1. Nutrition – Eating healthy is very important for all young basketball players. Eating healthy will give you more energy & keep you in the right shape for the game. Drinking lots of water is also very important for young ballers as proper hydration will help improve your overall health. Proper sleep is also very important for your overall ability to workout, practice and train.
2. Stretch – Stretching during your off time can dramatically increase your flexibility and will help you improve as a basketball player and overall athlete. Spend time stretching your hip flexors, glutes & quadriceps as these are the most important areas for young players.
3. Watch Basketball – Watching basketball on TV, YouTube, League Pass etc. can help you learn from others and also help your overall basketball IQ. When you watch the games make sure you don’t just watch the ball, watch everything that is happening on the court. You can observe what kind of sets each team is running, how team defense is being played and of course which moves the players use to score. Be a true student of the game.
4. Read Books – As a young player coming up one of the best things you can do is read basketball books and biographies. These biographies can give you insight on superstars and what they did to become the players that they are today. These books can provide great motivation, training techniques and also give you a look at how players overcome adversity to reach their dreams. Some of the best biographies ever written are on Michael Jordan & Larry Bird.
5. Play NBA 2K – NBA 2K is the most realistic basketball game ever made. The programmers have done an amazing job at taking the concepts of real basketball and making them critical to having success in the video game. By playing NBA 2K you can work on knowing what a good shot is, understanding the importance of having a good release on your jumper, helping out on defense and even calling actual plays that NBA teams use.
6. Mentors – It’s important to have mentors that you can talk to & that will provide you with guidance on your basketball career. One of the best ways to improve when your not playing is talking to players who have been where you want to be. These mentors are usually very eager to pass on knowledge to young up and coming players so don’t be afraid to ask questions.
7. Visualize – Perhaps the most important thing you can do to improve when your not playing is visualization. Seeing yourself be successful in your mind will help you play out your visions in the real game. The most successful players will tell you that before they accomplished anything on the basketball court they had already seen it happen in their minds. See yourself being the best possible you & play out different situations in practice and games before they happen.