Did you know that basketball dates all the way back to the late 19th century? It’s true; baseball may have a slightly more storied history, but basketball is one of the oldest modern sports being played in the USA (and elsewhere, of course) right now. It was created by a man called James Naismith, who needed to come up with an exciting game for his students to play, since physical exercise was mandated. He conceptualised a game that could be played either indoors or outdoors, and thus, basketball was born.
If you’ve ever seen basketball players at work and thought “I could do that”, then hey, who knows – you might be right! However, becoming a professional basketball player takes a lot of work and dedication. It’s something that people usually begin to undertake from an early age, since basketball players tend to physically peak around their late 20s. Still, it’s never too late to at least enter into the sport on some professional level, so let’s take a look at what you need to become a pro basketballer!
Build a base for yourself
If you’re serious about training as a pro basketball player, then one of the things you’re going to need is a permanent base of operations. This is where you can store gym equipment, train if you’re not able to do so outdoors (or in your usual gym), and brush up on your basketball knowledge. If you’re just starting out in the world of home ownership, you can use mortgage loans to find your dream home and start planning out your basketball career. Don’t forget to allocate space for some fitness equipment!
What differentiates professional basketball players from amateurs? There’s a certain degree of innate talent involved, but for the most part, an intense training regimen is what separates the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. A great training routine for basketball involves cardio, strength, and resistance; basketball demands a lot from your body, so it’s important to make sure all of your muscles are ready to enter the fray, so to speak. Make sure that your training regimen has been calculated alongside a fitness professional so that it’s as effective as possible.
Learn all you can about the sport
Naturally, you’re not going to get very far as a professional basketball player if you don’t try to learn everything you possibly can about the sport. That doesn’t just mean physically preparing for your career; it also means brushing up on your history, learning about all of the arcane rules and regulations you might come up against, and generally researching basketball to as much of an extent as possible. Don’t think of this step as boring; instead, take it as a learning opportunity that will give you an edge.
Join an amateur team
You’re not going to get noticed by pro scouts if you don’t join an amateur team and start playing some basketball. There are amateur teams and leagues all over the world, so you should be able to find one that matches your ambitions. Just be aware that it’ll likely be easier to enter into an amateur team with a real chance of scouting pros if you’re younger; unfortunately, basketball, like most sports, tends to favour those who are in their late teens or early 20s when it comes to scouting out professionals.
Talk to pro basketball players
If you get the chance, it’s a good idea to talk to as many pro basketball players as you can. This will give you an idea of what the reality of a career in basketball is like; you may have some starry-eyed dreams, which is understandable, but it’s important to know what it’s really like being out there on the court. You could also listen to some great basketball podcasts that dissect the NBA (which is the world’s biggest basketball league) and talk about the ins and outs of the sport itself.
Go to games
There’s no better way to learn what it’s like to be a professional basketball player than to watch them at work, so why not go along to a few NBA games if you can? Securing tickets to these events can sometimes be difficult thanks to massive demand, but if you can get hold of some, it’s a great learning opportunity. Watch how the players move and how they interact with their space. See what kind of techniques they’re using and try to figure out how you can incorporate that into your own game.
Create a portfolio
You might not think that making an online portfolio is that important as a basketball player, but you’d be mistaken. If you can upload some videos showing some of your major highlights during games, then you’ve got a better chance of being spotted by online talent scouts. Ask someone you know to film you while you play (assuming that the league you’re playing in allows this, of course), or talk to your league’s filming crew about using some of their footage for your portfolio.
Be serious about your goals
You won’t make it as a professional if you aren’t completely dedicated to the sport and everything that goes with it. All professional basketball players have one thing in common: they’re hungry, and they need to succeed. If you don’t have that drive and that hunger, then you may find yourself overtaken by those who do. It’s important to take your training, your play, and your post-match analysis seriously so that you can keep improving as a professional hopeful.