The ability for an athlete to receive a college basketball scholarship by putting in minimal skill work on the basketball court, spending a few days of shooting/lifting easy and not playing pickup games is a major concern in the state of Nebraska! I understand that basketball in Nebraska has never been on the Midwest or national radar, but something needs to change immediately. Many kids in Nebraska truly believe they will play college basketball just because they are average/good and it will happen because… well, because it just will.In the short time Vigliancohoops has been training kids in Nebraska, kids are learning to shape up and get after it. Vigliancohoops is making a statewide/national impact.

If your child wants to play college basketball they truly need to look in the mirror. The old adage “if it was easy everyone would do it” applies. Hearing kids say they haven’t shot hoops in a week or two is unforgivable.  Basketball is a mental game.   Part of that is mentally focusing on getting to the gym and putting in the work it takes to develop your skill set, the other part is mentally developing the muscle memory it takes to be a great shooter through repetition.  There is alsoa big difference between shooting hoops and actually getting in a solid workout. Going half speed 2 times a week (shooting hoops) is not going to work. You are tired and winded during a game you need to practice at the same pace so your body is prepared. Kids need to swallow their pride, change their mentality and realize that they are their own driving engine and their own brake. The amount of time, hard work and sacrifice to receive a scholarship is enormous. There are always going to be certain kids that have more natural talent and physical skills.  Even at some point the talented have to take it up a notch to meet their ultimate goal.

I can’t remember many times when I was in middle school, high school or college when I would go more than 2 days without playing basketball, playing pickup or getting in a solid workout. In 2013 it’s easier to pick up a PS3 remote or tweet all night than go out and work on your basketball skills. You always need to be in the frame of mind that if I’m not working, someone else is and that person may be who I am competing against for that last scholarship.

Kids must be willing to break out of their comfort bubble and play pickup basketball. One of my best memories as a child and teen was playing pickup for an hour or two a few times a week in the off-season. You work on your skills, and for a true test you bring it to the court for 5 vs 5 or 1 vs 1. The easy way out is to say I’m busy or I don’t like playing with people I don’t know. Playing pickup is huge to a player’s development and growth on the basketball court.

As the season has started you need to take a step back and see how your personal goals are being met. If you find yourself not in the best of shape, it’s time to put in extra sprints after practice. Is your shot off or not dropping like it was in the fall/preseason? Time to spend extra hours  in the gym putting up hundreds of shots during the week. I know with practice, games, school and life, time can be limited, but if you time manage there can be hours found!  Please think about your goals and what you truly want out of the rest of the 2013/2014 season. Getting to work on the basketball court and putting in the right amount of time is on you! It’s time to get recommitted or step it up even more to chase that dream! At the end of the day, it’s only YOU that can change the course of your basketball career.