by Alan Stein
Every player on the planet should have one goal for the New Year – to become an M.V.P. No, not the Most Valuable Player. There can only be one of those.Every player should strive to become a More Valuable Player! Everyone can be that type of MVP! Becoming a More Valuable Player will help you increase your playing time, make your teammates better, and improve your team’s ability to be successful. There is no excuse for not becoming a More Valuable Player. Why?
The things you need to do to add value to your game and to your team are 100% within your control. They have nothing to do with height, athleticism, or basketball talent.
Here are 7 ways you can become a More Valuable Player immediately, whether you play 30 seconds or 30 minutes per game:
1) Arrive at every practice early so you can put in extra work. Don’t wait for practice to start; prepare for it! Not everyone can shoot like Ray Allen. But everyone can prepare like Ray Allen:
2) Schedule a private, individual meeting with your coach. Begin the meeting by asking, ‘what do you need from me to help our team be more successful?’ Then do whatever your coach requests.
3) Play Present every practice and every game. Learn to focus on the next play (put mistakes behind you immediately), focus on what you can control (your attitude and your effort), and focus on the process (build your success ‘brick by brick’). This will allow you to maximize your ability, regardless of your role or playing time.
4) Give your absolute best effort every practice and every game. Go after loose balls. Take charges. Sprint the floor in both directions. Set solid screens. Block out every time a shot goes up. Doing these things in games will give your team a much better chance to win.
5) Communicate effectively! Communication is an invaluable trait. Talk on defense. Echo all offensive plays. This is one of the easiest, yet most effective ways you can immediately add value to yourself and your team. Just talk!!
6) Be a great teammate. Focus on making the players around you better, every practice and every game. Help your teammate up if they dive on the floor. Acknowledge them if they make a great pass. Encourage and support your teammates from the bench when they are in the game. Grab water for them during time-outs. Stand up and clap when they come out of the game.
7) Keep your circle tight. Don’t let anything penetrate your locker your room. If your season is going well, don’t allow your team to get cocky or complacent. Work to make sure your teammates stay humble and hungry. If your season isn’t going very well, don’t let negativity or jealousy become a cancer. Stay positive and continue to work hard every day.