This time of year average players are looking for ways to become above average; above average players are looking for ways to become good; good players are looking for ways to become great; and the great players are looking for ways to join the elite.
However, sometimes the task at hand can seem overwhelming and many players just don't know where to begin. Should they attend camp? Hire a personal trainer? Find a skill development coach? Work out with their friends and teammates?
If you happen to find yourself in a similar situation, then try starting your self- improvement journey with the "10% Rule." The rule itself is extremely simple - just increase everything you do and everything you are asked to do by 10%.
Does your team practice for 2 hours? Then stay after for an extra 12 minutes working on your game. Has your coach suggested that you take 200 shots every day? Then don't walk off the court until you shoot 220. Are your teammates running 30 sprints a week? Then you suck it up and run three extra ones.
Applying the 10% Rule is going to accomplish three things:
First of all, you are going to get better as a basketball player. As an example, shooting 20 extra shots every week day will give you an extra 100 shots a week, an extra 400 shots a month, and almost an extra 5,000 shots a year. If you are beginning your freshman year in high school you will have taken an extra 20,000 shots by the time you graduate. How can you not be better after taking that many shots?
The same principle can be applied to all other areas of the game as well. Passing, ball handling, speed & agility, strength training, etc. can all improve with as little as 10% more effort
Secondly, you will establish yourself as a leader and as an example to the rest of your teammates. Your teammates and your coaches will notice you coming in a little earlier, staying a little later and working a little harder.
They will also notice your gradual but steady improvement and you becoming more conditioned and better skilled. Because they see you differently they will begin treating you differently. Your teammates will have more confidence in you and your coaches won't panic if you make a mistake. Everyone will cut you a lot more slack because you put in just a little more effort.
Third, your own self confidence will start to skyrocket. Every day you will walk into the gym knowing that you've worked harder than your teammates and that you've exceeded your coach's expectations. Not only will you know that, but they will know that as well and that will give you even more confidence. A lot of players have performed better than anybody ever thought possible simply because they a steadfast belief in themselves.
Obviously utilizing the 10% Rule is not the only step you'll ever need to take on your journey to improvement. However, it is a great way to start and more importantly it's something that you can begin using right away. What are you waiting for?