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"TRANSFORM YOUR GAME AND MAXIMIZE YOUR SKILLS WITH PRE-PRACTICE SUCCESS PROGRAMMING"


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TRANSFORM YOUR GAME AND MAXIMIZE YOUR SKILLS WITH PRE-PRACTICE SUCCESS PROGRAMMING

By

Mike Mahon
Professional Basketball Performance Consultant

Do you ever wonder why you go to the gym and sometimes feel lethargic, while other times you are pumped up to set a personal best in your workout? Do you wish that you could consistently practice at high levels of intensity and continually improve your performance with every set and rep of each drill every single time you decide to workout?

If I could show you a step-by-step blueprint to guarantee your success, and allow you to determine the exact outcome of your basketball practice session would you use it?

If you said yes to any of the following questions, then you will absolutely love what I am about to share with you.

It’s a fact that the majority of players who practice their individual skills, do not improve and exceed their level of competency every practice session.

But why….Well for starters these players do not have a focused plan of action that they systematically implement to guarantee their success.

Success is something that is pre-determined, not purely chance.

What I am about to share with you is a modified version of some of the mental preparation strategies that I learned from one of my personal success coaches Mr. Pete Siegal of www.incrediblechange.com

Upon learning this information, I have integrated my own variation of the system into the training programs of my elite athletes, private clientele as well as myself.

If you choose to integrate this method that I am about to share with you, then you will watch your physical performance and skill level sky-rocket to new heights that were previously unattainable to you before. You will become instantly focused and prepared for each practice session, and there will be no more guesswork when it comes to your performance on the court, only results.

So if you are still with me, and you are ready for the results then let’s unleash my Pre-Practice Success Blueprint.

45min-hour pre practice

Step # 1 Have your pre/post-workout meals, and supplements ready to go

Step # 2 Consume your pre-workout meal and supplements.

Step # 3 Have your workout log (Chart your shots, passes, dribbles, sprints etc.. and make sure to keep yourself accountable), with your scheduled workout, pen and stop watch packed and ready to go.

Step # 4 Clearly and vividly write and define for yourself the type of practice session you wish to experience that day. ( Ex: Visualize from the time you enter the gym to the time you leave. What type of warm-up will you be doing? What skill sets and drills will you be performing that day? What type of intensity will you bring to each drill? What is your personal goal for that practice session?) To train at a high level for peak performance, the following steps are crucial and must be strictly adhered to in order to unleash your full workout potential!

Step # 5 Clearly and vividly write and define for yourself exactly why you will experience this type of workout. (Visualize why you will experience it Ex: I will achieve my personal best today during my workout because I am mentally prepared, I am free of distractions, I know what drills I am going to perform, I know how to perform them competently, and because of my preparation I will achieve and exceed my goals that I have set for this practice session!)

Step # 6 Clearly and vividly write and define for yourself exactly what type of result you wish to achieve that day. ( Ex: From my the first second of my warm-up , to the last second of my final drill I will be completely focused. Every single rep, of every single drill I practice, I will execute the skills with excellent fluidity, precision at my greatest intensity. I will not be bothered by anyone. This is my workout, and I will achieve my desired results and goal for today’s workout!

Step # 7 Actually drive to the gym you will be practicing at and perform your workout the way you envisioned it. From the time you warm up, to the time you are finished with your practice session, you are in complete control of your workout and are executing your maximum performance that you pre-determined and are experiencing it completely the way you envisioned it through the workout.

Step # 8 Cool down and consume your pre-workout meal replacement and supplements.

Step # 9 Participate in some relaxation exercises and feel like a true champion knowing you have performed your very best workout exactly according to plan!

Closing:

I hope that you have enjoyed my article on pre-practice success programming that I have shared with you today. I am extremely honored that you took the time out of your day to share it with me.

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact me at highoctanefitness@yahoo.com , and I will be more then happy to assist you and help you to be the best you can be.

Until next time …….Practice Smart, Stay Focused, And dominate the hardwood 24/7

 

Mike Mahon, CSCS, Board Certified Gym Therapist, Professional Basketball Performance Consultant

If you enjoyed this information stay tuned for my new product with 12 of the world’s top basketball experts, and sign up for my free basketball mini-course at:

http://www.basketballexperts.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DEVELOPING MENTAL TOUGHNESS IN BASKETBALL PLAYERS AND TEAMS

by

BRIAN W. WILLIAMS

Just like every other area of basketball, we believe that a coach must study mental toughness and have a well thought through plan to help players develop and improve their mental toughness.

