No matter what sport you’re playing, you always want to improve. One of the most amazing things about sports is that they can teach us you about your potential. You don’t know how good you are at something until you really give it a shot. Getting good at a sport can take a lot of work but if you take the right steps you can see your improvement over time.
But not every way of practicing is equal. Just because you’re trying hard and practicing everyday doesn’t mean you are going to get better. For example, if you practice shooting a basketball with one hand, over and over again, day after day, you might get better at shooting one-handed. But you’ll never be as good as players who are shooting with two hands.
What do you need? Knowledge. So, let’s start there.
Knowing Your Sport
In order to get better at your sport of choice, you need to know a few things. You need to know the job of a player at your position, how a player effectively does that job, and the technique and skillset required to get the job done.
There are a few ways you can learn about your sport. The most obvious way is to listen to your coaches at practice. This usually helps, but coaches are not always right. So, watching your sport on TV or in person is helpful too. Also, watching someone who is better than you is always beneficial. If you are able to learn from the pros, you can improve your game much quicker.
Knowing Your Position
It’s not enough to just know the basics of your sport. You need to know the ins and outs of your position. This means you need to know the general role of your position and your role in specific situations. These things can also be learned at practice or from watching professional sports.
Reading about your position can also be helpful. Reading interviews in sports magazines or online can give you an idea of how certain players play and who you want to emulate.
It’s one thing to know your position but it’s another to play it well. The knowledge always has to come first, but the next step is practice. Knowing what to do but not executing it isn’t helpful to your team. Execution takes practice and hard work.
But working hard at a task while using the improper technique isn’t going to help you. In order to learn proper techniques you need to study your sport very closely. Watch how the pros do things. Listen to your coaches but make sure that what they’re telling you makes sense.
Each position you might play has a specific skill needed to get your job done. If you’re a shooting guard and you know your position well, you know when you need to set a pick, slash to the hoop, or shoot. But if you don’t know the mechanics of doing those things, you might not be very useful to your team.
Improving your game takes time but the good news is that every time you get out and practice is a time when you can improve. If you have the mindset of always learning more about your position and learning the techniques and moves that help you play the position better, you can’t help but improve.
The more you learn about the intricacies of your sport the more fascinating it becomes. It can be frustrating at first when you don’t understand how other players do things so easily. Practice may not make perfect but combine practice with the proper knowledge and training routine and you’re certainly on your way to improving your game.