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Keys to Becoming a Great Basketball Player by Kyle Ohman

From the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook
"Helping coaches coach better..."

Kyle Ohman is the co-creator of Basketballhq.com a basketball training website designed for coaches and players. He was a thousand point scorer at Liberty University (div. 1), was ranked the 19th best shooter in the country by Fox Sports going into his senior year.

Kyle has also played professionally in Spain. Most recently he coached a high school team out of Brandon, FL that played on a national level and beat the 12th ranked team in the nation. Coach Kyle has a promising career in the basketball industry as a coach and an individual trainer.

Roles, Training, Intelligence, and Determination

What does it take to be a great basketball player? I think that it is very important that we answer this question before we talk about how we can become the best that we can be. If we took a survey most of us would answer this question by saying a good basketball player is someone who can score a lot of points and hit the big shot at the end of a game.

This answer would technically be true but it also leaves out so much of what goes into being a great player. To be a great player you do NOT have to be the leading scorer or hit the game winner. Let me repeat that one more time, to be great you do NOT have to always score. Too many young players focus primarily on scoring and they limit themselves on where they can go with their basketball careers.

To be the best player that you can be you need to buy into your role. This does not mean that you can't expand your role and add to it but if you are a catch and shoot player be the best catch and shoot player you can be, don't try to drive to the basket and dunk on someone.

As a sophomore in college I was strictly a catch and shoot player and I did a good job of that and shot 42% from the three point line. I basically spaced the floor and shot the ball if my man helped off of me, that was my role and I did it well. However the next summer I busted my butt in the gym and became a much better ball handler, slasher, and passer.

My new role was not just a catch and shoot player but also a driver and a creator on the offensive end. My strength was still shooting the 3 but I became more versatile and complete as a player.

I have seen so many young players trying to do things that they simply just don't do well and it makes them a worse player. If you can't shoot a step back 3 that is fine, just don't shoot one. Give the ball up to a teammate and come off of a down screen or shoot when your man helps off of you. Put yourself in a situation where you are going to succeed.

Adding value to your game outside of scoring is so important to your team and to yourself individually. You might not get a write up in the paper but coaches recognize the little stuff and this will lead to more minutes.

Take for example Joakim Noah for the Chicago Bulls. If you watch one of the Bull's games you will see that they maybe run two plays for him the whole game, but he still is a key player. His defensive effort, rebounding, and screening is so valuable to the bulls success.

Joakim Noah
Joakim Noah

I cannot say it enough about buying into your role as a player. There are players who are getting paid millions of dollars for simply buying into their role.

The great thing about basketball is that there is an off season, and this means that you can work on the weaknesses as well as increase your role on the team for the next season. It is never too early to be doing ball handling drills, shooting drills, rebounding drills, etc.

Don't just work hard though work smart. Watch players in the NBA or that are better then you and do your best to learn from them. To this day I am still learning the game and will continue to for the rest of my life.

Another thing you can do is find good basketball drills. During the summer between my sophomore and junior year I started working out with a trainer and I learned so many new drills and workouts, this really helped my skill set expand.

Looking back I wish that I would've known these drills at an earlier age. That is why I have dedicated the time to creating my website basketballhq.com. It is not just enough to work hard you have to work smart. Learning the tools to becoming a good player can be the difference in becoming great and almost getting there.

The mind can be a powerful tool in becoming your best. It is not just enough to go to the gym and do ball handling and shooting drills. You need to learn the game as a player and develop a good basketball IQ. This will allow you to make the right play when you are in the game and give your coaches trust in you.

Being able to read a defense and make the right play is more important then being able to windmill dunk. When you watch a basketball game try to pick up a couple of things during the game. Be a student of the game and continue to learn everyday.

It is up to you to become what you want to be. There will be people that will tell you that you can do it and those that say you can't. Neither of these people actually decide whether you as a player can or cannot accomplish your goals.

Michael Jordan didn't make his high school team the first year he tried out, and now he is known as the greatest of all time, he was also told that he couldn't shoot the basketball but he is the best clutch shooter of all time.

From my own personal experience I have had coaches tell me that I wasn't good enough but I knew what I was capable of and I kept working. If I would have listened to them then I would never have accomplished what I did.

On the other hand if everybody is telling you about your potential and how good you could be it doesn't mean you can just take it easy. Potential is just the chance to do something good, you still need to work to do it.

Hopefully this article will give you the knowledge you need to become the best player that you can be. However now that you have read this it is up to you. Don't sit back and dream about what could be, go do something about it. Go get in the gym and work on your game. I would recommend my website basketballhq.com for your basketball needs and if you have any questions please comment below and I will do my best to answer them.

Kyle Ohman's Liberty University YouTube Highlights