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What does it take for me to be a basketball player?

Of course I know how to play the game of basketball, I've just been scared to express myself and get physical with other players. You can say that I am scared in a way. I play amazing in front of my friends but, with people I be scared and crazy nervous. I want to learn how to express myself on and off the court. #professional-sports, #basketball

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Samuel’s Answer

Hi Akarrus!
It's great that you've identified the goal of becoming a better and more confident basketball player. Although extremely difficult to reach the highest levels, striving to achieve this valuable goal will help you learn so much about confidence building, your learning style, and the importance of preparation that you can use in every aspect of your life.
Lisa and Michael made great recommendations to play the game as much as you can. Play everyday, whether by yourself or with friends, play everyday for any amount of time. My next recommendation would be to list out all the things it will take to be great then explain how you'll try to improve in each way. For example, if one goal is to play everyday, you can explain that you'll pick some days to play with friends and some days to workout by yourself and work on the finer details of the game. Another example would be trying to understand the game and increase your Basketball IQ (Intelligence). You could achieve that goal by reading books and listening to videos/podcasts to hear some of the greatest players and their story or approach to basketball.
A few books come to mind that could help build your confidence and understanding: Mamba Mentality by Kobe Bryant and Relentless by Tim S. Grover. Hearing how to succeed from the greatest players of all time will certainly benefit you.
Always remember - the more you know, the more confident you'll become.
Good luck and I hope this helps!

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Janay’s Answer

Confidence is key.

Growing up I was a very shy kid, kept to myself a lot, and didn't speak much with others, but once I discovered sports (specifically basketball), I became a completely different kid. Basketball allowed me to express myself and let go of all my worries. When I was on the court, I didn't see anything outside of the lines. Basketball gave me confidence I never knew I had.

My first piece of advice is just be comfortable with what you're doing and in order to do that, you have to be comfortable with your skillset...that means practice, practice, practice. You have to be willing to practice even when no one tells you to. Once you become comfortable with the game, you'll simultaneously become comfortable on the court and there won't be a need to be afraid because you already know and trust yourself. If you're not confident in what you're doing, you will always be worried about what people will think.

At the same time, once I became comfortable with the game, I became comfortable with myself both on and off the court. I learned how to take the same work ethic in basketball and apply it to life. The more I practiced, the more confident I became. The more confident I became, I became a better player. The better player I became, caused more people to notice me both on and off the court, and being recognized as a solid ball player both on and off the court, gave me confidence in life to walk with my head high.

Second piece of advice, is DON'T OVER THINK. Get out of your own head and just let the game come to you.

Third piece of advice, is HAVE FUN. If you're not having fun, you'll never be able to fully enjoy the joys of the game. Don't put too much pressure on yourself, you also want to enjoy what you are doing.

So, long story short, practice and confidence is KEY and I know everyone's goal is to make it as a professional basketball player, but most look over the fact that getting a full ride scholarship to attend college while playing basketball is ALSO a major goal. Graduating debt free from college is such a big deal and something not to be looked over, keep that in mind throughout your career!

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Michael’s Answer


I recommend you train, hit the gym, and get stronger. You should play with your friends and with other kids. Try being physical playing with other kids at a park. The more you try to be physical with other kids in a non competitive place like a park you will gain more confidence.

Keep trying. You will get mire confident. Over time you won't have to think about this anymore. It will be natural

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Lisa’s Answer

Confidence plays a HUGE part in competitive sports.

Do you play on your school team or an AAU team? That is really where you start to build confidence in your skills.
The stronger you get, the less you will fear the physicality of the sport. My son plays basketball and when he realized he was just as strong as many of the other boys on the court, he began to play much more aggressively.

If you are serious about playing basketball, you have to take the steps to train, play on a team, practice on your own, learn the intricacies of the game, master the basics, take care of your body (eat properly and work-out (that includes lifting weights)). Being an elite athlete requires a great deal of sacrifice. If you really want it, go for it but understand, it requires a lot of work. As do most things worth having.

Good luck to you!