Steph Curry – Just How Good Can He Get?
Nobody expected that Stephen Curry would become an NBA phenomenon and would win last year’s MVP award a few years ago. Now that he’s done that, everyone else is trying to figure out just how, this regularly looking basketball player, is becoming better and better with every passing day.
His teammates must be feeling like they are in a casino and are winning the exclusive bonuses at Playtech casinos whenever they see him score a three pointer, dribble past an opponent or provide them with an unexpected assist.
Curry is currently 27, but his game still evolves, which is frustrating for opposition coaches since the Warriors man gets more difficult to contain in every next game. Most players reach their peak at an earlier age and the process of learning and including new aspects to their game slows down by the time they become 27.
Stephen however, does things differently than most players do. He seems to be reaching his physical peak this season, and his learning never seems to stop. While everyone else used the offseason to relax and take a break from their hectic seasons, Curry trained harder than ever, both mentally and physically.
A crucial part of this training process was his coach Brandon Payne. In his interviews, he gives us an insight into how his personal pet project called ‘Steph Curry’ became so unbelievably good. He says that the pair work on regular things, like dribbling, shooting, handling the ball, game strategies, and they also do some mental and physical drills just like most coaches and players do.
Steph Curry – Just How Good Can He Get?
However, the difference between this dream-team pair and other player-coaches teams is in the way they approach and conduct training. The first thing that Payne praises in Curry is his openness towards new moves, ideas and things he can add to his game.
He also applauds his desire to make corrections in his game and to constantly self-assess himself. So even though everyone else thought that it was pretty self-centered and cocky when Curry said that he considered himself to be the best in the world, Curry said it because it was the truth at the moment.
This self-awareness has contributed to improvements in several aspects of Curry’s game. For example, before the season started he knew that he needed to work on his explosiveness, and also to find ways how to utilize that explosiveness in creating separation between him and his markers.
Curry and his coach stayed true to their words and the first noticeable improvement in his game this season was his improved ability of running away from and evading defenders. However, opposition coaches soon become aware of the new ploys that Curry uses and try to counter them in the next game. Basically, as his coach says, it’s an on-going game of cat and mouse, where Curry and Payne must anticipate the future and be one or two steps ahead of opposition coaches and scouting teams.
Another aspect of Curry’s game on which the pair focus is decision-making. Curry is the best decision maker in the NBA by a country mile, and that’s because decision-making is a part of his game on which he works every day in training.
Curry knows that he can’t out-jump or out-muscle opponents like some physically more imposing players. But one thing he can do, is to use his mind to its full capacity to focus on the situation at hand, to choose the best decision and then to react accordingly. On top of that, he has to do all of this in the frantic pace the Warriors are playing at.
This has been an aspect of professional sport that has long gone unnoticed, and coaches thought that decision-making comes naturally to talented players and that they didn’t need to employ extra training strategies to the ones they already used to improve the process of making a decision in an in-game situation.
But this is where Payne and Curry have excelled these couple of seasons. Payne has introduced Curry to a gimmick by the name of FitLight Trainer that utilizes different lights and signals to help the player what decision to make in a specific game scenario. This, basically, slows the game down for Curry, while it is still at normal speed for others. And now that the others have seen the results that this revolutionary training method brings, they are trying to catch up and use the technology themselves.
Curry and Payne also use strobe-light goggles, ropes, tennis balls and other novel techniques during their training sessions to improve not just Curry’s decision making, but also his agility and efficiency in movement.
So if there were questions about whether Curry can replicate last year’s MVP performances before the new season had started, now the question on everyone’s mind is just how much more can he improve. The answer to this, based on all the evidence we have seen so far this season, is ‘A lot.’