Players often ask what they need to do to be fully prepared for iBall National. First things first. Be in great shape, and be ready to put in work from start to finish. You should also come mentally ready to dominate in all aspects of the combine. This not only includes the way you play but also the way you demonstrate your character.
I’ve prepared some additional thoughts below:
Have No Fear
As a former player whose pro career did not take off until being named First Team at a Pro Exposure camp, iBall Founder, Howard Brown shares some insight into what it takes to successfully dominating a camp opportunity.
Don’t be Afraid to Play your game
iBall FOCUS is your time to shine. But be sure to do it by showcasing the skills you already have–and not trying to be a player you are not. That means to do whatever it takes to show your overall skillset, but at the same time, play within yourself. Its not the easiest thing to do, especially in a camp setting. But know that it is a long day and you will have alot of opportunities to stand out both individually and as a team player.
Don’t be afraid to show an Expanded Your Game
If you are a guard that can also exploit defenders in the post, then fill in at the post spot during a drill or two. If you are a big, being asked to play inside, but you also shoot from deep, then let it go. If you are a superior defender, then request to defend the other team’s best player. Likewise, if you are asked to play in a position that you are not naturally a good fit, then it is always best to try and do your best. You are most likely being asked because the coach sees you as the best option for the position. If you try but are not comfortable in the spot, then you can always ask to be moved.
Don’t be afraid to Make Quick and Decisive Decisions
Playing the game at a very high level means that you understand the game, your positioning on the court, mismatches, and subtle advantages. Some people might say you can see plays happen before they even happen. Even if it means you make the wrong move or you miss the shot, making a quick and decisive move or decision (shot, cut, extra pass, etc) is always the best way to go. To that effect, holding the ball, over-dribbling, or any type of slowing down the flow of the game so you can ‘get yours’ (figure out what is going on) will show us clearly that you are not ready to compete at the pro level. Things like requesting clear-outs, when you dont have an advantage, and then take a bad shot or turn the ball over, will not only make you look bad but it will also negatively affect the players , coaches , and camp as a whole. Please save yourself and us the negative spotlight; know what you do, and do what you know.
Don’t be Afraid to ask Questions
As professional players, we are always learning. If something is a new concept or is not clear then it is OK to ask for clarification. If you fail to ask for clarity and you then are out of position or do a play or drill incorrectly, then your IQ will be questioned, not the skill of the coach or instructor.
Don’t be Afraid to Market Yourself
If you have business cards, hand them out. If you see someone you want to introduce yourself to, then do it. Be sure to have your iBall Player Profile fully updated and direct people to contact you through it. Some combines frown upon this. If they do, then you should not go. Making connections is one of the most important things you can do at a pro combine.
Don’t be afraid to be a player that Knows your strengths & limitations
If it is a not a good shooting day, then don’t force it, do something else. If an injury is prohibiting you playing defense or going 110%, then either fight through it or sit down, Don’t risk being perceived as a player that ‘half-assess’ competitive drills. If you are unsure of the drill or play that is being described, then get to the back of the line, watch, learn, and then do your thing. Likewise, if you something is being introduced and you are confident that you grasp the concept well from the beginning, then don’t be afraid to step up and be a leader. And most importantly, if you have everything going, and it is turning out to be your day, then don’t be afraid to request the rock in positions where you are going to continue to dominate.
Don’t be Afraid to Make a Lasting Impression
Lastly, understand that being a pro comes down to much more than your ability to play the game. Your overall camp performance is similar to a job interview. Important is not only the way you play the game, but things like your ability to follow directions, adjust to new concepts, communication skills, attitude and character are things that our staff will be talking about both during the event and after. You want to show your best at all times and in all aspects, on and off the court.
Don’t Hesitate to be a Leader both on AND off the Court
Everyone may not be your favorite person in the world, but to the best of your ability, you want to show your best face to coaches, scouts, and even iBall administrative staff. Doing so will earn you recognition in many ways, both on the court and behind the scenes as evaluation is a fluid process. In many regards, your evaluation has already begun.
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