1. They focus on the praise & not love for the game – In today’s social media age it is easy to get caught up in all the attention and praise you get as a good basketball player. But the young player must always remember that it is the game & your work ethic that is by far most important. All the benefits that come from playing basketball (praise & accolades etc.) are secondary to the game itself.
2. They ignore the mid-range – The NBA has drifted away from the mid-range game, but it is very important for a young player growing up to be able to score in a variety of ways in the mid-range. Players that only shoot 3’s or finish at the basket are one-dimensional and have a tough time being successful at the higher levels of youth basketball & college.
3. They worry about expectations – You want to perform well for yourself, friends & family but you cannot let the expectations take away your love for the game. Remember that the game is supposed to be fun & enjoy the competitive spirit of basketball without worrying about the expectations. You will perform a lot better & have a lot more fun playing the game, just to play the game. Don’t worry about peaking early, you should worry about constantly improving.
4. They take shortcuts – The players that ultimately have the most success are the hardest workers. They have a inner voice that tells them they have to work harder than everyone else & have to do the extra things that makes players great. If they don’t work hard they feel guilty. Taking shortcuts like missing practices, not working out properly, cheating drills, not working hard enough etc. will eventually lead to disappointing results.
5. They rely on athleticism or height – Players that are athletic or tall when they are young don’t always continue to have that advantage as they get older. Players who rely on athleticism (and don’t master the fundamentals) & players who rely on their height (without developing their outside game) eventually have trouble as they move up the age groups in competitive basketball. Being a basketball player is more important than being athletic or tall.