There are hundreds and hundreds of definitions of mental toughness. Here is a place to start as mental toughness applies to basketball.

"Mental toughness is the ability to control thoughts and actions and maintain a focus on what is truly important in a calm and poised way under competitive pressure."

It is important that your players know and can explain whatever you define mental toughness to be.

Bob Knight has stated on several occasions that the mental part of basketball compared to the physical aspect is a ratio of four to one. If the mental aspect is that significant, all coaches need to have a philosophy and a plan to improve mental toughness in all players.

Here are some ideas for things you can do to improve the basketball mental toughness in the players in your program.

Take time every practice to rehearse different pressure situations that arise in games. Having a definite plan that players have practiced will help them focus on what to do under pressure and less on the pressure itself.

Make it a point of emphasis that bad body language, moping, pouting, displays of disgust with officials, and other negative behaviors are training the players for failure. Correct them any time they occur in practice, games, or in the locker room.

Be a role model of poise and self control. Players will feed off of you and draw confidence from your mental toughness.

Use the fact that the subconscious mind does not know the difference between a real and an imagined experience. Work with your players on visualizing success and performing skills the correct way.

Do not allow anyone in your program to accept or make excuses.

Point out times in your game films or games you record on TV when a lack of poise and mental toughness by an individual cost a team a chance to win.

Have some type of phrase you can use when a player makes a mistake to focus them back on mental toughness and what is happening next in the game. A simple phrase such as "Play through it!" can be your signal to them that we need to get on to the next play.

Teach players when they make a mistake to recognize it, admit it, learn from it so that it doesn't happen again, and then forget it so that it doesn't affect any more plays.
We all need to keep in mind that every bad habit that is broken and every good habit that is established takes an average of 21 days. So as we work to establish and improve mental toughness in our players, it is a long process.

Brian W. Williams is a former Indiana High School Basketball Coach with 20 years of experience at various levels of coaching . His website, The Coaching Toolbox, http://www.coachingtoolbox.net, is a resource site for basketball coaches and players of all levels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basketball Shooting Off the Dribble Drills

By Hal Wissel

Shooting off the Dribble Drill 1. Straight Drive One-Dribble Jump Shot

This drill leads up to shooting jump shots off the dribble going to your strong-hand side and weak-hand side. Start with the ball at the left box outside the lane, your back to the basket. Pass to your self by tossing the ball high so it bounces high at the left elbow of the court. Run to the left elbow and catch the ball, your back to the basket, using a one-two stop, landing on your inside (left) foot first. Pivot on your inside (left) foot, using a front turn toward the middle and face the basket. Make a jab step with your right foot, while making a shot fake, showing the ball high. Be in triple-threat stance and in position to shoot first. Create space by dribbling once with your right hand toward the middle of the free throw line. Jump behind the ball. Pick up the ball in front of your shooting knee with your shooting hand on top and your balance hand under the ball. Jump straight up and shoot a jump shot. Land in balance. Now perform the drill, starting from the right box and tossing the ball to the right elbow. Catch the ball while landing on your inside (right) foot first and pivot on your inside (right) foot, using a front turn toward the middle. Create space by dribbling once with your left hand toward the middle of the free throw line. Note: A right-handed player will have farther to jump when going to the left. A left-handed player will have farther to jump when going to the right in order to pick up the ball in front of the shooting knee. Record the number of one-dribble jump shots made out of 10 attempts, driving to the right from the left elbow. Your goal is to make 10 consecutive one-dribble jump shots off a straight drive right. Record the number of one-dribble jump shots made out of 10 attempts, driving to the left from the right elbow. Your goal is to make 10 consecutive one-dribble jump shots off a straight drive left.

