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Finding Your Fit

January 21, 2019 AT 12:00 AM

What to look out for when you join a new team

Not every player has the luxury of choosing their squad, but if you are given this opportunity, it can take you a step further on your basketball journey. Depending on the stage you are at, you might be content to take a smaller role on a winning team, or to take a bigger role on a young team that focuses on player development. In some cases, you might just want a fresh start.

Coach: Firstly, you want a coach who sees your value. A coach who is ambivalent about your position or strengths may not focus on developing your skills. Beyond just preferences however, a good coach will always manage to impart some wisdom and to help you view the game on a higher level. 

Playing style: Are you more of a blazing speedster, or do you like to set up and pound away on the low block? If you are the former, a half-court set offense may not suit your strengths, while an incessantly up-tempo pace may not maximize the abilities of the latter player.

Teammates: As different pieces of the puzzle, teammates have to fit together through unique and complementary strengths. Not every player has to be all-world or good at every aspect of the game. Instead, the drive-and-kick slasher and the corner shooter can make each other better, as can the high-post player and the cerebral pick-and-roll floor guard. Other than skills, intangibles such as trust and camaraderie can make your basketball experience the most enjoyable pocket of your life. 

Culture:  Team culture can play a big role in your experience as well. In a positive team culture, everyone pushes each other harder, both on and off the court. You are conditioned to be accountable and committed in all areas of life, from your diet and training regime to your academic performance. This creates not just a winning team, but a one where everyone contributes.

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