How bad do you want to reach your goal? Bad enough to write it down and place it where you’ll see it day and night? Do you want it enough to work towards it’s attainment every week, regardless of whether you’re sick, tired or injured? Are you hungry enough to create a Goal Map?
If so, I can almost guarantee that you’ll achieve your dream.
Players who write down their goals and track their progress can’t be stopped. You begin creating your future the moment you put it on paper.
One way to ensure that your dreams come true is to create a Goal Map. It’s a way to measure, track and improve skills that will help you become a better basketball player.
There are three keys to utilizing any map:
- Know your starting point (TEST)
- Select your destination (CREATE)
- Travel from your starting point to your destination (WORK)
Achieving your dreams requires the same process.
Keep reading and I’ll share my three-step process for creating and tracking your path to success.
STEP 1: TEST
The first step to achieving a goal is to find out your starting point.
If you don’t know where you’re at, it’s impossible to know what your next step is.
Too many players tell me they want to jump higher and then follow up by telling me they don’t know what their vertical is. How will you know if you’re jumping higher if you don’t know how high you can jump?
Other players tell me they want to improve their ball handling, but they have no idea how to measure their success. This is why we need to test!
TEST YOUR VERTICAL
If you want to jump higher, you first need to know how high you can jump. One way to test your vertical is with myVertical. It’s a free app that allows you to place your phone in your pocket and simply jump.
For accuracy of testing and to give a physical target, I use a Vertec with my college and pro players. Unfortunately, they cost over $700, so I that’s why I suggest using the MyVertical app.
There are many free apps that test vertical jump, so try out a few and see which one works best for you.
Since basketball requires players to jump in a variety of situations, I have athletes test their vertical in 5 different ways. This gives me a better picture of how athletic they are on the court.
Here are 5 ways to measure how high you can jump:
- Standing still, jump off two feet
- From a running start, jump off two feet with a left, right approach
- From a running start, jump off two feet with a right, left approach
- From a running start, jump off your left foot
- From a running start, jump off your right foot
Testing all 5 different ways will show your athletic strengths and also areas that need improvement. Make sure to write down you measurements for your Goal Map.
TEST YOUR HANDLES
If you want to improve your ball handling, you’ll have to find a test to use as a starting point.
One dribbling test we use in the Leadership Commitment is the Seated Challenge. This ball handling exercise will increase the quickness of your handles and the strength of your forearms.
If you want to test your handles using the Seated Challenge, grab a ball, take a seat, and watch the video below.
After you complete the challenge make sure to write down your score. This will be the starting point to your Goal Map.
STEP 2: CREATE
Now that you know where you’re starting from, you can create the path to where you want to go. This is where the Goal Map comes in.
To create your Goal Map, print out the PDF and simply fill out the measurements on the vertical axis that correspond with your goal.
Different tests require different testing frequencies, but for most goals, tracking your progress on a monthly basis will be enough time to show improvement.
STEP 3: WORK
Dreams only come true when you wake up and go to work. Follow your written plan every week and then test yourself at the end of the month to track your progress.
If your goal is to improve your ball handling, here’s a 5 minute training session with Michael Stockton that will improve your Seated Challenge Score.
There’s a reason why Michael is so good at seated dribbling… he practices it before every training session.
If you want to improve your vertical leap, make sure you’re doing jumping exercises every week. Check out my youtube channel or read my blog for more jumping exercises.
Depending on your goal, you might not see improvements every month. Expect that this will happen and continue to track your progress. Remember, what you measure improves!
You build self-confidence by continually setting goals and accomplishing them. It’s the kind of unshakable confidence that can only be earned through hard work.