Do you want to drastically improve in basketball like Jimmy Butler? Here’s how he did it.
Jimmy Butler was not a good offensive player in his few seasons in the NBA.
The 30th overall pick in the 2011 draft, who was selected after Derrick Williams, both Morris brothers, and a dude named Chris Singleton, averaged 2.6 points per game in his rookie season.
As a sophomore, he averaged 8.6 points. Then, the following season, Butler averaged 13.1 points per game as a starter.
That may sound like an improvement, but he played 39 minutes a game and shot 39.7 percent from the field, which is not efficient at all.
Needless to say, Butler, up until this point, was not a good scorer. He was an excellent defender, but not adept at getting points on the scoreboard.
This all changed in his fourth NBA season (in 2014-15).
Butler played the same amount of minutes and games as he did in his third season but performed superbly on both ends of the court.
He averaged 20 points on 46.2 percent shooting, 3.3 assists, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game.
How Did Jimmy Butler Improve So Much, So Quickly?
But how did he go from being an athletic defender who can barely shoot to one of the best two-way wings in the league?
Hard work. That’s it.
There’s this tale about Jimmy Butler that says there was this one off-season where all he did was work on his game.
He cut his cable and locked up all of his video games so all he could do was think about basketball and train (or did he rent a cabin without any form of electric entertainment? I don’t recall exactly. Anyway…).
That’s how obsessed he got with improving.
Don’t believe the tale and need more evidence of how hard he works? Click here to check out this gruelling ball-handling drill that he still uses today.
How Can You Improve like Jimmy Butler
If you want to improve like Jimmy Buckets, you actually don’t need to go as hard as him. You don’t need to put in as much work.
He is a professional basketball player and you are not.
But you will have to put in consistent effort. You will need to practice regularly.
What does that look like?
Well, if you want to work on your overall game, then you have to work on all of the fundamentals.
That means you have to practice footwork, ball-handling, shooting, passing, and defense.
And since you’re working on so many skills, you’re going to have to work out at least twice a week.
To break it down, your workout could look something like this:
- DAY 1: Ball-handling drill (ex. Lane Dribbling) and shooting drill (ex. CON Man Drill).
- DAY 2: Footwork drill (ex. Stockton Drill) and defense drill (ex. Defensive Suicide Slides).
You’ll do this for a few weeks and then switch up the drills and intensity to make the workouts more challenging.
Alternatively, you can also buy one of my basketball activity guides. They are training and conditioning schedules that can make your practices easier.
Everything is laid out and all you have to do is follow the instructions (much like those meal prep plans).
Learn more about them here.
As a side note, it will take time before you see improvements.
You’re not going to blow up, skills-wise, like Butler. You’re an average Joe (or Jane) and it will take a while for you to improve.
So, you have to be patient and remain persistent.
After his MIP season, Butler’s career exploded.
He’s become a multi-time NBA All-Star, multi-time All-NBA and All-Defensive. He also led his team to the NBA Finals in 2020.
And all of this happened because he decided one summer to grind instead of relaxing.
What are you going to choose?
(I hope it’s to moderately and consistently grind as this will be the best way for you to get better in basketball.)