We all hate having flaws.
We hide them or ignore them or object to them. Basketball players are no different. Can’t dribble? “I am a shooter”. Can’t shoot? “I am a slasher”. We get away with it, for a while, but, eventually, our weaknesses are exposed.
So, what does the NBA’s greatest player do about his weaknesses?
“My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”
– Michael Jordan
Easier said than done, Mike.
Accepting our weaknesses is one thing; fixing them is a whole other adventure. Transforming flaws into strengths will always require discipline and hard work – MJ was the king in that regard. There are no easy ways around that.
But you can be smart about how you do that. By using data collected in training, practices, and gameplay you can locate the exact weak spots in your game.
Let’s say you have been shooting badly lately. Maybe the problem is not your shooting mechanics, but where you shoot. Is your free throw percentage high, but your jump shot low? What is your accuracy at the top of the three-point line versus the baseline?
Or maybe the issue is when you shoot. Do you miss more shots later or earlier in games? Is your shot selection different based on who you play with, how you personally are playing, or if your team is winning? What are your practice percentages versus your in-game percentages?
Your coach has stopped playing you because he says “you are not playing any defense.” Well, if you have the data, you – and, hopefully, your coach – can sit down and look at what exactly he means by that.
Maybe it is a team issue or a matchup issue. Maybe your defensive rebounds are low, but your defensive rebounding percentage is high. What kind of players are you guarding? Where do they score and do you foul them?
You get the point. Having the right information tells you what a good shot is for you and what you need to change to lock down your next opponent. Advanced statistics reveal where you are most and least efficient in different areas of your game.
Weaknesses are allowed. We all have them. The greatest basketball player in the world concedes them (hesitantly). Anyone who tells you differently is afraid or stubborn.
But it is not enough to simply identify weaknesses.
You must isolate and attack them as an opposing coach would. Then make them your strengths.
Like His Royal Airness did.