For some players, it comes totally natural. They adapt quickly to their new surroundings. They’re the center of attention at every meeting. They make others
feel real comfortable. They thrive in their new system.
And then there’s the other 99.9% of us.
You only get one chance to make a good first impression. Sometimes your ‘one chance’ turns out to be the only shot you’ll ever get at a pro career. So make the best of it.
Here’s three surefire ways to ‘knock their socks off’. Then all you have to do is put your thing down on the court, and you’ll be all set to explode onto the international basketball scene.
GO HARD EVERYDAY
I shouldn’t even have to write this one. Finding instant success can be misleading. Being a dominant player from day 1 can lead to easing up on the work ethic that got you there. Stay focused on the ultimate goal–getting better and better each day. On the flip side, sometimes things can get frustrating. If you’re not playing as much as you’d like to. If you you’re not adjusting well to the new system. If the team is late on their payments… whatever it may be… don’t let it get you to the point that you lose focus. Some players totally bail out, and end up losing interest and pretty much start going through the motions as if they’re begging to be sent home.
Through the good and the bad, go hard everyday. You gotta remember. You’re playing ball. There’s no such thing as a perfect team, a perfect coach, or a perfect player. No matter where your skill level is, there’s always something to improve.
You most likely think the hard practices end when you leave college.
Try practicing 2 to 3 times a day, and having games only once per week. Most overseas coaches don’t put much effort into making practices very interesting either.
I once had a coach that made us do 5 on zero, full speed, ev-er-y-day to start practice. I swear we had about 50 plays. The gym was freezing cold.
to make matters worse, dude was a real as*terisk too. It’s hard to stay focused like that. But you must.
One thing you can do is to concentrate on sharpening a different aspect of your game everyday. Today shooting, today my reads, today my ball handling skills. And when you practice them, submerge your thoughts and efforts into them. That way you’re super focused. Go hard. Every drill. Every day.
What will happen is nothing else will be so important. You’ll be improving, and not really caring much about anything else.
But the great thing that will happen is your teammates will follow you. You’ll become a leader. Your coach will look to you as the anchor of the team–someone he can count on.
Combine those benefits with killer game-day results and you’ll be working on a huge contract extension.
LOVE THE KIDS
Most GMs and team Presidents like bringing their kids around. As a player on ‘daddy’s team’, the kids will love U. If you have any kind of swag, then they’ll think you’re the next Lebron James. Show them love. Dribble with ’em after practice. Teach ’em a move or two. If you’re tall, pick ’em up and let them dunk.
Your now the President’s kid’s favorite player in the world.
Add some killer stats to the equation and you could be looking at a nice raise when it comes time to get re-signed.
Sounds corny, but it’s true.
Another thing to do is to connect with the junior players on the team. Most of the local players will totally disrespect these kids. Show them love. Keep ’em after practice and do some extra shooting. Take them out to eat or step out one night and kick it with them. Alot of these players have come alone, and at a very young age to the city that you now play in. You would be surprised at how much YOU can learn from them. And in the end, you will have built long-lasting friendships with guys that will run through a brick wall for you.
If you are any kind of good person the two things above will come totally natural for you, but that’s if you take initiative to do them. And most of the time, its something that you already do back at home. What happens is that being around younger guys that love the game of basketball really helps to break down the cultural and systematic barriers that come into play when you sign overseas. Reconnecting with the ‘young buls’ helps you get back to being you– a student and fan of the game.
This is gonna be a tough one. One thing that’s true about most foreign players is that they love to complain. It can be really contagious. Before you know it, you think you’ve landed in the worst city, and on the worst team in the world.
If you read any of my other posts, then you know that you’ll be faced with a ton of challenges from day 1.
No TV in the apt? No phone? Late on the payment?
Your team sucks? You’re not feeling the system? You’re not playing like you’d hoped?
Staying positive in a hostile environment will allow you become the team’s centerpiece. The tougher the course, the more steady you have to be.
Give positive encouragement during team meetings. Just like negativity breeds more of the same, a positive outlook can also be contagious. And alot more powerful.
I’ve seen one man’s positive attitude help turn around the entire course of a team’s season. (Thanks Big Mike Higgins!!)
A positive mental outlook is the best kind of medicine you can use daily. It’s also a great reason for the coach and the entire organization to love you to death, which once again, results in a bump in your next year’s salary.
Learn more about how iBall United is helping players to build and sustain professional careers by visiting our website at http://www.iballunited.net
iBall United works for you:
•Finding Teams and Agents, •Evaluating Offers or Contracts, •Creating and Publicizing Professional •Marketing Packages •Pro Camps and Tryouts •Online Exposure •Professional Evaluation Camps •Finding Answers to Common Questions