Shooting off the Dribble Drill 2. Crossover One-Dribble Jump Shot
This drill develops the ability to shoot jump shots off a crossover dribble while going to your strong-hand side and weak-hand side. The drill begins the same way as the previous drill. Begin with the ball at the right box outside the lane. Toss the ball to the right elbow. Catch the ball with your back to the basket using a one-two stop, landing on your inside (right) foot and pivoting toward the middle. Face the basket, making a jab step with your left foot, while making a shot fake, showing the ball high. Be in triple-threat stance, a threat to shoot first. Make a crossover step with your left foot to the outside. Create space with a long dribble with your outside (right) hand toward a 45-degree angle with the backboard. Jump behind the ball. Pick up the ball in front of your shooting knee with your shooting hand on top and your balance hand under the ball. Jump straight up and shoot a jump shot. Land in balance. Now perform the drill, starting from the left box and tossing the ball to the left elbow. Catch the ball while landing on your inside (left) foot first and pivot on your inside (left) foot, using a front turn toward the middle. Make a crossover step with your right foot to the outside. Create space with a long dribble with your outside (left) hand toward a 45-degree angle with the backboard. When dribbling to your weak-hand side, you can practice using two dribbles making a crossover dribble on the last dribble to pick up the ball in front of your shooting knee. Record the number made out of ten attempts using a crossover one-dribble jump shot from the right elbow, driving right toward a 45-degree angle with the backboard. Record the number made out of ten attempts using a crossover one-dribble jump shot from the left elbow, driving left toward a 45-degree angle with the backboard. Your goal is to make 10 consecutive crossover one-dribble jump shots off a crossover drive right and to make 10 consecutive one-dribble jump shots off a crossover drive left.

Shooting off the Dribble Drill 3. Step-Back One-Dribble Jump Shot
This drill develops the ability to shoot jump shots off a step-back dribble. As in the previous drill, begin with the ball at the right box outside the lane. Toss the ball to the right elbow. Catch the ball with your back to the basket using a one-two stop, landing on your inside (right) foot and pivoting toward the middle. Face the basket, making a jab step with your left foot, while making a shot fake, showing the ball high. Be in triple-threat stance, a threat to shoot first. Stop and read the defender. If the defender makes a retreat step, take a quick step-back away from your defender with your jab-step foot and at the same time dribble back with your strong hand. Jump behind the ball and pick it up in front of your shooting knee with your shooting hand on top. Shoot a jump shot. Maintain balance by picking the ball up at your knee and exaggerating the follow-through of your shoulders, head and shooting hand toward the basket to counter any tendency to lean your head and shoulders back on your shot. Now perform the drill, starting from the left box and tossing the ball to the left elbow. Catch the ball while landing on your inside (left) foot first and pivot on your inside (left) foot, using a front turn toward the middle. Record the number of step-back one-dribble jump shots made out of 10 attempts from the right elbow. Record the number of step-back one-dribble jump shots made out of 10 attempts from the left elbow. Your goal is to make 10 consecutive step-back one-dribble jump shots from the right elbow and to make 10 consecutive step-back one-dribble jump shots from the left elbow.

Shooting off the Dribble Drill 4. Step-Back Jump Shot off More Than One Dribble
This drill develops the ability to shoot a step-back jump shot off more than one dribble. Begin with the ball at the offensive left box outside the lane. Toss the ball to the left wing. Catch the ball with your back to the basket using a one-two stop, landing on your inside (left) foot and pivoting toward the middle. Face the basket, making a jab step with your right foot, while making a shot fake, showing the ball high. Be in triple-threat stance, a threat to shoot first. Create space with two dribbles middle (strong-hand side for right handed player). Dribble with your outside hand, keeping your eyes on the basket. Protect the ball with your inside hand and your body. Free yourself from your defender by dribbling back and jumping behind the ball on your last dribble. Pick up the ball in front of your shooting knee with your shooting hand on top and your balance hand under the ball. Jump straight up and shoot a jump shot. Exaggerate the follow-through of your shoulders, head and shooting hand toward the basket to counter any tendency to lean your head and shoulders back on your shot. Land in balance.
Now perform the drill, starting from the offensive right box and tossing the ball to the right wing. Catch the ball while landing on your inside (right) foot first and pivot on your inside (right) foot, using a front turn toward the middle. Face the basket, making a jab step with your left foot, while making a shot fake, showing the ball high. Be in triple-threat stance, a threat to shoot first. Create space with two dribbles middle (weak-hand side for right handed player). When dribbling to your weak-hand side, dribble with your outside hand, keeping your eyes on the basket. Protect the ball with your inside hand and your body. Free your self from your defender by taking a third dribble back using a crossover dribble to the front of your shooting knee. Jump behind the ball. Pick up the ball in front of your shooting knee with your shooting hand on top and your balance hand under the ball. Jump straight up and shoot a jump shot. Exaggerate the follow-through of your shoulders, head and shooting hand toward the basket to counter any tendency to lean your head and shoulders back on your shot. Land in balance.
Record the number of step-back jump shots made out of 10 attempts driving middle from the left wing. Record the number of step-back jump shots made out of 10 attempts driving middle from the right wing. Your goal is to make 10 consecutive step-back jump shots driving middle from the left wing and to make 10 consecutive step-back jump shots driving middle from the right wing.

