Think about this question carefully before attempting to answer it.
Moving through the various levels of basketball competition requires more than just confidence, athleticism and skills. As an athlete, you will be expected to sacrifice a huge part of your social life if you are looking to play at a high level. You will need to spend a lot of time learning interpersonal skills, watching video footage, handling criticism and working extremely hard on fundamentals such as footwork, shooting, passing, rebounding and dribbling for hours each day. The remaining hours of your days will likely be be filled in with academics, nutrition, socialization and rest.
The mental and physical stamina to perform even when you may not “feel” like it is what separates the average athletic competitor from a good one.
Advancing through the basketball ranks also requires extensive knowledge of the game, critical thinking skills and a thorough understanding of the business side of basketball such as financial management, career planning and contracts. Marketing, communication skills and research are also needed to improve your chances of moving up to the next level. You should research the answers to questions such as:
- What camps should I attend?
- What approved tournaments should I participate in?
- What scouting organization should I be affiliated with?
Every level of athletic competition has its own rules and guidelines, and it would be wise for you to become familiar with the requirements of competition at each level and what it truly entails. Standing out from the rest of the pack requires savvy, personality and an advanced level of maturity.
Every year, more than 500,000 athletes in the United States graduate from high school with the hopes of playing in the NBA. The reality is that less than 1/10 of 1% (48) will actually realize this dream. These numbers were not presented to discourage you. They were presented to let you know that the road to stardom is only made for a few, and to inspire you to work that much harder on your game.