Monday, November 28, 2011

The Days When the Shot Isn't Falling

CU vs. UNC - 2003 NCAA Tournament.

  One thing I have always prided myself on as a basketball player is the ability to be a multi-dimensional player. Being one-dimensional just won't cut it. There are too many facets of the game to ONLY be good, or productive, at one of them. The players I respect and admire the most have ALWAYS been the players that can impact a game in more than one way.

  We all know that the part of the game that gets the most shine, the most publicity, is the ability to put the ball in the bucket. That's a no-brainer. Everyone wants their name in the headlines as the top scorer. But the reality is, what happens when that shot's not falling? No matter how much you practice, and how good a shooter you are, you WILL have those days! So when that game comes, do you find a way to contribute in other areas, or do you become an ineffective player?
2009 - Germany.
  For me, that game happened on Saturday versus Limoges. I got open shot after open shot, and didn't knock down nearly enough of them. Sure, it's frustrating! But you can get frustrated with yourself and quit playing, or you can dig down and play even harder. Grab rebounds, get some steals, create open shots for your teammates. The game doesn't end on the offensive side of the ball!

2009 - Germany.
  I think that is the process of maturing as a basketball player as well. You can't pout when you miss shots. I know I still become furious with myself for missing shots. But the difference between me now, and 5-10 years ago, is now I don't let it affect the rest of my game. I work even harder to positively impact the game in other ways.

  Actually, I think it's kind of fun. How you can literally dominate the game without necessarily scoring. No, I don't think it's fun when you can't hit the broadside of a barn. But what I mean, is it's fun to find other ways to be a dominant force.

2008 - Sweden.
  Think about your favorite player. What do they do on the court that draws your admiration? We all know Michael Jordan was an incredible scorer. But he also wasn't afraid to mix it up defensively, hit the boards, or find an open teammate for an easy bucket.

2007 - Poland.
  On the women's side, the same can be said for Tamika Catchings. She's been a player I have admired since I was in high school. She plays incredibly hard, and absolutely fills the stat sheet. That's something I've always tried to emulate.

  You can't be a one-dimensional player and make it very far in this game.

   My team had a great win versus Limoges on Saturday. Winning by 20-plus points, for our second blow-out win in a row at home. Even when I missed more shots than I thought I should, I managed to walk off the court happy with the way I played. Yeah, I felt I could have played better (but I always feel that way), and shot the ball better. But because I dug down I found other ways to contribute, I still was proud of the way I played.

  That's one of the things I love about basketball: there are so many ways to affect a game, or even one specific play. There is not one thing that makes you a player. It's the combination of all the things you can do, that makes you standout. There's always a way to make an impact on the court, you just have to find it.


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