Shooting off a Step-Through Drill. Shot Fake Step-Through Jump Shot
This drill develops the ability to shoot jump shots off a shot fake and step-through. As in the previous drill, begin with the ball at the right box outside the lane. Toss the ball to the right elbow. Catch the ball with your back to the basket using a one-two stop, landing on your inside (right) foot and pivoting toward the middle. Face the basket, making a jab step with your left foot, while making a shot fake, showing the ball high. Be in triple-threat stance, a threat to shoot first. Stop and read the defender's hand position. If the defender's hand is up on the same side as your jab step, step-through with your jab-step foot past your defender's lead foot and move your head and shoulders under your defender's arm. If the defender's hand is up on the side away from your jab step, crossover and step-through with your jab-step foot past your defender's lead foot moving your head and shoulders under your defender's arm. Protect the ball with your head and shoulders and move it away from the defender's reach as you shoot a jump shot. Now perform the drill, starting from the left box and tossing the ball to the left elbow. Catch the ball while landing on your inside (left) foot first and pivot on your inside (left) foot, using a front turn toward the middle. Record the number of step-through jump shots made out of 10 attempts from the right elbow. Record the number of step-through jump shots made out of 10 attempts from the left elbow. Your goal is to make 10 consecutive step-through jump shots from the right elbow and to make 10 consecutive step-through jump shots from the left elbow.

Edited from:
Wissel, H. (2004). BASKETBALL: Steps to Success. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL. 2nd Edition.
Wissel, Hal. (2005). Basketball Shooting: Confidence, Rhythm and Mechanics. Basketball World, Suffield, CT.
Wissel, Hal. (2005). Basketball Shooting: Off the Pass, Off the Dribble and In the Post. Basketball World, Suffield, CT.
Available at: www.basketballworld.com
Dr. Hal Wissel conducts SHOOT IT BETTER Mini Camps worldwide and year round for players ranging from NBA and WNBA to youth level.
Visit: www.basketballworld.com or call BASKETBALL WORLD at 888-812-5452 or 860-668-7162
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GIVING THE GREEN LIGHT

By

CHRIS KENNEDY

As we began summer workouts not long ago, one of our returning underclassmen was shooting the lights out. When I went over to praise her improvement, I asked her why we had not seen that last season. She replied, "Because you told me not to shoot." I was puzzled, as I racked my brain trying to think of a time I had ever told a player not to shoot the ball. When I asked her what my specific words were, she said "You told me I didn't have the 'green light'."

So there it was, the proverbial "green light"-the words which imply to a shooter a James Bond-like license to gun from anywhere on the court at any time. This player had associated my telling her she didn't have the "green light" with my not wanting her to shoot. I soon concluded the disconnect between my words and her perception was not her fault. I had failed to properly explain my philosophy on shooting and what I meant by the term"green light".

My philosophy on shooting is fairly simple -- as my high school coach and mentor said, "You can't shoot too much; you can only miss too much." He also believed in feeding the hot shooter until that shooter went cold. These are basic principles I have tried to instill in my teams, without using the actual term "green light". I want our players to know that the hot shooter has a "green light" as long as she is taking smart shots within her range and within the flow of the offense.

But what exactly is my "green light" philosophy? While the hot shooter may earn a "green light" during the game, who has this privilege from night to night? Simply put, whatever your "green light" philosophy is, you must determine who is allowed to shoot and when they are allowed to shoot. Two things I recently saw on television provided perfect illustrations for these points.

