January 14, 2010

Eric Woodyard going through drills at the University of Michigan's Media Day.

After years of following the game of basketball and playing as well, I have come to the realization that some players are just born to play the sport! Despite my opinion on the issue, this doesn’t mean that a player can’t work his or herself into becoming great at the sport.

Take Philadelphia 76ers guard, Allen Iverson for an example, the guy doesn’t dedicate long hours to the sport but instead he just goes out and plays and has become one of the greatest players to ever touch the rock. On the other hand, a player like Los Angeles Lakers guard, Kobe Bryant constantly hones his skills up to 8 hours a day and has willed himself into becoming “arguably” the greatest shooting guard of all-time.

What I am going to share with you are a list of tips that can help you improve your chances at becoming the next Kobe Bryant or LeBron James (…not seriously!) of whatever league or pick-up games that you decide to participate in in the near future.


This should be the most basic tip that you will ever learn but most players fail to practice in their own free time and the results always show in the end. In order to be good or great at anything, you have to practice the fundamentals of the craft. In this case for basketball, you have to work on your dribbling, both left and right-handed, your shooting, passing and defense.  There are several drills that you can do ALONE that can help you improve at your skills.

2.       STAY IN SHAPE

No matter how hard you work on your skills, if you are not in the proper shape than you will not be able to execute those skills when you finally face your competition because you will be too tired. Some great ways to stay in shape and keep your cardio good are to run and swim. Typically, running a mile at least 3-4 times a week will be more than enough but swimming is also a great tool because it doesn’t put as much tension on your legs and you get the same results.

3.       EAT RIGHT

You cant eat burgers and fries everyday and expect to go out and perform up to your full potential. It may not affect you right now but in the long run it will take it’s affect as it will slow you down. Try to take at least one multi-vitamin each day to get all the nutrients you need and lay off the fast-food and try baked foods sometimes.

4.       GET REST

Try to get at least 5 or more hours of sleep each night so that your body will be well rested and you wont feel sluggish when you’re are ready to compete. There’s nothing worse than being tired even before you get ready to compete.


There’s no way that you can be good at something if you have no clue of what made other people successful at the sport. When watching a basketball game, pick apart what the good players do and use them yourself and even go back and research what the great players like Michael Jordan, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and Larry Bird all did in order to be successful and incorporate them into your own game.

I’m not guaranteeing that these tips will help you immediately, but with hard work and dedication to the sport, they will definitely benefit you in the long run. Remember this: “HARD WORK BEATS TALENT WHEN TALENT WON’T WORK HARD!”

*This post can also be viewed in the Western Herald or on! 



  1. I’m printing these tips out! Anyone who does all five of these things (at any sport) will find success. Thanks, E!

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