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1. Always be in great physical condition. You cannot control how tall you are or how fast you are, but you can control your physical condition. There is no reason anyone should be in better condition than you.
2. Be willing to work hard at developing your individual skills. Many players would like to be a good basketball player, but few are willing to work hard enough-not just in practice, but in their own free time-to develop the fundamentals necessary to be a great player.
3. Develop good shooting ability. Practice close, medium, and long range shots. Learn to shoot close to the basket before you move back to further distances.
4. Become a good free throw shooter. This requires plenty of practice, concentration, and confidence.
5. Learn to dribble with either hand and without looking at the basketball. You can practice dribbling from many situations away from the gym…dribbling to and from school, while waiting for the bus, while watching TV.
6. Develop good passing ability. This will require the ability to make crisp passes, to get the pass by an opponent, and to know when to pass.
7. Learn to "run the floor" from endline to endline. Few of your opponents will be able to keep up with you and prevent you from getting easy shots.
8. Blockout when rebounding on defense. Blocking out your opponent on shots should be attempted every time a shot is taken, not just some of the time.
9. Know when and how to go for the offensive rebound. Offensive rebounding requires a great deal of hustle and anticipation.
10. Develop good footwork for various offensive and defensive situations. Different offensive footwork is needed for the stationary jump shot, for shooting off a screen, for shooting off a dribble drive, for making an entry pass to a teammate, for pivoting away from a defender, and numerous other offensive situations. Defensive footwork requires quick sliding to contain a dribbler, the ability to approach a ball-handler, and to guard a driver.
11. Study the game so that you can become a floor leader. You can talk to your coach about the game, read books on basketball, and watch NBA and college games on TV to increase your basketball knowledge. The more you know about the game the better leader to your teammates you will be.
12. Maintain a good mental attitude. More athletes have failed because of a faulty mental attitude than any other reason. The "mentally tough" player will maintain a positive, confident attitude, will play unselfishly, and will not allow mistakes or criticism by coaches or teammates to affect attitude. Accept criticism and mistakes as inevitable and use it to make yourself a better player.

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