First, you have to determine who is allowed to shoot. A movie trailer for the remake of the football classic "The Longest Yard" demonstrates this wonderfully. One of the football hopefuls asks Adam Sandler why he can't play quarterback. Sandler tosses him the ball and says "Hit me, I'm open!" The player sails the ball far over Sandler's head, and Sandler replies, "That's why, now sit down."

Many coaches use practice situations to determine game privileges. If a player makes so many of a certain type of shot in practice, then he can shoot that shot in a game. Some coaches use a variation of the "green light" system, giving players a "green", "yellow", or "red" light, as the situation dictates. Other coaches simply refer to statistics as a method of determining who shoots well enough to earn a "green light" and who doesn't.

In our program, we try to avoid using the term "green light". We encourage each player to determine her range and comfort zone and to shoot within those parameters. We also try to avoid taking a player out for missing shots. We like to only take a player out if she is shooting outside her range or outside the offensive flow. We do, however, use what we call the "three rule" -- in a game, each player gets three shots from her comfort zone. If she misses those three shots, we strongly recommend her next attempt to score be on a stickback or in transition.

We have found this works well in our program, as players quickly learn who can be counted on to make a basket in crucial situations and who can be counted on to take an ill-advised shot. Those who shoot smart will play and those who choose poorly will sit, creating a sort off "green" and "red" light without using the actual terms. But that is not to say this works well across the board -- some players need to actually hear the words for it to hit home. You must determine what is best for your team.

Once you have determined who can shoot, the most vital element is to reinforce when to shoot. As mentioned earlier, some players interpret a "green light" as permission to gun from anywhere on the floor at any time. But even a "green light" has to give way to the game situation.

In Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals, with under a minute and a half to play, Miami trailed Detroit by a single point when guard Dwayne Wade jacked up a jump shot with 15 seconds remaining on the shot clock. The Pistons secured the rebound and held on to win the game and return too the NBA Finals. Did Dwayne Wade have the "green light"? As an Olympian, and an All-Star, he was one of the main reasons the Heat were in the Eastern Finals and had earned the privilege to shoot at a clutch moment. But the Heat also had Shaquille O'Neal, one of the league's all-time top players, who had been having his way with the Piston defense in the fourth quarter. Wade, meanwhile, was injured, having missed Game 6 altogether and was struggling from the floor in Game 7.

So Wade has the "green light", but Shaq has the hot hand. Who should have taken that shot? That's a question Heat fans will debate for a long time. But it is a question you will have to answer as part of your "green light" philosophy. Do you feed the hot scorer or leave the game in the hand of your top shooter? Do you let your top shooter take the shot, or try to find a better shot, even if that means allowing someone other than your top player to score?

As important as it is for your "green light" player to know when not to shoot, that player has to know when to shoot as well. We had that very situation last season in a heated game with our bitter rival. We were tied with 10 seconds left to go and ran a clearout for our all-state guard. She drove the baseline and as the help rotated over, our freshman post player was left wide open on the block. The all-state player dumped the ball off to the freshman, who fumbled the ball out of bounds and gave the other team one last shot. Fortunately we won the game in overtime, but we had to explain to our top player that it was OK for her to shoot in that situation.

Clearly, giving the "green light" is not as simple as it seems, for either players or coaches. You must identify who receives it and ensure they know how to use it properly. A player who has the green light and knows when to shoot and when not to becomes a dangerous weapon for any team.

 

Thanks to BASKETBALL SENSE, the Magazine for Winning Coaches, for permission to use this article. Information about BASKETBALL SENSE can be obtained from www.basketballsense.com


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A PLAYER'S PERSPECTIVE
Coach Characteristics Appreciated by the Team

By Brad Litchfield

All of my life I have been playing basketball. I started when I was in elementary school, continued in junior and senior high school, and I am now playing at the Division III level. Throughout my 14 years of competitive playing, I have encountered many coaching personalities and styles of play, which I encountered at different basketball camps, AAU tournaments, and leagues, elementary, high school and college. As a current basketball player, I would like to share with you some of the characteristics that a team appreciates in its coach. Aside from the X's and O's, these intangibles helped me to understand the game of basketball better while maintaining respect for my coach. It has been my experience that players who appreciate their coaches are more willing to learn, play, and work for the good of the team.

