Archive for the ‘Product Reviews’ Category
Thursday, May 9th, 2013
I just finished reading “Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable” by Tim Grover, and I must admit that it’s one of the best books that I have read in a long time.
Grover, who got his start by being Michael Jordan’s personal trainer, now works with athletes such as Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and dozens of others.
Over the years he has discovered that there are some very distinct personality traits that separate the good, the great , and the unstoppable and this book is essentially a description of those traits.
Although it is not written solely for the basketball community, I really believe it is a book that should be read by every basketball coach and player who has aspirations of taking their careers to another level.
The language is a little rough in spots but that shouldn’t overshadow any of the ideas or principles in the book.
I think it might take a few blog posts to share all the highlights of the book, but I’m certainly going to try. here are the first several takeaways:
- Being the best means engineering your life so you never stop until you get what you want, and then you keep going until you get what’s next. And then you go for even more.
- It’s time to stop listening to what everyone else says about you. Let them judge you by your results and nothing else. If you’re relentless, there is no halfway, no could or should or maybe.
- Decide. Commit. Act. Succeed. Repeat.
- Being relentless means demanding more of yourself than anyone else could ever demand of you, knowing that every time you stop, you can still do more. You must do more.
- Success isn’t the same as talent. The world is full of incredibly talented people who never succeed at anything. They show up, do what they do, and if it doesn’t work out, they blame everyone else because they believe talent should be enough. It’s not. If you want to be truly successful, you can’t be content with “pretty good.” You need to find an extra gear.
These ideas came from the first half of the first chapter – there’s lots of great stuff in there!
Thursday, April 11th, 2013
When skills sets are similar, foot speed, quickness, and agility are often the deciding factors when determining which player is “better.”
One of the very best, and simplest, ways to improve these important areas is by working out with a jump rope.
If the jump rope you are using is a heavy rope then you also get the added benefit of an arm and shoulder work out as well.
Here is a very simple jump rope workout that will pay big dividends if used twice a day:
- 2 feet – 1 minute
- Right foot – 30 seconds
- Left foot – 30 seconds
- Alternate feet – 1 minute
- 2 feet – 1 minute
- Combine all – 1 minute
If you don’t already have a Heavy Rope click here to get one.
Monday, March 11th, 2013
The following post was taken directly from an email newsletter distributed by Janssen Sports Leadership and certainly applies to basketball teams, coaches, and players everywhere.
Arkansas Softball has taken to heart a story about two dogs. As the story goes:
A Cherokee elder was teaching his grandchildren about life… He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me, it is a terrible fight and it is between two dogs. One dog is evil – he is fearful angry, jealous, and negative.
The other is good – he is happy, peaceful, positive, and content. The grandchildren thought about it for a minute, and then one asked his grandfather, “Which dog will win, Grandfather?”
The Elder smiled and replied, “Whichever dog you feed.”
The moral of the story obviously is to choose to feed your mind a steady diet of positive and productive thoughts instead of the negative and destructive ones that often are starving for your attention.
To emphasize this positive approach and put a Razorback twist to it, Arkansas softball coach Mike Larabee has painted the words “Feed the Positive
Hog” on their dugout wall. He also made silicon bracelets with the mantra on it for everyone to wear.
How can you too use stories that convey and reinforce key messages to your team?
Monday, February 25th, 2013
The third tip in Daniel Coyle’s “The Little Book of Talent” is “Steal Without Apology.
” What does that mean? It means that in your quest to become a better, more talented basketball player there is absolutely no need to reinvent the wheel.
All the skills, talents, and information that you need can be found almost immediately if you are willing to look.
Of course, just looking isn’t enough – once you find what you need you must “steal” it and make it your own if you really want to improve your game.
Want Kobe’s competitiveness, Ray Allen’s jump shot or Chris Paul’s handles? Then steal them!
Break them down into tiny pieces and then relentlessly practice those pieces until the entire skill becomes yours. They won’t mind; truth be told they probably stole them from someone else years ago.
However, a couple words of warning are appropriate here. Steal only things that are valuable. (Stealing the Globetrotter’s half court hook shoot might win you a few bets but isn’t going to help you become a better player.)
Be as specific as possible. (Don’t necessarily worry about stealing Ray Allen’s entire jump shot but instead steal his follow through, his body balance, and his quick release.)
The HoopSkills website is full of articles, blog posts, videos, and training aids designed and made available to put you on the path to improvement. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking then just ask and one of us will happily point you in the right direction!
Friday, February 22nd, 2013
Here’s a thought on external motivation from speaker and author Larry Winget that definitely applies to all players and coaches:
Motivation doesn’t work. You can threaten, coerce, praise, promise, and dangle money, time off, and other carrots of every size, shape, and color, and it will always come down to this:
People do what they do when they want to do it and when the consequences of not doing it are painful enough not to do it.
Players – Don’t wait until you miss the game winning free throw or until you lose a scholarship offer because you can’t hit a 3 or make a post move before you start spending a little more time in the gym.
Coaches – Don’t forget that coaches who aren’t highly motivated usually aren’t coaching very long.
(Happy Birthday to Megan Stricklin! Her inner drive, independence, and willingness to get out of her comfort zone makes her one of the most successful and well rounded people I know!)
Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
If you have turned on your TV any time during the last two weeks and especially during Sunday’s Super Bowl you were sure to hear the name Harbaugh as John and Jim Harbaugh became the first set of brothers to coach against each other in the NFL’s biggest game of the year.
