Basketball can be played year round; all you need is a ball and a hoop. My Varsity coach always made a point to reference Ricky Miller. Ricky was a local legend. He had a very slender frame and lethal jump shot. Every time Ricky would shoot you thought it was going in. Coach would make a point to mention how Ricky rode his bike to practice and how he would shovel the court in the winter. When I was in high school we had t-shirts with the school name and mascot on them. On the back of the shirt it read “Our Season Never Ends. “ At the time I didn’t fully understand what the shirt meant.
It means despite state champions already being crowned the season is never over. Basketball is a circle. It’s continuous in nature. A typical season is composed of preseason, regular season and post season. However, the summer is where you get better and make the most improvement. State champions are NOT won in March. On the contrary, they are won in the months of June, July and August. It’s the work that’s done in these months that help the team make the biggest strides. We know all the clichés: a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, the strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack. Every summer Michael Jordan wanted to improve at least one aspect of his game, whether it is his ball handling, passing, shooting, defense and/ or athleticism. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird ran 5 miles and made 500 jump shots. Kobe’s summer regimen is insane, he gets up at 4:30 in the morning for conditioning, at 6:00 he has weights and at 7:00 he makes 800 jumpers. Like I said insane. How does the work you put in compare?
There will come a time when the fall will ask what you have been doing all summer. How much work did you put in? What areas of your game did you improve? If there were guys that were perceived to be better than you, did you catch them? The shots you practice and perfected in the summer should be the shots you make and take in the winter/ spring. If the game came down to a last second shot, would you be willing to take it? Would you make it? Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect! – DeSean Johnson