The summer is here, which means players who are not participating in the NBA Finals or working with Team USA for the Olympics are using this period to rest and improve their skill set for the upcoming season. During this period of the year, in the last couple of years, we’ve seen numerous videos on social media of players working with their personal coaches in the gym. Some of them use that time to improve their ball-handling, shooting, conditioning, or something else they think would benefit their development.
Some of the players during those summer workouts look unstoppable, and we’ve seen some of them go through some pretty strange-looking workout drills that don’t seem to be beneficial when they actually face off against the real competition in the game. That leads to a problem in which it seems a lot of the players are not developing correctly and work on things that are not beneficial for their growth.
Former NBA player Andrew Bogut talked about this on his podcast, where he said young players often have the wrong approach towards developing their skillset. Many of them listen to their coaches, who guide them in those workouts, often neglecting what really matters for their growth as a player. Bogut suggests a much simpler method in which players should observe other great players and what they do and simply replicate that as much as possible.
A big part of developing as a player are the players that you study. You have to look in the mirror and be honest about the type of player you are and pick out pros you can study that play the same style. If you’re a big wide center, studying Trae Young is a waste of time. You need to be studying Marc Gasol or Nikola Jokic. Study guys who fit your mold that have figured it out at the highest level. I think that’s the problem today with trainers, and don’t get me wrong, I like trainers, but I think a lot of trainers train guys all the same, training them to try to play like the top five players in the world and that’s just not smart and realistic for a lot of players.Andrew Bogut, via Rogue Bogues
A lot of the things Bogut mentioned make perfect sense and are actually the best way for a player to observe, learn and implement to their game. If you are a skinny guard with an excellent shooting touch, there is no point you watch strong forwards and how they play the game. The focus should be on monitoring the best shooting guards and mimic what they are doing and potentially do it even better. The same applies to centers; who should stick to watching someone like Nikola Jokic or Joel Embiid and see what they did that made them successful.
Obviously, there is no guarantee for success, but at least if you have the proper method, it can make life much easier because you can focus on the essential things. Many so-called trainers consult players to work on aspects of the game that are not necessarily beneficial for them or their team and end up being stuck at the same place as they were initially.
It’s not like all trainers are wrong or don’t have the necessary knowledge, but things could be done simpler and young players need to look close enough and see who their successful counterparts are and replicate many things they are doing. Kobe did it with Jordan; Trae watched Steph, Embiid’s idol, was Hakeem, and it just shows you shouldn’t be reinventing the wheel but follow what the greats around you did.
Want to stay up to date with the latest news and reactions? Download our NBA news feed for breaking news, live stats, and game coverage.