As I watch more and more individual workouts, I discover two commonalities of the successful players.
First, the more successful players are creative. Some players do not follow directions exactly because they do not understand. Some follow directions exactly because they do not understand. The successful players do the assigned drill, but the repetitions do not look exactly the same. They use imagery to see the defender and make moves as if beating a defensive player; others simply do a drill with very little thought, no imagery and no creativity.
Second, the more successful players challenge themselves. The unsuccessful players make excuses. The average players do exactly what is asked. The more successful players arrive early to jump rope or demand that they swish two free throws in a row not just make two in a row. While I challenge every athlete, the more successful athletes expect more of themselves and hold themselves to a higher standard, which is why they get better and why they excel.
When I trained Matt Glynn, a former DIII All-American at University of Puget Sound, during his freshman year at U.C. Santa Cruz, he asked if his shot was perfect. If I said “pretty good” or “better,” he said that he wanted perfect and he was relentless in this pursuit. Glynn, more than anyone I have seen, made himself into a player. He challenged himself above and beyond the coach’s expectation.
The players who challenge themselves and possess creativity will play in college eventually, regardless of any other attribute or deficiency. I may be wrong, but these are the players I think will be the great players.