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Basketball Training & Coaching Library

6 Qualities of Great Point Guards

1. Never get sped up and are always under control physically and mentally. They play with emotion and don’t let emotion play with them. 2. Set the tone on defense. They pressure without fouling, harass the ball handler without getting beat, and disrupt their opponent’s rhythm. 3. Make good players great and average players good. They […]

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86,000 – The Bank of Time

I watched a skill exposure camp this summer and this was given to all the participating athletes. It didn’t list the original author and I don’t know who it is. Imagine there is a financial institution which credits (deposits) your account each morning. with $86,000, carries over no balance from day to day, allows you […]

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Frandsen Skill Development Workout

In our last post we listed Casey Frandsen’s three step skill development plan. Today we have one of his actual workouts. Frandsen, who was a two time Washington State Player of the Year in high school and went to be a 1st Team All WCC performer at the University of Portland, now runs Next Step […]

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3 Step Skill Development Plan

The following skill development plan comes from former D1 star Casey Frandsen who is the founder of Next Step Basketball.  Diagnose your game (Evaluate what you bring to the table)  Strengths – Make a list of your strengths, the areas that you excel and things you do that help your team the most. Weaknesses – Make […]

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How Do You See Your Team?

Almost every coach I know wants to establish a “team first” culture where no one individual player is bigger or more important than the team as a whole. However, sometimes we forget that the team is not a nameless, faceless entity made up of clones just waiting to be pointed in the right direction. Instead […]

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Don’t Play Harder in Big Games

Some games are definitely bigger than others; we all know that and it would be very foolish to think otherwise. Rivalry games, playoff games, “revenge” games, and games in front of college recruiters all seem to take on a little extra significance. However, every member of the team’s mental and physical approach needs to be […]

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Improve Your Passing on the Fast Break

One of the long time fundamentals that has been taught for decades is to always dribble with your right hand on the right side of the court and with your left hand on the left side of the court. Most of the time that is still rock solid advice but it’s not the best way […]

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Mike Lee’s Killer Scoring Workout

Choose a series of moves (change of direction, baseline, transition, bounce back, on the block) Execute 5 shots of each move without missing two shots in a row. If you miss two shots in a row then start the sequence over. Make 4 free throws Go to the next move in the series and repeat […]

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How to Score 20 Points a Game

Every player I know would like to score more and for some reason 20 points is almost like a magical number. It takes a little effort but it can certainly be done – especially if you are someone who is extremely active on the court and plays hard. Transition Layup – 4 points. Sprint down […]

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4 Ways to Get a Jump Shot Off When Defended

It’s one thing to shoot a wide open jump shot where all you have to do is catch and shoot and an entirely different thing when you have to get a shot off when you are closely guarded. Each of the four techniques below require a lot of work before you can use them in […]

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Latest Articles

5 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Game

Every player wants to be at least a little better and many rightfully decide that relentlessly working out in the off-season is the best way to accomplish that. However, for a variety of reasons, many well meaning players just don't get it done. Here are 5 ways to immediately improve your game even if you didn't work out as much as you should have during the off season. (If you have been working out these 5 suggestions will help make you that much better!)

1. Take Better Shots

What is your overall shooting percentage? If it's not as high as it should be then here's another question for you - Are you a bad shooter or are you just taking bad shots? It doesn't matter how good your shot looks or how mechanically sound it is if you are taking off-balance, highly contested, difficult shots! If you only shoot on balance, wide open, high percentage shots and still have a low shooting percentage then get in the gym!

2. Become more active

When you think of "good" players what do you think about? Good shooters? Relentless rebounders? Tenacious defenders? As a coach, when I think of good players I think of those guys who fill up the stat sheet day after day, game after game. I think of the guys who score some points, grab a few rebounds, get a couple steals, rack up a few assists, block a shot or two, etc. If you want your family and friends to be impressed with how much you've improved then become more active and start doing a little bit of everything. If you want your coach to be impressed then start doing a lot of everything!

3. Talk constantly

If you talk constantly and with purpose you'll see immediate improvements in your game. Talking keeps you mentally engaged in the ongoing action and the increased focus will help you play better. Plus, when you start talking your teammates will increase their talking as well and the extra information and support will also help your game. Talk on defense - "I've got the lob," "Bring him my way," "Pick left, pick left." Talk on offense - "Nice shot," "Great pass." Talk in transition - "Outlet!" "Middle!" "I'm on your right," "Trailer." Talk anywhere and everywhere you can warn, inform, support or encourage your teammates.

