Will You Make The Team


With the onset of the NFL season upon us it made me think about which team sport is the toughest sport to reach the next level?

Simple Math Football – 52 Man Rosters (30 that will play)

Soccer – 25 Man Rosters (15 that will play)

Basketball – 12 Man Rosters (8 that will play)

For those of you that love the game of basketball these numbers shouldn’t scare you they should inspire you. You have the opportunity to play in the most competitive team sport on the planet. The majority of the people in the world look at the numbers above and will get discouraged because they don’t feel like they’ll make the high school team or be able to play in college. You have to have an undeniable passion and desire to reach the next level of basketball. BE A GYM RAT!! When those players are waisting their time getting discouraged…you need stay positive and focused on your goals. Be specific with what you want to achieve and write it down. Then right and even more specific game plan on what you need to do to reach those goals. Be laser focused on your training and train smart.

Good luck,

Coach Mike

On Ball Defense – 3 Tips To Make You A Lock-Down Defender

The other teams best player has been assigned to YOU! He dribbles across half court and you feel like you’re on an island. Here are 3 Tips to help you improve your on ball defense and lock down the other teams top scorer.

Stay low in your defensive stance. Always remember that the lower man wins in basketball. You might be matched up against players taller or shorter than you in basketball. Whether you are playing in a practice, scrimmage or a pick up game always remember to stay low. This will put your body in the most effective position to react to the offensive players movements. Wall sits are a great drill to develop the muscular endurance necessary to stay low when you are in a game setting. Simply find a wall and slide your back down until your legs are at a 90 degree angle. Be sure that your shoes are shoulder width apart and your knees do not protrude past your toes. Try to hold it for as long as you can. Start with 30 seconds and try to work your way up to 3 minutes. Over time you will be able to stay low in a game because you have increased your muscular endurance.

Be more physical than your opponent. Basketball is a contact sport. When you are guarding the ball you can’t slap your opponent or bump him especially on the perimeter but when your opponent attempts to drive to the basket or go around a ball screen you can create contact with them by using your forearm as long as it appears natural. Try to be deceptive when you create contact. There are many subtle techniques you can use to slow your opponent down while not drawing attention from the referees. You must play a lot of games to see which techniques work for your style of play. Test the limits until you get called for a foul. Eventually you will find the happy medium that will make you an effective on ball defender. The most important thing to remember here is that you can create contact with the offense especially when they attempt to attack the basket as long as you are in a legal guarding position.

Be a team player and know where your help is positioned. It is crucial to understand where your teammates are positioned. Communicate with your teammates and strategize on the most effective way to be set up on defense. If you have a player that loves to drive baseline then you want to make sure the post players understand that they need to be positioned to provide help in that area. If the player has a tendency to go left you could strategize to force him to go right and then communicate with your team so that they can be there to provide extra help if necessary. Communication is a key part to defensive success. You don’t have to be on an island if you can talk to your teammates on defense.

These 3 tips will help you improve as an on ball defender. Defense is all about attitude and it is one of the most overlooked aspects of becoming a great basketball player.

Fundamentals Are Key To Basketball Success

Youth basketball drills are the fundamental building blocks to becoming a successful basketball player. If you can master the basic fundamentals of Dribbling Passing, Shooting, Rebounding and Defense you will achieve great success in the sport of basketball.

You must practice religiously and put in the effort to get results Many beginning players can be intimidated to get into the sport of basketball. There is also a miscue that you need to be super athletic to be a great basketball player. These assumptions are false. There are many moderately athletic basketball players in the NBA. A few examples of current NBA players are JJ Reddick Kevin Love. They aren’t slow by any means and I’m sure they can still get up and down the court with good speed but they are not at the athletic level of a Russell Westbrook or Lebron James.

What do you think Kevin Love & JJ Reddick did when they were growing up as a 7 8 9 year old? You can bet they worked hard on mastering the basic fundamental drills that have been around for generations. While having athleticism like King James and Russell Westbrook would be great it’s just not reality for 99.999 of the population. So where does that leave us.well there is another way to make it in the sport of basketball. In order to be a successful basketball player you must become fundamentally sound.

In my 25 plus years of experience of being around the game I have found that there are 3 basics fundamentals that young aspiring players must master.

They must learn to dribble with both hands.
They must establish a solid shooting technique.
They must learn the proper footwork for common movements on a basketball court.
It’s imperative that you start to practicing the simple basic drills at a young age to reach great heights in the sport of basketball. As an example having a great first step is far better than being able to run 90 feet super fast. It’s in that first step that you either score against your opponent or allow them to cut off your path to the basket. You can negate athleticism by being extremely fundamental. You must take the time to not just practice but master the fundamental basketball drills that have been passed down for ages.

