Showing Up Early - a Secret to Success in Basketball 

April 3, 2024

Showing Up Early - a Secret to Success in Basketball 

Imagine you’re at a basketball game. On one side, there's a team that's always there before the sun rises, gearing up for practice with focus and determination. On the other side, there's a team strolling in at the last minute, barely catching their breath before tip-off. Who's likely to have the advantage? 

Punctuality in basketball sets the stage for success. In this article, we'll explore why showing up early matters and how it can give players and teams a winning edge. From physical readiness to mental preparation, team cohesion, skill enhancement, and establishing a culture of success, being punctual goes beyond the clock – it’s about being ready to seize every opportunity on the court.

Improved Physical Preparedness

Showing up early for basketball practice or games gives our bodies the best chance to perform at their peak. When players arrive early, they have the opportunity to warm up properly, which is key to preventing injuries and maximizing performance. Early warm-ups allow muscles to gradually loosen up and increase blood flow, reducing the risk of strains and sprains that can occur when jumping straight into intense activity. 

Arriving early also gives players more time to stretch and get their bodies prepared for what is ahead, which is essential for any athlete. This extra time provides the opportunity to concentrate on areas that need work, like warming up, foam rolling, or mobility work. When players make it a point to show up early, they are able to get themselves ready physically, which sets them up for success on the basketball court. 

Mental Readiness and Focus

Being early helps players get their heads in the game. It gives them a chance to mentally prepare and visualize what they need to do. This time is crucial for getting into the right mindset, whether it's focusing on goals for the game or visualizing successful plays. 

And, showing up early means players don't have to rush, which can help them avoid feeling anxious or stressed out. Instead, they can arrive calmly, ready to take on whatever challenges come their way on the court. 

Teamwork and Chemistry 

Getting to practice and games ahead of time is about the whole team. It gives players and their teammates a chance to bond and build that special team spirit. They can chat, joke around, or even strategize together before the game starts. This time together helps everyone feel more connected and united, which is super important when out on the court. 

The team can talk about game plans and tactics, making sure everyone is on the same page and ready to execute when it's game time. Trust and communication are key ingredients for any successful team, and showing up early is a great way to strengthen those bonds and get everyone working together like a well-oiled machine. 

Skill Development

Arriving early for basketball practice isn't just about being punctual; it's a golden opportunity for players to level up their skills. Getting there ahead of time means they have more time for individual drills to sharpen moves. Whether it's perfecting their dribbling, working on their shooting technique, or knocking down throws, the extra time can make a big difference in honing their skills. 

Coming ahead of time also gives players the chance to focus solely on their game without distractions. Coaches also play a key role during this time, as they can provide personalized attention and feedback to players who show up early. Whether it's correcting form, offering strategic advice, or giving players that extra boost of encouragement, coaches are there to help them maximize their potential. 

Setting a Standard for Success

Showing up early for basketball is about showing commitment to the game and the team. When players make it a habit to arrive early, they're sending a clear message that they're dedicated and serious about what they do. This sets a positive example for everyone else on the team, establishing a culture of punctuality and professionalism. 

By prioritizing early arrival, players not only show respect for their teammates and coaches, but they're also holding themselves accountable. This fosters a sense of discipline among players, pushing everyone to strive for their best both on and off the court. Ultimately, by setting a standard for success through punctuality and dedication, players lay the groundwork for a team that's not just good, but great.

Strategies for Being Early 

Here are some practical tips to help your aspiring basketball player arrive early to practices and games:

  • Set multiple alarms: Encourage your child to use their phone or alarm clock to set multiple alarms before practice or game time, ensuring they wake up on time and have ample time to prepare.

  • Prepare the night before: Motivate your child to lay out their basketball gear, pack their bag, and check their schedule the night before before getting a good night's sleep. This simple routine can minimize last-minute rushing in the morning.

  • Leave early: Teach your child to plan to leave for practice or games earlier than they think they need to, allowing for unexpected delays like traffic or road closures.

  • Use a buddy system: Support your child in coordinating with a teammate or friend to arrive together or carpool. Knowing someone else is relying on them can motivate them to be punctual.

  • Set reminders: Help your child use reminders on their phone or write notes to remember practice or game times. This can help them stay organized and on track throughout the day.

  • Visualize success: Remind your child of the benefits of arriving early, such as being better prepared physically and mentally. Encourage them to visualize themselves arriving early and performing well, which can motivate them to make it happen.

By incorporating these strategies into their routine, your child can improve their punctuality and ensure they're always ready to give their best effort on the basketball court.


To wrap things up, showing up early in basketball is a big deal. It's not just about being there on time; it's about players getting ready to do their best. Throughout this article, we've talked about how being early helps get our bodies and minds in gear, brings the team closer together, improves our skills, and sets a standard for how seriously we take the game. So, whether you're a player, coach, or part of a team, making sure you're on time is key to reaching your basketball goals. 

My approach at Ness Basketball is set up to support the development of young players through different training programs and even summer camps! Feel free to reach out to learn more about how to get your child plugged in. 

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