4. Be More Physical

Watch most any college game on television and you're sure to hear the announcers rant and rave about the physicality of a certain player. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that but you never heard those same comments ten or twenty years ago. Why? Because back then nearly everybody was physical! Now partly because of rule changes and partly because of personal preferences that's not the case anymore. Box out on defense, refuse to be boxed out an offense, set solid screens on offense, refuse to be screened on defense, battle in the post, aggressively rip the ball away from weaker offensive players, dive on loose balls, shot fake and draw fouls by jumping into the defense. These techniques and strategies are all still legal but often ignored. Everyone who plays against you should be tired and sore afterwards!

5. Study the Game

Lots of players play the game but relatively few know and understand the game. You can still have a lot of fun playing basketball without understanding all its intricacies but if you want to be really, really good then studying the game and increasing your basketball I.Q. can put you on the fast track. There are three things that can separate you as a player and make you stand out from your peers - athleticism, skills, and basketball I.Q. If you haven't worked out and practiced as much as you should have then it's very difficult to improve your athleticism and skills. Studying the game won't completely make up deficiencies in other areas but it can certainly close the gap.

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The Highly Productive 12 Minute Shooting Workout

padding:10px; I've been a basketball coach for nearly 30 years and as far as I'm concerned it's the greatest, most rewarding job on the planet! However, I'll also be the first to admit that it can be extremely frustrating at times. One of those times is when a player tells me that he or she just doesn't have enough time to get into the gym and shoot. It might even be true every once in a while but every time I hear that I'm literally ready to pull my hair out!

What do you do when you have a player who needs to get in a high quality, game like shooting workout but is limited by how much time he can spend in the gym? Well the next time you find yourself in that situation try the following workout. It is comprised of four separate shooting drills that can each stand alone and still be effective but when combined together will provide a myriad of game like shots at game like speed. The best part is that it doesn't take very long!

Remember, this is a shooting workout for players in a hurry. Even though most skill development experts will agree that the majority of individual workouts should include shooting, ball handling, and conditioning, we are going to focus primarily on shooting since we are short of time. However, because of the pace and intensity of these drills, there is an indirect conditioning component built into them.

In order to maximize the available time it works best if the player working out has a rebounder. If two players are working out together they can alternate going through the drills and rebounding for each other. If all four drills are completed and there is still some time remaining, return to the beginning and start all over again until the available time is up.

25 in 4:00

1. Put 4:00 minutes on the clock

2. Start in one of the corners and shoot until you make a mid-range jump shot and then rotate around the lane until you make one shot at all five standard shooting spots. (Corner, wing, top, wing, corner) 5 makes.

3. After making the shot in the second corner step out to the 3 point line. From here give a good shot fake, take one separation dribble and shoot and make a mid range jump shot. Repeat while working your way all the way back around through the five spots. 5 makes.

4. Now you should be back where you started. Again, shot fake from the 3 point line, take one dribble and shoot and make a mid range jump shot. This time take the dribble with the opposite hand that you used the first time around. 5 makes.

5. Catch and make one standstill 3 pointer from each of the five spots. 5 makes

6. Make five free throws. 5 makes

This will result in five made standstill mid range jump shots, 10 made mid range jumps shots off one dribble, five made catch and shoot 3 pointers, and five made free throws. Move on to the next drill as soon as this one is completed or after four minutes, whichever comes first.

7's

1. Put 4:00 minutes on the clock

2. Start at the right sideline and sprint to the 3 point line. Catch the ball and shoot a 3 and then sprint to the original sideline and back. Keep repeating this sequence until seven shots are made.

3. Move to the top of the key. Backpedal to mid court, sprint back to the 3 point line and shoot a 3. Repeat this sequence until seven shots are made.

4. Move to the left sideline and sprint to the 3 point line. Catch the ball and shoot a 3 and then sprint to the original sideline and back. Keep repeating this sequence until seven shots are made.

Move on to the next drill as soon as this one is completed or after four minutes, whichever comes first.

Levels

1. Put 2:00 minutes on the clock

2. Make a short jump shot from the low block. Keep shooting until a shot is made.

3. Rebound the above make and spin the ball out to the area between the free throw line and the top of the key. Chase the ball down, pivot and shoot a mid range jump shot. Keep repeating this sequence until a shot is made.

4. Rebound the above make and spin the ball out to the 3 point line. Keep doing this until a 3 pointer is made.

5. Once a shot is made from each of the above three spots, the clock is stopped and the shooter steps to the free throw line for two free throws. If both free throws are made the shooter has completed one level.

If either of the free throws are missed the level doesn't count. After the free throws are made or missed the clock starts again and the shooter returns to the low block. The goal is to rack up as many levels as possible in two minutes.

Ray Allen's

1. Put 2:00 minutes on the clock

2. The shooter starts in one corner behind the 3 point line and begins shooting 3's until he makes two in a row.

3. Once he makes two in a row the shooter moves up to the wing and shoots until he makes two in a row from there. He then moves through each of the five shooting spots, shooting until he makes two in a row from every spot.

