I once heard the saying “Basketball is 80% mental and 20% physical.” Of course, this statement made no sense to me in my early years, because to be honest with you, most of my scoring came from athleticism and flat out being better than everyone else my age. I remember putting up 30 points at the age of 12 and thinking to myself, man this game easy. Oh, if only basketball would have stayed that way.
When I entered high school the game of basketball changed drastically. I was bigger stronger and faster, but so was the competition. I remember playing AAU for a team named Fastbreak in the summer. Coach saw that I was handling the kids my age pretty well (15) so he decided to move me up to the Under-17 team. This is when I learned the game of basketball was 80% mental.
That whole summer I was playing with kids that were taller, faster, and much more athletic. What was usually an uncontested lay-up became a block into the crowd and the crossover I used against kids my age became a steal going the other way. This was my baptism into the game of basketball. I was paying my dues and I had to find a way to compete.
What I learned that summer was how to score with my head and not just my feet. The first thing I did was break the game down into small segments. In high school you have four eight-minute quarters. My goal was to score at least five points in each. I said to myself, all I have to do is get at least two buckets and a free throw in eight minutes. Piece of cake. This changed the way I saw the game of basketball. The year after my summer AAU epiphany (sophomore) I average over 20 points a game and lead my team to a County Championship. By my senior year I was averaging 24 points a game and lead the entire Central Jersey in Scoring.
People would always ask what my secret was for becoming a prolific scorer. The secret was simple but I never let anyone know until now. Do the numbers. One bucket per quarter and you average 8, eight buckets means 16 points per game but with three buckets and you’re the big man on campus averaging 24.
When I was in college my goal was to score at least 10 points before half time. The more points I scored early, the easier the game became in the second half. The Godwin Theory is the reason I became the All-Time single season scoring leader at my high school and the All-Time Leading scorer of the University of North Florida.
I assume if you are reading this then you are interested in becoming a better player or coach. The first thing I tell people is there are two important aspects of applied learning: the what and the how. As, a kid I was tired of people telling me what I had to work on but never how to do it. That’s why I started my basketball instructional video website JumpStartHoops.com. I want to share what made me successful in my basketball career.