Archive for the ‘Skill Development’ Category
Thursday, May 16th, 2013
With such a great emphasis being placed on getting to the rim it is more important than ever to have a wide variety of finishing shots at your disposal. The following drill can be done as a team or in your individual workouts. Youth and middle school players could easily work on this drill every day.
- Start by standing on the baseline and flipping the ball out in front of you to the opposite elbow.
- Catch the ball, square up and then drive down the lane line and shoot an underhand layup.
- Rebound the ball out of the net and the flip it out in front of you to the other elbow.
- Again, square up, drive down the lane line and shoot an underhand layup with your other hand.
- Repeat the sequence until you have shot 6 different layups with each hand for a total of 12 layups.
- Jump stop and cross over
- Baseline crab step and power dribble
- Floater down the middle.
If you do this drill with your team, start in your regular two- line layup formation and play “follow the leader.” Every time the first player in line changes shots then everyone else changes as well.
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!
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
Here’s a unique ball handling drill that can be adapted and used by beginning, intermediate, and advanced players.
- Grab a basketball and face an unobstructed wall.
- Start dribbling the ball with the fingertips of your right hand. Look straight ahead at the wall and keep dribbling the ball at eye level for 1 minute. After 1 minute move the ball up higher until your arm is fully extended and dribble off the wall for another minute.
- Repeat the drill using your left hand.
If you consider yourself to already be an above average ball handler try dribbling off the wall using both hands at the same time.
If you are an intermediate level player, work on your ball handling by dribbling off the wall while running or sliding along the length of the wall.
Advanced level players can challenge themselves by running or sliding the length of the wall while dribbling off the wall with both hands at the same time.
Sunday, May 5th, 2013
Here’s a competitive shooting game that you can play by yourself and with a little imagination “beat” Miami’s Ray Allen, who is one of the best outside shooters in the history of the NBA.
1. Pick a spot on the floor, spin the ball out to yourself and shoot it.
2. Each shot you make gives you 1 point. Each shot you miss gives Ray Allen 1 point. First one to 5 points wins the first game.
3. Shoot a 1 and 1 free throw. If you make both you win the second game. If you miss one of the free throws then Ray Allen wins.
4. Repeat the sequences until either you or Ray Allen wins 10 games. (Pick a different spot on the floor for each set of jump shots.)
Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry came into the NBA as a highly touted guard with the natural ability to shoot the basketball. Still, there were questions about Curry, son of former NBA veteran Dell Curry.
He put up big numbers in college at Division I Mid-Major Davidson and led the Wildcats on a magical run in the NCAA tournament, but would those skills translate to the daily grind of the NBA? Was Curry ultimately more suited to be an NBA shooting guard or a point guard?
Since being drafted by the Warriors in 2009, he has rapidly answered most, if not all the questions concerning his potential as an elite NBA player and shooter.
Other than a lockout-shortened and injury plagued 2011-12, Curry’s numbers have consistently progressed in his four seasons in the NBA. The 2012-13 campaign was his best so far. Taking on the role of Warriors point guard, he averaged career highs in points (22.9) and assists (6.9). He also set a new NBA season record for 3-pointers made with 272, shooting 45 percent from downtown.
What makes Curry an elite shooter and scorer in the NBA?
1. Strong Fundamentals
The most important thing about being a good shooter is proper fundamentals. It goes beyond putting the ball in the basket. Proper mechanics helps a player simplify their shot and get it off quickly. It also conserves energy and allows the player to shoot as well in the final minutes as he does in the first quarter.
Curry’s mechanics are as good as anyone’s. His feet are always squared up and aligned toward the hoop, even when coming off the dribble. His shooting motion is fluid and just as important it’s consistent. Having the same release point, the proper elbow position, his fingers, not his palm, guiding the ball each time allows him to develop a shooter’s touch and almost unlimited range.
2. High Basketball IQ
Even during his days at Davidson, Curry was known for having a high basketball IQ. It helped him to make the transition from shooting guard to point guard during his college career. Many pre-draft scouting reports questioned if he could continue his growth at point guard in the NBA, but he has proven that he can still maintain his scoring average while successfully running the offense. He knows how to shake defenders by coming off ball screens and changing speeds. He also has the ability to play with poise while playing against different defensive looks and rotating defenders.
3. Athletic Ability
Some scouts considered Curry slender and undersized coming out of college and questioned his stamina and ability to be anything more than a spot-up shooter. Not only can he get his shot off over defenders, has the quickness to drive into the lane if they face him up too closely. His athletic ability combined with his knowledge of the game makes him dangerous from anywhere on the floor. It has made Curry one of the NBA’s most entertaining players.
Personally, I have seen Stephen Curry emerge as an elite player. Guarding him in practice convinced me that he could shoot the basketball better than anyone in the country. Being considered as one of the quickest and best defenders, Curry’s release was un-guardable. His work-ethic consisted of not compromising on his shooting form but shooting the basketball the same way each time. He had to shoot a thousand shots per day in college. This kind of work-ethic is what makes players unique.
About the author: Lamar Hull is a former NCAA college basketball player who also played on the European professional circuit. He now writes for Direct2tv. He also has a huge interest in teaching basketball to others. You can also find out more information about Lamar at inspirationalbasketball.com.
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.
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
Coaches have been using team and individual shot charts for years for various reasons but players should use them as well, especially with spring and summer workouts just right around the corner.
Players, try charting each one of your misses as you work your way through your shooting workouts and specifically note if you are missing left, right, short, or long.
If the vast majority of your misses are either left or right, then you know there is probably a flaw in your shooting alignment that needs to be fixed.
If you are missing short or long, then the problem undoubtedly lies within your release and follow through.
Once you can narrow in on the causes behind your missed shots, it will be much easier to correct any potential problems and increase your shooting efficiency.
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!)
Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
Unfortunately, ACL injuries have been plaguing women athletes for decades. Watch any women’s college or WNBA game and I can almost guarantee that you will see at least one athlete wearing a knee brace from a previous injury.
Because of this, up until now ACL injuries have been primarily considered to be a “girl’s injury” and most male athletes haven’t been too concerned. This may soon be changing.
Rajon Rondo (Boston Celtics), Nerlens Noel, (University of Kentucky), and Robert Griffin III (Washington Redskins) are all extremely prominent male athletes who have recently suffered season ending ACL injuries.
Athletes of both genders have to be telling themselves, “If it can happen to those guys, it can happen to anybody!”
Here are a few ACL facts to consider:
- There are an estimated 200,000 ACL injuries every year in the United States.
- Female athletes are 5-8 times more likely to suffer an ACL injury than males, but those numbers seem to be shrinking.
- 70% of ACL injuries are non-contact, they are a result from improper landing, cutting, & pivoting.
- The ACL provides approximately 90% of the knee joint’s stability.
- The highest incidence of ACL injuries is in females 15-25 years old who participate in sports which require jumping, quick change of direction & pivoting.
- The ACL is located inside the knee joint and stabilizes the joint by preventing the shinbone (tibia) from sliding forward beneath the thighbone (femur).
- The cause of most ACL tears is a sudden, abrupt change in force to the knee. This can occur during planting & cutting or when landing from a jump.
- Since all injuries can’t be completely prevented, there is no such thing as an ACL Prevention Workout, but a proper workout can drastically reduce your risk. Check back here in a few days and we’ll have some workout suggestions that will help keep you off the bench and on the court.