labeled a “bad basketball player”. It’s a bit difficult to recover from this. But all hope is not lost. If you feel there is a chance you may be a bad basketball player, and would like to improve, we suggest signing up with theMorris Basketball Programand fine tuning your skills!
If the following list accurately describes your game or someone you know, please tell them! There is nothing worse than someone who does not know how to play basketball, but doesn’t even know that they are bad! The first step in improving andHow To Earn More Playing Time On The Basketball Courtis admitting you need help!
There is nothing at all wrong with admitting that at this very moment, you are a bad basketball player. Everyone starts somewhere. What really matters is if you are now willing to put in the time, effort, and resources into improving. Basketball Drills, Basketball Training, Private Basketball Coaching, and Basketball Clinics are all great examples of ways to improve your skills behind the scenes!
1. You Complain About Not Getting The Ball/Playing Time
Don’t get me wrong. There will always be the situations on teams where politics come into play, and a player that is most deserving of playing time or receiving the ball will not be put in a favorable situation. This happens all the time. These are not the players I’m talking about. I’m talking about the players that are obviously in need of some type of basketball coaching/lessons that are in some delusional world about being on the short end of the stick. There is a reason that you may not be getting the ball enough, or may not be playing enough. Most times, it’s rather simple: The people, or players, in the position to get you the ball or put you in the game are not full believers in your game.
I know it hurts to hear this. But I rather you hear it from me than someone else. I would never lie to you. That is the main reason why people don’t pass the ball-they trust in either their own game, or another fellow teammate’s game, more than they trust your basketball skills or play-makingability, regardless if it makes sense or not.
Bad basketball players don’t take care of the basketball. Poor ball handling, bad catching skills, bad passing, and overall carelessness with the basketball is a huge red flag of a bad player. Good players are always under control on the basketball court, and know the value of each possession. They take care of the basketball as if it was their first born, and carefully guide it to where it needs to be on the floor. The best point guards on any level of basketball all average a positive assist-to-turnover ratio.
Take care of the ball!! No coach is going to play a walking turnover. No teammate wants to pass the ball to a walking turnover. So those of you who this accurately describe, I would bet my bottom dollar that #1 accurately describes you as well.
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3. You Are Uncoachable/A Bad Teammate
One of the biggest lessons to learn at an early age in the game of basketball is that you are simply one piece of a set of moving parts. A basketball team is a living thing. It can grow chemistry, or it can self destruct. If you are the teammate that always has the bad attitude, or never gives 100% effort, you are hurting the team. No one likes a team cancer. One bad attitude can spoil an entire team. Coaches and even other teammates can sense a bad egg and can/will black ball you over time.
No matter what situation you find yourself in on your respective team, always be respectful and mindful of others on your team. Never disrupt team chemistry, whether accidental or intentional. No one, including the coach himself, is bigger than the team. If you are unhappy with your role on the team, don’t let that spoil your chance to redeem your greatness. A bad attitude has never translated into getting more respect in basketball.
If you are the one with a bad attitude and are uncoachable/a bad teammate, I am certain you also can identify with #1.
4. You Can’t/Won’t Play Defense
“Defense wins Championships!” – Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant Jr.
If you are constantly finding yourself getting beaten on the defensive end of the floor, don’t expect to get significant playing time. And don’t expect your teammates to be happy with you. Or your fans. Or your coach. In a nutshell, if you are a weak defensive player, the opposing team will key on you, and try to expose your weaknesses for all to see. Defense is the true key to being a consistently good player. Because offense will at times come and go. Sometimes you have a good offensive game and score a lot, sometimes you might struggle. But you can always make a difference in the game on the defensive end.
Defense is the one aspect of the game of basketball that is less about skill, and more about effort. It is always easy to notice when a player takes pride on the defensive end of the floor. You should probably re-evaluare your game if you don’t believe in playing good, hard defense.
5. You Don’t Get In The Gym To Get Better At Basketball
If some of these themes are ringing a bell for you, and you haven’t been in the gym in the last 7 days…well there you have it. How can you improve at basketball if you don’t try new basketball drills, camps, clinics, private training, especially one on one drills on your own!? The only real bad player in basketball is the one who knows he needs improvement but does nothing about it. It’s not about where you start talent wise, it’s always about where you end up!
Ever felt like you weren’t seeing enough improvement from your hours at the gym? Ever wondered what makes up a college or professional-level basketball workout? Ever needed basketball workout advice but don’t know where to turn? Look no further. We all know the key to a great workout is you get out what you put in. By changing a few small habits, and incorporating a renewed mindset, you can immediately start reaping the rewards of a top notch workout.
The following should be included in each and every workout:
1. An Intense Warm Up
Every journey must start with a first step, and your workout is no different. A proper warm up is meant to get your blood going, warm up tight muscles, & break a strong sweat. But most players fail to recognize the mental aspect of warming up. A good 10 minute warm up is all you really need to get both your mind and body stretched, warmed, locked-in and focused for the workout at hand.
These two things are essential to a proper work out. Most players usually include a decent amount of ballhandling and shooting into their workouts. I prefer to work on ballhandling before shooting because it helps me find my feel for the ball, giving my shot more confidence.
The key in this area is to always stay on your toes by changing the drills/workout routines with ballhandling and shooting. If you continue to do the same drills over and over, you will stunt your growth as a player and playmaker.
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3. Game Situations
This is an area where the majority of young players fail to take advantage. You can do all of the ballhandling/shooting in the world, but if you can’t translate these skills into an actual game environment, you are working for absolutely nothing. Here at the Morris Basketball Program, we are constantly putting our players through game-like situations to test their skills in a real environment.
Although this particular aspect of your workout is difficult with only one player, appropriately placed cones (as defenders) and a strong imagination can get the job done.
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Believe it or not, this is the most important part of your workout! If you are not in basketball game shape, it doesn’t matter how good you are. If you can’t get up and down the court and keep up with your team or opposing player, you have no right to be on the court!! Basketball is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world, so if you are not in prime shape (with enough stamina to last an entire game) you may struggle.
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5. Free Throws!!!
If you have done a good enough job with #’s 2, 3, and 4, you will find yourself at the free throw line. A LOT. If you can’t convert free throws, you are hurting yourself as well as your team. If you struggle at the line, learn The 5 Steps To A Perfect Free Throw
Free throws should be shot during regular intervals between drills (while you are still tired). Shoot at least 3-5, and make sure you do some form of conditioning as punishment for every missed free throw.
Just missed the cut:
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Whenever you imagine yourself playing basketball, 99 percent of the time you are in a situation where you have the ball and have your heart set on creating something, whether it be your own shot or an opportunity for a teammate. No one really imagines setting themselves up for the game winning shot by not having the ball to begin with. But in reality, this is where most uncontested shot opportunities begin. Being able to create a shot for yourself is important, but it is not everything. Having to create for yourself and your teammates can be rewarding, but it can also be very frustrating if things are not going your way. Being able to always find the open space on the court and make yourself available to an open pass for an uncontested shot is just as effective, and requires minimal effort if you are in great basketball shape. This is one of the easiest ways to Earn More Playing Time.
A perfect example of a player of this nature would be Ray Allen (in the latter years of his career). After all the athleticism left his body, he still found ways to be an effective shooter and scorer on the court, to remain a valuable piece to his team. He kept his body in great condition, to allow him to have a high motor to find open spots on the floor with non-stop movement. When you move without the ball, you will realize you create opportunities not just for yourself, but you will open up more opportunities for your teammates as well.