Unfortunately, what was lost in all the hype was the fact that both brothers are extremely good coaches. Here are a few words of wisdom from both coaches that were previously published in The Ultimate Coaches’ Career Manual.
- You must be a sound technician, a teacher of the fundamentals. (John)
- You have to find and select individuals with the desire to play hard every play. You can’t motivate them to do this if they don’t want to. They’ve got to want to play hard. (John)
- Be yourself. Too many young coaches try to emulate icons or coaches presently doing it at a high level. This doesn’t mean you don’t glean ideas from others. I just believe it is critical to get to know your men and let them know you. (Jim)
- Be honest to supervisors, to those you work with, and with your team. It is sometimes hard in the short term but it is always best in the long run. Honesty promotes trust. It is nearly impossible to lead without trust. (Jim)
- Work hard. Others may be smarter, nut no one should out work you. (Jim)
Friday, February 1st, 2013
Since there are literally hundreds of offenses and set plays that need to be defended, defensive players must depend more on principles than actual patterns to carry
out their assignments.
Teams have won championships with only a couple players carrying the scoring load but no team that I can recall has won a championship with only one or two of its members playing defense.
In the book Court Sense by John Giannini there are a few paragraphs describing defensive cohesion that could benefit players and coaches alike. According to Coach Giannini there are four critical requirements for a defensive unit to be effective and cohesive.
1. Jump to the ball. When the ball moves by either pass or dribble every defensive player should move along with it and adjust their positioning. When the ball is passed good defenders take advantage of the ball’s “air time” and are in their new position by the time the ball is caught.
2. Always be ready to help. The reason to be in proper position is to provide defensive help on all dribble penetrations and post feeds. On ball defenders can apply more pressure if they know their teammates have their backs and are willing, able, and in position to help.
3. Rotate to help the helper. Like any trapping or double teaming situation, an offensive player is always going to be momentarily open when one defensive teammate helps another. (This is a hard concept for many younger players to grasp.) From a defensive standpoint that player should always be the one furthest away from the ball. When working completely in sync with each other, great defensive teams can make it seem like they have 6 defenders on the floor at once.
4. Recover quickly. Some times, when a team is primarily made up of defenders of the same size and quickness, only one player has to recover quickly so that every offensive player is guarded. Other situations require that certain offensive players are guarded by specific defenders. In those situations the speed and efficiency of a team’s recovery is going to largely determine the success or failure of that particular defensive possession.
Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
This is a tough time of year for a lot of players and a lot of teams – losses, sickness, and injuries often start to take their toll and coaches are constantly preaching resiliency, which is has been defined as the ability to overcome challenges of all kinds–trauma, tragedy, personal crises, and bounce back stronger, wiser, and more successful than before.
In the August 2012 issue of Success magazine, brain expert Daniel Amen offers 5 steps to developing resiliency:
- Claim personal control. Stop blaming other people for how things are turning out
- Nuture your relationships because you become like the people you spend time with
- Focus on what you like about your life more than what you don’t like
- Be goal oriented but remaiin flexible to change
- Counter the negative thoughts that can flood your brain
The teams that can overcome adversity and develop a resilient attitude this time of year are often the teams that will still be standing come playoff time.
If your team hasn’t hit a rough spot yet, don’t worry – it will! How you handle it both individually and collectively might be the difference between a good season and a great season!
Saturday, January 12th, 2013
Our last couple posts have featured the wisdom of the late Dick DeVenzio, who was the founder of Point Guard College. The information presented here was first published in an article in Winning Hoops magazine in May 2009 but is as relevant now as it was then.
Coach DeVenzio’s fourth rule for winning basketball s Never Give the Other Team an Easy Shot. This rule was based on five simple principles that could be applied to both man to man and to zone defenses. These principles included:
- Locate your man and get on him
- Don’t give him anything easy
- Never let a shooter shoot without a hand in his face
- Never let the ball be passed to someone near the basket
- Never let a player dribble in for a layup
If you think about it, every defensive technique ever taught has been designed to accomplish at least one of these objectives!
Coach DeVenzio didn’t want to hear any excuses either. He wrote, “But coach, that wasn’t my man is not a valid excuse. When someone scores, the defensive team allowed it to happen. When you preach the strength of the team, you cannot allow players to circumvent it by allowing them to place blame on others.”
Wednesday, January 9th, 2013
It’s been a long time since Notre Dame football has been in the national spotlight like it has been in the last couple month and if you appreciate good coaching it’s hard not to be impressed by what Coach Brian Kelly has accomplished in South Bend.
It’s too bad they performed so poorly in the National Championship game and while that might take a little bit of wind out of his sail it’s hard to deny what kind of difference Coach Kelly has made during his short time with the Irish.
The last Notre Dame coach to win a National Championship at Notre Dame was master motivator Lou Holtz. Here are some coaching insights from Coach Holtz as printed in Pat William’s The Ultimate Coaches’ Career Manual.
- Think and act like the winner you are
- Teach and emphasize fundamentals, even to the point that it becomes boring
- Great teachers aren’t the ones who make life easy. They’re the ones who challenge you.
- My guiding life’s philosophy is to do what’s right and to avoid what’s wrong.
- No individual or team can perform under pressure without preparation
- Good things happen to those who refuse to be average and have a positive attitude
- Motivation is simple. Eliminate those who aren’t motivated.