If a player really wants to improve at the game of basketball here is some advice for maximum development. Improvement should involve several key areas.
First, focus on hard skill development. Hard skills are acquired through intentional focus and repetition such as shooting, ball handling and offensive skills. A serious player may work on these about 2-5 hours per day depending on ability, age and specific goals. Hard skill improvement is linked to investment of time. Too often players are so focused on “advanced” skills, and they haven’t yet mastered the critical fundamentals to build from.
The second focus should be on soft skill development, specifically understanding the game and learning the nuances to react. This is best accomplished in a very competitive and intensive setting which allows for many opportunities to get the ball. Find a good gym or a group of competitive players and play lots of one-on-one and three-on-three – anything that provides more touches with the ball isolates hard skill work. Five-on-five is one of the slowest ways to build skills because of the simple mathematical reality that players get less time with the ball. Also, traveling to games can be time wasted.
Third, develop a specific physical training plan such as building strength, quickness and vertical jump. Meet with a trainer to evaluate strengths and weaknesses. Work to build an intensive workout which emphasizes growth in these areas.
Fourth, develop a mental plan working on confidence, personal faith, and mental toughness. This is a crucial separator between good and great athletes.
Finally, find a mentor who can help with planning and provide accountability to goals. The reason why camp is such a great training place is because players get saturated in both hard and soft skill training, they get an improvement plan in place and they can make the important needed changes.