The Greats Never Stop Practicing.
There was a study done awhile back by Pure Sweat Basketball that stated players only get 13 shots an hour during practice (excluding skill work and shooting drills.) Most practices at this point in the year only last about 2 hours. If we used the math we learned in the study, that is less than 30 shots for a player per day. Players must realize most coaches use their practice time to prepare the team for their next opponent, or to correct something they saw on film. Practices (good or bad) are designed to get TEAMS better, not necessarily PLAYERS. The sooner players realize this, the better off they will be.
Most players that want to be great spend their off-season putting in purposeful work and outworking the competition. Why does that change during the season? Why do players stop putting in the extra work once games start? Why is it only important to outwork the competition in the off-season? I would venture to say that at least 9/10 players show up a few minutes before practice, and leave as soon as coach allows them to after practice. For some reason players think that just because they had practice that they got better as an individual player. All it takes is 5-10 minutes before and after practice to fine-tune your skills. While most of your teammates will be messing around and shooting unrealistic shots, you can be making your game better.
Below I have put together a few purposeful drills that can be done before or after practice. There is no excuse to stop working on your game once the season starts.