Elite: The most overused word in basketball (Part 2)

Elite: Part 2

If you have not read Part 1, please do so before reading part 2.


 – Without going game speed in your workouts, you will never ever be able to produce the skills necessary to be ELITE. Marriott wants your cash to become Elite. The game wants your SWEAT! Your sweat needs to be earned and it has to be PURE! Get out of your comfort zone, get your heart rate elevated, go home tired, soar, and physically spent! That’s how WINNING IS DONE!

I will even go further and state something that sounds so obvious but it’s NOT. I have observed numerous AAU and HS games over the last 5 years and players “motors” were terrible. You want to be ELITE? Then play every possession hard in games. That’s the Allen Iverson recipe. You hate practice? Fine, but make sure you play hard in the games! Growing up in the same city at the same time, I saw first hand “Bubbachuck” played 5-6 hrs of pickup games daily vs grown, tough men. He played in the Boys Club, in Langley Air Force Base, Anderson Park King Street and Aberdeen outdoor courts. He played in open gyms with when college and pro players were home from break. I know, I was THERE TOO!

I have listed some practical things you can do in your games:

  • Embrace deflections
  • pressure the ball
  • spint to help 
  • closeout & contest with hands high and up
  • try/work to take charges
  • box out and THIRST for Rebounds
  • sprint on both ends of the floor
  • dive and retrieve loose balls
  • pick players up full court
  • touch a teammate when they do something good OR bad
  • touch & talk to your Coach with positive body language
  • sprint off the floor when you are subbed out
  • When your not playing CHEER, ENCOURAGE & be in the MOMENT on the bench
  • cut hard all the way to the rim
  • make one more pass for a great shot
  • screen physical
  • make open shots and free throws

The list above is ELITE. If you can do this on a consistent basis against good teams & weaker teams, if you can do this no matter who you play or when you play, then you have earned the title of ELITE. However, you are not going to have the habits to even produce these instincts unless you work on them by yourself, day in day out, month after month, year after year!

As I mentioned in the Marriott analogy, you have to take care and RESPECT THE PROCESS. You have to handle your business in the game and do your job above and beyond what is asked of you! Elite means to play hard, play smart, play together and WIN, not only games but CHAMPIONSHIPS! ELITE means to produce! YOU PRODUCE AND YOU DO IT WITH JOY AND ENTHUSIASM!


If you follow the advice above, you will get rewarded.

The Eternal Rewards:

  • REAL: Joy, confidence, peace, mental & physical strength, relationships
  • Education of problem solving skills
  • Toughness
  • Leadership attributes
  • Lifelong memories
  • Purpose
  • GRIT
  • Knowing you have mastered a craft (if you keep learning)
  • You will inspire others to do the same because your “light” is so bright & your ELITE passion is contagious

Some other byproducts (not as important as the above):

  • other people’s respect
  • fake friends
  • popularity
  • shiny trophies, rings & plaques
  • gear, a lot of it
  • material things like money 
  • opportunities to be a brand or help other brands 

Bottom line is Elite players get REWARDED (remember the free stuff at the Marriott!) There is nothing wrong with wanting to be elite but my point is you have to have an ELITE DAILY WORK ETHIC AND MINDSET. If you comply and are obedient to the process then you will get rewarded.

In closing you can do ALL the above but IF you can’t play at a high level in the game and produce then you can only be average too good. You will never be ELITE unless you have the total package:

  1. Earn it by learning and starting with the basics
  2. Invest insane amounts of time and energy to your craft/game
  3. Produce vs the highest forms of pressure over and over again! Be VALUABLE to your team!

Don’t be an elite player with an amateur swag! Be an elite player with an PROFESSIONAL MINDSET & GRIND! Be dripping with all that great stuff I mentioned!  

My new systematic curriculum has many solutions to your playing career or your coaching philosophy. It can help all players and coaches become ELITE.

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