Attitudes Necessary for Basketball Players Explained

by : Jimmy Cox

One must have that "do-or-die" spirit and wholehearted determination to give his best at all times. A basketball player, no matter how good, is a detriment to the team if he does not have a keen desire to play the game.


Many deficiencies can be overcome by a strong desire to achieve a goal - whether it is a position on the basketball squad or success in other fields.

Sacrifice for Success

You will find that your most successful basketball players are those who gave up many hours of their time to practice. They not only practiced during the season, but worked hard developing their game all year round.

In order to become an outstanding athlete the beginner must observe certain training rules. A diet of soft drinks, candy, and hot dogs cannot and will not build a strong body. Foods should consist of green and yellow vegetables, meat and eggs, which are high in protein. Fruits and dairy products, including a minimum of three glasses of milk each day, are important.

A boy needs eight to ten hours of sleep every night. Lack of sleep will affect his speed, stamina and skill, which are essential in athletics. Dates and parties should be reserved for weekends that have no games scheduled.

Smoking and drinking do not mix with athletics. Because smoking accelerates heart action and restricts blood vessels it may affect performance in sports which require endurance. Exhaustion and physical illness are partners of the smoking habit.

Alcohol reduces the power to judge distance and speed. Liquor affects coordination to the point where the drinker cannot even stand or walk.

It has been said by many coaches that the boys who drink or smoke are not dependable. When the going gets tough, they will let the team down.

There will be many times when a boy will be tempted to break training rules. One must have strong character to impose self-discipline when necessary.

Proper attitude, constant practice and strict training produce skill which may offset mere physical power.

Accept coaching

It is an honor to play on a team. A player must remember that he is just a small part of it. It takes five players, all working together, to produce a winning team. When each boy plays his part well, a successful team is born.

The best players make the team. Players may not always agree with the coach's choice of the starting five, but keep in mind that the coach wants to win as much as anyone. He will not permit personal feelings to interfere with the selection of squad members. It is up to you to prove to the coach that you belong in the line-up.

You can do this by reporting to practice on time and by working hard. Above all, be big enough to take constructive criticism. The desire to improve must come from within. No one can help you unless you have a healthy and respected attitude toward improving yourself.

Work hard to develop two or three dependable shots. Learn to use both hands. The player who uses both hands in shooting, passing and dribbling is more valuable to his team than one who uses only one. Master the defensive skills. A player who works only on offense is only half a player.

A player who learns early in his career that defensive skills are just as important as scoring ability will be going a long way toward eventual success. Work hard on the fundamentals, such as dribbling for speed and control, a variety of shots, good footwork and defensive balance.

There is no place on the squad for boys who use unsportsmanlike tactics. Play hard, but fair! Always play to win! A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins. If victory does not come your way, be big enough to accept defeat! Congratulate your opponents for their good playing, and do not offer alibis.

Accept the officials' decisions. These men work hard and are above reproach. Blaming officials is a poor excuse for your defeat. Be a gentleman at all times!

Remember, athletics, like mathematics or history, is one of the skills in the field of education.