It takes significant energy and wherewithal to restore what is lost. Although difficult, it is possible.
Mike Conley of the Memphis Grizzlies has returned to his aggressive ways in this, his 4th season in the NBA. In his brief college days at Ohio State, the lightning-quick point guard was known for his attacking, penetrating style. He had excellent court awareness and was adroit at distributing the ball to open teammates; teammates that were often open as a result of Conley’s slicing forays into the paint. When the defense adjusted, Conley hit an open teammate. When the defense hesitated, Conley nailed an assortment of running floaters and driving lay-ins. His performance in the NCAA Tournament his freshman year impressed most observers so much, he became the 4th overall pick in that year’s draft.
Once he got to the Grizzlies, even if on a subconscious level, Conley acquiesced and deferred to his (mostly veteran) teammates. He became content with drifting around the perimeter on both offense and defense. Only on rare occasions did he demonstrate the same verve, fire, and scintillating dynamism so prevalent when he was a Buckeye. He lost confidence in his shot, which made him even less aggressive, which made him more hesitant to shoot, which made him uncomfortable on the court. It was a vicious downward spiral that was akin to being caught in a whirlpool of sticky tar: why resist? He was going to fail anyway, so he rarely shot.
Conley is intelligent and saw his diminishing results and determined their cause. During the off-season he studied tapes of games in which he was at his most aggressive, and conversations with his coaches assured him that he could afford to be more selfish with the basketball. The most effective point guard is always a threat to score, as well as pass, so Conley upped his looks at the basket and his shot attempts. This season, he’s played some of the best basketball of his life and has led his resurgent team to a solid spot in the standings.
When in doubt, attack! If uncertain, attack! It is far easier to decrease aggression than to increase aggression - stay at maximum aggressiveness until your coach tells you to dial back. Chances are, he never will.
From November 2010, http://raising-a-man.tumblr.com