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Old 11-08-2012, 01:20 PM   #38
Rake2204
7-time NBA All-Star
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,935
Default Re: Why aren't I getting better?

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Originally Posted by IGOTGAME

I think it might help to understand or remember that everyone comes from a different environment with different circumstances.

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I have only said that I don't understand skill work at that age. I guess I come from a different perspective than many of you on here. I've already put in the skill work to build a game(that is how I paid for my college education). Nothing is really needed.
I think a lot of us have already put in a lot of skill work, we're just not as satisfied with where we stand as you seem to be. Personally, if I ever got to the point where I felt like there was nothing else I could improve upon, basketball would lose a lot of its fun and purpose. I was a college level ball player at 18, I was better at 20, more so at age 23 , so on and so forth.

At some point, I know my athleticism will begin to wane, but it won't stop me from finding other aspects of the game I could still improve upon. It's fascinating to add new dimensions to my game or improve ones that already existed. And what I've found through the years is a lot of times, improvement can come in games, but sometimes true progress comes from a little pre-planning and pre-work. Could I just randomly decide to start doing Kobe's reverse pivot during pick-up games? Yes. But would it help to work a little bit on my own on the steps and finish? Absolutely.

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It is hard for me to actually find good competition outside of leagues. So maybe for someone who doesn't have a game yet a little bit of skill work could help. But I know how much skill work it takes to be really really good and that combined with playing games doesn't make sense in my point of view. However, if it makes you feel good than more power to you.
I don't discriminate too much with my competition. Sometimes it can be tough to find opponents on my level, but I can live with that. If I do play against folks at or above my level, it's fun. And if my opponents aren't quite on my level, I still enjoy it.

And you're right, it does take a lot of skill work to be really, really good. Fortunately (or unfortunately), I don't always have pick-up games readily accessible to me every day of the week, particularly in the winter months, so there's a lot of open time to work on one's game and attempt to work toward mastering certain aspects. Sometimes, in the winter doldrums, putting up 600 shots or working on my ball handling is the most basketball I can put in for a day. Perhaps I lift alongside, or run but again, the basketball often serves as a piece of the general idea of staying in shape and fit, so that's why it makes sense. I'd rather get my exercise by working on basketball than mindlessly running laps around the gym.

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Personally, when I play basketball I'm at the courts running games for 2.5 hours. I couldn't imagine doing that and then doing skill work on top of that. Then you add in lifting etc. Seems like a lot of work to put into basketball. But again, if it makes you feel better to go from bum to average than good for you.
Again, playing basketball games for 2.5 hours every day is not realistically possible for a lot of us. In the summer, it becomes a lot more possible, but still not a certainty. But living in the midwest, 2.5 hours of competition and games in a mid-sized town just isn't there in winter. There's even times in the summer when people just don't show up, or only for a certain period of time. I think it's helpful to remember that not everyone lives in a basketball hot bed where games are a certainty 365 days a year.

Moreover, I'm not sure it's just about going from bum to average. As I mentioned earlier, I certainly think it's possible for good players and great players to continue improving as time goes on. I am not familiar with your level of basketball so I cannot speak for you, but I'd reckon to say even pro basketball players continue improving as they age, as well as any level of ballplayer below them, and it doesn't take playing ball for a living to make many of those improvements.

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But, if you self confidence is tied to your jumpshot than is just odd. But again more power to you. I don't knock anyone for playing ball. I just think actively focusing on improving as a player is a little much. I mean I'll shoot some before games to get in rhythm but the idea of heading to a gym ONLY to put in skill work is crazy to me.
It is my belief that self-confidence is tied to a lot of the things we do. I would agree things might be askew if someone's entire sense of self worth were tied to their jumper, but I don't think anyone's suggesting that here. I just haven't a doubt in my mind that often, when someone becomes skilled or talented in a certain arena, it feels good, and it feeds the ego to some respect. If I was a boss at Scrabble, and my friends knew that, that'd make me feel good. If I cooked a mean batch of french toast, that'd make me feel good. It's similar with basketball. Knowing the work I put in has paid off in me being able to perform well is something I enjoy doing, that feels good.

I respect your manner of playing ball (shooting a few warm up jumpers then diving in). You are certainly not alone in that regard. But I'm taken a little aback by the idea of not being able to understand why other people may want to improve their games. We do so because it's fun and it's neat to get better, even if we were a college level athlete prior.

Last edited by Rake2204 : 11-09-2012 at 02:54 PM.
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