COMMUNICATION


Obviously, a coach needs to be a good communicator in order to teach the players. However, this communication has to extend beyond the teaching offense and defense and into an interpersonal relationship. Get to know your players on an individual basis. This will have the players knowing that you do care for them because sometimes they might doubt it. If a player is having an off day or off week, pull the player aside and ask about his life. This will let him know that you are interested in him not only as a player but also as a human being. Also, install an 'open door' policy where players can feel free to come into your office if they want to talk. In my experience, coaches have used this time to get to know the players better and to ask the players about their input for the current season: "What do you think about the new defense we installed?" "How does your body feel physically today?" and "Overall, how do you think the attitude of the team is?"

FLEXIBILITY

The last thing a player wants is a stubborn coach who refuses to change anything about his program. Some coaches like to stick to a certain practice and game agenda at all times, which is not always beneficial to the team. For instance, you may be inclined to practice the same drills everyday, which could eventually become monotonous to your team, leaving them disinterested. If a player or assistant coach suggests a change, it might not be such a bad idea to give it a try. I realize this cannot be done with all suggestions made throughout a season, but small changes in practices keep the team mentally fresh and interested. Plus, it makes the players fell like they have invested something to their own development.

CONFIDENCE

A player likes it when his coach remains poised throughout the game and shows confidence that the team will win. When play gets tough on the court, it is only natural to show reactions of frustration and become flustered. When these tough times occur (the other team goes on a scoring run or a key player fouls out), one of the first people a player looks to for help is the coach. If the coach is looking at his shoes, shaking his head, flailing the arms, or displaying any type of frustration, a player will notice this as defeatism. This can make a player nervous, angry, and hesitant to make another mistake, which is the last reaction to a tough situation a coach would want. On the other hand, if the coach maintains a straight, calm or even a positive demeanor in times of turbulence, a player will notice that too. This will have a player thinking, "Coach seems pretty confident that we will be able to win," which gives the players' the ability to focus on the task at hand, rather than focusing on past mistakes or the fact that the game is out of reach. The coach's ability to display confidence throughout the game will certainly rub off on the players, and possibly be the difference in winning or losing a basketball game.

During practice, the coach should let his team know how well it will play in its upcoming game. As long as everyone is working hard and paying attention to detail during practice, this positive talk will instill in the team the confidence they need to win the game. For instance, while doing drills in practice, a coach used to say to our team, "That's it, our opposition is going to be in trouble when they run into our defense!" One time, at the end of a film session, our coach turned off the TV and yelled "That team (the opposition) better be scared because the Red Devils are coming to town!"

COMEDY

With all of the emotions that come with a season, a player can easily become emotionally drained, forgetting that he should also be having fun. I have had coaches that provided some different types of comedy to lighten players' spirits, which mostly involved telling a joke before or after practice. One time, I had a coach come out to practice in a Halloween mask during warm-ups, which the team thought was funny because he was running around like a monster for a couple of minutes. Most of the time, the comedy was just enough to lighten the spirit without taking away from the team's focus.

Above all this advice, I would say that a player knows when a coach is having fun with the team, too. If the coach is having fun and has confidence in his coaching ability his coaching staff and his players, he will not have a problem with any of the categories I mentioned above. The better the coach, the better his coaching techniques because he is willing to communicate to learn as much as he possibly can about everyone with whom he is working. In any case though, players can tell when a coach is acting like himself or not. If you love the game, show it and share it with your team. They will appreciate your effort with them whether you win or lose. One coach I had always said to his team, "This is your team. I am only here to make sure you play together as a team, give your best effort and reach your goals." That is all a player can hope from his coach.

Thanks to BASKETBALL SENSE, the Magazine for Winning Coaches, for permission to use this article. Information about BASKETBALL SENSE can be obtained from www.basketballsense.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPECTATIONS OF PLAYERS

By

Mark Durbin
College of Saint Benedict

1. Sit in front of the classroom and actively participate in your education. Your academic priorities need to come well before your commitment to basketball. We have built our basketball program around individuals that want to be successful in the classroom first.

2. Communicate, communicate, communicate! Develop "people skills". Always be positive and encourage others. We have one of the most vocal and supportive benches, and it makes a difference. If you have a problem or a conflict, please talk to someone about it. The players that are able to communicate with their teammates and me will play an important role on our team.

