Mike Jones, the Coach of the famed DeMatha High School basketball team, posted this letter, which was written to him by his college basketball coach, on Twitter recently. All good players who want to be better should consider this advice:
This is wonderfully written, genuinely helpful advice, especially for a player who has an advanced skill set. I interpret the "SEEING" as meaning the reading of the defenders and the offensive teammates. I would add the importance of the eyes and what I call "non verbal" communication. Players who have learned to create scoring opportunities for themselves become much more dangerous when they learn to create scoring opportunities for others. This coach mentions the importance of "looking up" while dribbling. A player who is not looking up is not seeing or communicating with teammates, and he is certainly not creating scoring opportunities for them.
I also like the advice to work to create positive habits during pickup games. I refer to "good" and "bad" pickup basketball. The good kind is a very productive use of a player's time. The bad kind is harmful because players are fooled into thinking they are working on their games and they are actually learning how to play poorly. There are also good and bad AAU basketball situations. Players should participate in good pickup, AAU, and school basketball situations or spend the time working alone or with like minded players who want to get better.