Camps is committed to helping athletes become stronger players on and off the court. One of the key ways to improve your game and your character is to improve your reliability.

Reliability means something you can “lie” back upon, fall back on or lean on.  Reliability is synonymous with trustworthy, dependable, loyal, and steadfast.

According to Forbes, the number one career-limiting habit is unreliability.  School teachers and coaches say one of their main issues is that classrooms and gyms are riddled with players and students who simply cannot follow through. Whether it is consistently turning in excellent homework on time or showing up for practice with a great attitude ready to work hard, reliability is a key skill you need to be successful.

Word on the street is that scouts for the NBA drafts and other major professional athletes are on the lookout for the reliable player. A player who consistently drains the shot under pressure is a player that is going to get playing time. A defender who shuts down his/her opponent or a leader who everyone on the team can fall back on is the mark of a reliable athlete. Reliability is now a key separator between those who get the job and those who don’t. It is the hallmark of those who make superstar status.

Here is a simple test:

  • Would those around you say you finish what you start?
  • Do your teammates trust you?
  • Does your family consider you reliable?



Free throws—nothing says reliable like free throws.  Making it at the line is a huge boost to your team. Be sure you know how to be an 80- 90% free throw shooter. If you shoot 10 free throws, your goal is to consistently make 9 out of 10.  Games are won and lost at the line.

Defensive stops—if you cannot stop your man from scoring, you are a liability to your team.  Unreliability on defense is brutal.  You can fix this. First, fix your mentality.  People who consistently stop their man have strong mental toughness.  They refuse to be scored on. They make it very personal.  Second, fix your tenacity. You have to outwork the offense. You have to wear them down and wear them out.  Third, fix your positioning. You need to understand the game so well that you are always in the right spot at the right time, and know how to interrupt the offense.  It is not enough to be between your man and the basket, you want to position yourself to disrupt what the offense wants to do. Fourth, you need to talk. You need to communicate to your team and be in a position to help if your teammate gets beat.

Ball handling—one of the core values we want for our campers is “Take Care of the Ball.”  If you can’t dribble smoothly with both your right and left hand, if you bobble the ball, or it slides through your hands, you must commit to your ball handling workout.  Serious players are secure with the ball. They can be relied on to handle the ball well even under intense pressure.

Passing—team unity breaks down when players refuse or cannot pass. There are a few reasons teams do not pass. First, those handling the ball are not confident in their ability to get the ball to their teammates. This happens because they are too busy trying to take care of the ball or their teammates do not look open. Second, those handling the ball do not want to pass because they want glory for themselves. Third, a teammate is not reliable to catch a pass or to make a good decision once they get the ball.

Typically, most people tend to blame others as ball hogs, especially those who are the worst ball hogs.  If you are not getting the ball as much as you feel you should, it is because your team doesn’t rely on you.  Reliable players have the ball. It is never an issue for them.  Take the hard medicine and look at yourself. It isn’t easy but it is the right choice if you want to be great.  Blame is an indicator of weakness.

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