HOW TO SET REALISTIC S.M.A.R.T BASKETBALL GOALS TO ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS

“A dream without a plan is just a wish.”

setting smart and realistic basketball goalsOften times when I ask young players what their ultimate basketball dream is, most of the time I get a response like “I want to play in the NBA” or “I want to play in college” or “I want to play Division I” or “I want to play professionally one day” etc.

I then proceed to ask them about how exactly they plan to achieve this dream and very often they have little or no idea. And this is exactly why players need to set realistic and smart basketball goals!

I love to hear when a young player has basketball goals or a BIG dream as I’m a huge proponent of shooting for the moon because as they say, “even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

I relate to this notion in my own life as I dreamt about making the NBA from the time I can remember first playing basketball. Although I didn’t quite make it to the NBA, I was able to play professionally in Europe for a number of years, which ended up being one of the great blessings of my life.

In order to get there, thoughachieve basketball dreams with basketball goals, I set many basketball goals that acted as a “plan” to achieve my NBA dream.

This is where many young players lack the understanding and vision of what it takes to play professional basketball.

They don’t set basketball goals, and often times if they do, they don’t do it properly.

Goal setting in general is not an easy thing, and it does require time and effort, but hopefully this article can enlighten some players on how exactly to set basketball goals in order to achieve their dreams.

Basketball goals (and any goals in general) need to be S.M.A.R.T. That is, goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.

To be clear, a dream is the ultimate, big, huge goal, but in order to achieve that dream, players must set smaller S.M.A.R.T. goals along the way. These goals are essentially the stepping-stones to help a player inch closer to their dream.

Let’s look at S.M.A.R.T. and start with the “S”…

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THE UNFORTUNATE PROBLEMS WITH AAU BASKETBALL

problems with aau basketballBefore we get into the problems with AAU basketball, let’s clear up a few things…

First of all, AAU stands for Amateur Athletic Union, which is a single organization, and a good one at that. Unfortunately for the Amateur Athletic Union, AAU basketball has become an all-encompassing term used to pretty much describe all competitive grassroots of basketball outside of school ball.

It’s similar to how Kleenex has come to mean “tissues”, even though Kleenex is actually a single brand/company. In this article, from here on out, when I talk about AAU basketball, I am talking about AAU in the general, all-encompassing sense, not specifically THE Amateur Athletic Union Basketball.

Secondly, I am an AAU coach and the director of Pro Skills Basketball (PSB) Select, Charlotte’s Premiere AAU basketball club, so this article is not a case of an outsider spewing uninformed opinions. In fact, I’m a proponent of AAU basketball. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t do it or be involved with it.

There are some amazing benefits to AAU, but there are plenty of issues as well, which is what this article will be focused on.

Why? My hope is that some people may read this, get a clearer understanding of why something is a problem, and perhaps, work to correct the problem.

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HOW BASKETBALL CAN TEACH KIDS TEAMWORK & UNITY

As we continue with our blog series on F.O.C.U.S., we will now discuss Unity, which is the U in our acronym. As I’ve mentioned in past blog posts, on a personal level, the most lasting lessons that basketball and team sports taught me were the skills of working well with others.

I don’t remember a lot of scores, plays or highlights from my playing career, but the things that have lasted the test of time are the friendships I made along the way and the lessons I learned about working towards something bigger than myself.

Sometimes they were difficult lessons to learn. Sometimes they were downright painful. But below you will find 3 lessons on Unity that can be taught through basketball and other team sports.

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4 WAYS TO IMPROVE MENTAL FOCUS & CONCENTRATION IN BASKETBALL

basketball concentration
At Pro Skills Basketball, we use the acronym F.O.C.U.S. in our attempt to make a change in a youth sports culture that we see as flawed.

The “C” in F.O.C.U.S. stands for “Concentrate” which involves an essential and crucial piece to the development of the young mind both in basketball and in life.

In short, the simple definition of concentration is “the action or power of focusing one’s attention or mental effort.”

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