BLOG: “Great Players” By Alan Stein
of additional ones submitted by my followers:
1. Great players… go after every rebound on both ends of the floor – they are crafty and
2. Great players… run the floor as fast as possible on fast breaks AND defensive transition.
3. Great players… are defensive stoppers – they stop their man as well as help teammates. They
do the things offensive players HATE!
4. Great players… contest all shots. They don’t go for ball fakes or shot fakes. They deflect
passes, bump cutters, and take charges.
5. Great players… don’t gamble on offensive or defensive. They aim to make the RIGHT play; not
the HIGHLIGHT play.
6. Great players… are strong with the ball. They rip through hard on offense, ‘chin’ all rebounds,
and don’t expose the ball when dribbling.
7. Great players… play under control and play at different speeds. They know that playing slow
can be VERY effective.
8. Great players… practice just as hard as they play in games. They don’t have an ‘on and off
switch’ – they are ALWAYS on!
9. Great players… allow themselves to be coached. They make eye contact, listen, and welcome
coaching. They crave getting better.
10. Great players… are great teammates. They are supportive, high energy, and make their
11. Great players… ‘Play Present.’ They focus on the process, not the outcome. They focus on
what they can control. They don’t get distracted.
12. Great players… take advantage of every opportunity to get better. Every workout, every
practice, and every game is a chance to improve!
13. Great players… are mentally and physically tough. They are comfortable being uncomfortable.
14. Great players… can pivot both ways off of either foot and can dribble, pass, and finish around
the basket with either hand. They don’t have a ‘weak’ hand.
15. Great players… love and respect the game of basketball. They don’t play for money or fame;
they play for love.
16. Great players… are unselfish passers. They hit open teammates. They know the goal is to get
THE best shot; not THEIR best shot.
17. Great players… don’t commit stupid fouls. They know their greatness is eliminated if they are
on the bench in foul trouble.
18. Great players… are students of the game. They watch film. They study opponents. They study
19. Great players… value every possession. They aren’t careless with ball. They make smart
passes and take high percentage shots.
20. Great players… don’t wait for the workout or practice or game to start… they prepare for it!
They prepare mentally and physically.
21. Great players… are super competitive. They hate losing more than they enjoy winning. They
compete in everything they do!
22. Great players… always know the time and score. They know how many time-outs they have
as well as who is in foul trouble on both teams.
23. Great players… log the game in the mind. At any point in time, they can tell you exactly what
happened, on both ends of the floor, the last 3 possessions.
24. Great players… are assertive with the ball, welcome contact when driving to the cup, and get
to the free throw line.
25. Great players… immediately think ‘Next Play.’ They don’t dwell on mistakes (missed shot or
TO)… they make up for it on the other end.
26. Great players… make plays, not excuses. They don’t care if the refs suck, if the floor is
slippery, or if they have a cold. They get it done.
27. Great players… are the first ones in the gym… and the last ones to leave EVERY day.
28. Great players… don’t worry about getting exposure. They focus more on never getting
29. Great players… elevate their teammates to become great players too!
30. Great players… know that their legacy will be judged on their ability to win championships.
31. Great players… would rather play ball than anything else. They truly love to play.
32. Great players… are well rounded and have a complete game. They can ‘hurt’ you in a variety
33. Great players… are top notch communicators. They talk with a presence on both ends of the
34. Great players… want the ball in their hands when the game is on the line because they know
they have put in the work to DESERVE success.
35. Great players… train with a purpose. Their workouts are focused, intense, and progressive.
Nothing they do on the court is casual.
36. Great players… give back to their program and are humble and grateful for what basketball
has done for them.
37. Great players… are responsible for tone and effort of the entire team… every workout,
practice, and game.
38. Great players… are always thinking two plays ahead.
39. Great players… hold themselves, their teammates, and their coaches accountable. They
believe in collective responsibility.
40. Great players… play in straight lines and sharp angles. They make hard basket cuts and set
41. Great players… love playing and competing against other great players.
42. Great players… know that no detail is too small and that the smallest of details can make them
43. Great players…have high values. They value their teammates, winning, and self improvement.
44. Great players… are never content and never complacent.
You know my favorite part about this list? Nearly every trait on this list is 100% controllable! They
are characteristics you choose to have! It doesn’t say, ‘great players… are 6’8”’ or ‘great players…
can jump out of the gym’ – it lists things that you can make the conscious choice to work on and
Are you up for the challenge? Are you ready to be a great player?