4. After reaching the opposite corner, the shooter starts over and comes back the other way.

5. The goal is to make two in a row from all 10 spots in two minutes.

It only takes twelve minutes for one player to go through these four drills and only 24 minutes to run through them twice. One of the great things about this workout is that with just a couple minor tweaks it can be made longer and even more challenging. For the example, the "25 in 4:00" drill can easily become the "50 in 8:00" by completing the circuit twice. Instead of doing the "7's" drill for time, simply continue the drill until seven shots are made from each spot, regardless of how much time it takes. Also I've found that most players will usually want to repeat the "Levels" and "Ray Allen's" drills in hopes of beating their previous score.

The next time one of your players tries to use the "I don't have enough time to shoot" excuse hand him a copy of this article and point him in the direction of the gym!

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How to Coach Like Steve Jobs

Because coaching is such a complex and multi-faceted job (if done correctly) I've always felt that I could learn a lot of applicable information and strategies from a variety of groups and disciplines.

Recently, I came across a book called "Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs," by Carmine Gallo that discusses what the author considers to be the driving principles behind Job's success.

While the book is not written specifically for basketball coaches it does provide a rough outline that can be used as a blueprint by all of us in the profession. In the following paragraphs the principles are Steve Jobs' but the applications are mine.

1. Do what you Love

Why do you coach? To stay involved in the game? To stay competitive? Because you like to teach? Is it so you can spend more time with your kids? To make some extra money? Those might be valid reasons to start coaching but I don't think they are good reasons to keep coaching.

If you take a quick mental inventory of all the coaches you know you'll realize that there are those guys who coach basketball and then there are basketball coaches - and there's a huge difference between the two groups! I imagine it's possible to be great at something you just tolerate but I would think that's very unlikely. If you don't love it, don't do it!

2. Put a Dent in the Universe

Don't let your own perceptions limit what you or your players can accomplish. Dream big. Be creative. What you might lack in budget and/or staff shouldn't effect in the least bit how you teach, prepare, or interact with your players. Your goal should be to have every kid in school want to be involved in your program or to have every kid for miles around want to be part of your club.

3. Kick Start your Brain

As a coach when you are through learning, you are through! Attend clinics, watch videos, and read books for new and better ways to do things. Learn everything you can and then distill it down to its simplest form and teach your players only the best of the best. If you're not sure where to start check out BasketballClassroom.com which might be the most comprehensive coaching resource available today.

4. Sell Dreams not Products

Understand what your players want and then help them reach their goals. I've found that most high school players can be at least 10% better than they are and most can improve 20%. Middle school and youth players have even more room for development. Unfortunately most players have no idea how good they can eventually become if they work hard and you need to give them a glimpse of that vision. Remember, being an athlete is not always about what you get, it's about what you become in the process that's most important!

5. Say "No!" to 1000 Things

In fact, say no to most things! Compromising your integrity, lame excuses, players who don't work hard, sloppy execution, the internet's offense of the week, explaining yourself to parents, catering to your "star" player, and taking shortcuts are just a few of the things that should always produce an emphatic "No!" Say no and eliminate anything and everything that is unnecessary and you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much bigger your program will grow.

6. Create Insanely Great Experiences

Right now the scores are important, the stats are interesting and the outcome of each game is crucial. However, that won't be the case ten years from now as most of the specific details surrounding your season will long be forgotten. What will be remembered, however, is a lasting impression of the overall experience as a whole. Along with winning games and developing individual skill sets, do whatever you can to provide everyone in your program with positive and fun experiences.

7. Master the Message

Great coaches are great communicators. Whether it's primarily spoken, written, body language, multimedia or a combination of everything, great coaches know how to be motivational, inspirational, and informative. If you want to coach like Steve Jobs you need to vividly describe your vision, get everybody in the program on the same page, and be a living, breathing, walking billboard for your program and its culture.

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Thank you sooooooo much! I have given your site to my son and he has started implementing your tips in his daily practices and it has helped him so much. Thank you again and keep up the good work. - Karla R

HoopSkills has made me a better coach, teacher and trainer! My team has flipped its record from last year 4 - 8 to 9 - 3 and my point guard has doubled his output! I forward your site to any Middle School and AAU coaches in the metro Atlanta area that I meet. Thanks for all you do! - Coach Randy F

Hoopskills offers useful and quality information for me and my coaching staff. I use the website to assist me in organizing practice plans as well improving individual player development. The website covers every aspect of basketball at every level. Your weekly email is the only one that I don't delete. I save all the emails that I get from HoopSkills.com! - Coach Ryan

Basically, I want to say Thank You. I worship the emails I get from HoopSkills! You provide great detail and simple yet effective drills that I can do by myself. I really don't know why anyone that wants to be good at basketball wouldn't take a look at your website. Once again, THANK YOU! - Jacob M

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