3. Team chemistry and unity are vital to our success. As a member of our tem, you have a role. We share the ball on offense and we are equally unselfish on defense. Check your ego at the door.

4. Set goals and work to achieve them. Goal setting is a life-long necessity. Individual and team goals are a major part of our basketball program. Focus on being the best.

5. Work continuously on your game and physical conditioning. Success is not a part-time job. Improve your skills so as to help the team improve. Never take your position for granted. Be dedicated and loyal.

6. Never pass up an opportunity to learn. When you quit learning, you have quit. Pick the brain of your teammates. Ask questions. Watch games on TV, watch your teammates play, watch game tape, and then learn from these experiences.

7. Never back down from a challenge. Compete in the classroom, with your opponents, and with, but not against, your teammates. More importantly, compete with yourself. You may not always win, but you can be successful if you compete and go after each challenge.

8. No trash talking! Let the final score do your talking. Understand that players play and officials officiate. We want to be looked upon as a first-class team.

9. Develop friendships. Whether you play one year or four years, you will make life long friends. If you want to make more friends, then be a friend to more people.

10. Develop balance in your life. Basketball will only be a small segment of your total development as an individual. Get involved in student government, campus ministry, or the vast other opportunities on campus and in the community.

 


Thanks to BASKETBALL SENSE, the Magazine for Winning Coaches, for permission to use this article. Information about BASKETBALL SENSE can be obtained from www.basketballsense.com.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LATE GAME SITUATIONS

by

CHRIS CROFT
Program Specialist, UTEP

A very important part of any basketball program is the execution of late game situations both offensively and defensively. The end of the game in every basketball game is very important. Regardless of the lead, location of the game, or the time of the year, the last five minutes of a basketball game can bring all possibilities of endings. Both teams may be within grasp of a big win, but one team will be headed toward a loss. However, one play can change the momentum of the game and alter the oucome of the game.

A great way for a head coach to improve his team's ability to execute late game situations is to spend time during practice on this segment. It is a great way to end practice each day by spending the last ten minutess on a possible future game ending.

There are several ways that this can be done. First, let the head coach be in charge of one team, and an assistant coach in charge of the second team. Also, you could let the head coach watch the format and let the assistant coaches be divided among teams. It is a great way for the head coach and the assistant coach to stay sharp on game situations and to also experiment with different strategies.

Second, have various formats with time and strategy. For example, one team could be up 70-65 with 2:10 to play in the game. There will need to be one coach or manager that is officiating the action. The process can be complex and have a certain number of timeouts available per team, certain players can have so many fouls, or a star player could have already fouled out. Play can be started in the half-court, full-court, on a free throw, on a baseline out-of-bounds play, on a sideline out-of-bounds play, or many other options. These many situations can expose a basketball team to many situations that could become present during an upcoming pivotal game.

Third, it is a great way to keep excitement at the end of practice. Coaches and players will look forward to the end of practice and the chance to compete in a game-like fashion. Also, there could be token penalties for the losing team to remind them that losing is not fun. This should be kept to a minimum. For example, the losing team may have to run a down and back as a simple reminder that their team lost.

Fourth, this will give your team extra confidence in late game situations. Players will embarace late game pressure situations that may come down to one play to win the game. It also will be added confidence if there is a dramatic play at the end of the game that results in overtime. It also will allow the coach to be able to refer back to practice when similar game situations arise. Certain coaching strategies or plays can be performed and taught to players in case the team has no remaining timeouts or desires not to use a timeout.

Fifth, it will culminate what practice is really about, and that is preparing your team to be able to be successful during games. Players are able to see and better understand what the coach is emphasizing in practice and how it can be beneficial to the team in a game. It allows for game action play that does not end in loss or total failure. If a cetain segment is not executed perfectly, then there can be a quick teaching point made on what could have been executed better.

Last but not least, all coaches and players will feel confident during late game situations, which often determine who wins a game. Regarldless of the outcome of the game, the coaches and players will know that they were prepared to execute a late game situation, and they did the very best that they could.

 

Reprinted by permission of BASKETBALL SENSE (The Magazine for Winning Coaches - www.basketballsense.com).