All of the drills are out there for you to absorb but will you take the time and effort to do it?

Shooting A Basketball – 5 Tips To Improve Your Shooting Technique

Many aspiring basketball players create bad habits as they are learning to shoot a basketball. These habits can be easily avoided if you know what to look out for and make the proper adjustments to your training routines. Here are 3 of the most common shooting habits to avoid.

Shoot At A Proper Height Hoop

The first thing is to insure you are shooting on a basket that is suitable for your age and skill level. Some young players don’t have the muscular development to shoot on a 10 foot rim. They will use improper technique to heave the ball up to the basket. Once they repeat this process over and over again it will become a habit and will be more difficult to fix as they get older.

Be A Shooter Not A Thrower

Many multisport athletes will use the same techniques learned for throwing a football or baseball to shoot a basketball. It’s important to understand that throwing a baseball and shooting a basketball are two completely different athletic movements. Baseball requires twisting of the torso to generate power. When shooting a basketball you want to insure your body is squared up to the hoop, legs are bent and you shoot in a straight up, straight down motion.

Avoid The Flat Shot

The final habit to look out for is a lack of shooting arc. It is important for young players to create the habit of putting a high arc on the ball when they shoot. Simple physics has shown us that putting more arc on the basketball will increase your shooting percentage. Many players will underestimate the amount of arc reuired to be a great shooter.

Here are 5 tips to help young aspiring basketball players master the fundamental drills of shooting a basketball. There are many ways to improve your shooting technique. Try to keep things simple, understandable and fun. Some of the most basic drills are the ones that can create the most significant gains.

Stay Close, Stay Close, Stay Close

So many kids when they hit the driveway start launching 3 pointers. This is not a recommended way to start practicing and in fact this is one of the leading causes of bad form in shooting. It’s emperitave that the kids stay close the basket and make at least about 50 shots really close to the rim. As they develop they will realize that if you can master the simple techinques of shooting up close to the basket there shooting percentage will increase from long distance. If you take the close up approach the player will gain confidence ny making lots of shots and then they will be ready to move back. In fact, a player will lose confidence by starting at the 3 point and elbow range because they won’t be making a lot of shots as they are not wamred up. Aside from the technique being messed up there is a psycological factor in missing lots of shots. It’s important to keep the rim height low for new players and the basketball small.

If you start by making tons of close up shots your confidence will grow and you will become a great shooter. In fact once you start to master some of the basic shooting drills you will realize that the form you use on a 1 foot shot is the exact same form you will use on a 23 footer. That’s when you start to see you how simple basketball can be. Stay close and make lots of lots of shots.

3 Right Angles

Correct basketball shooting form includes many factors. It’s important to have three 90 degree angles and have your elbow pointed to the basket, a little bounce in the legs, good vision of the front of the rim, and a nice extended finish with fingers pointed down. (Let the ball hit the groung before you let go of your follow through) Focus on getting perfect rotation every time. It’s imperative to build muscle memory.

The Three right angles include the hand to forearm, the elbow joint and finally the upper arm to the torso. Every shot should include these right angles for good form. A good drill is to stand right in front of the basket and make 50 form shooting shots. Making sure that you are checking for all of your right angles before each shot. Also be sure to have your elbow pointed directly at the basket.

Balanced Position

You have to have a solid base in order to generate enough strength to get the ball to the rim. Make sure you feet are about shoulder’s width apart and you have a good bend in your knee. If feel balanced they you are ready to take a shot.

Eye Focus

Your eyes should be looking at the front of the rim. The rim is circular to whatever part of the rim is closest to you should be your focus. It’s imperative that you get your vision focused on the rim before you attempt a shot. So many missed shots occur because the player is looking down at the ball after dribbling and then rising up too quickly to shoot before obtaining good vision of the rim. Practice looking at the rim prior to every form shooting shot.

Follow Through

It’s important to not “Snake Bite” your shot. What I mean is release the ball and have your shooting arm recoil quickly. This will cause you to lose accuracy and feel for the basket. While doing the Form Shooting Drill practice by leaving your follow through up with figers pointed down until the ball hits the ground.

2 Ball Dribbling – How To Become An Elite Ball Handler

For years many basketball experts have taught drills that only use 1 ball. Ball circles, figure eight dribbling, ball slaps are just a few of the 1 ball drills that make their way onto basketball training videos. More recently 2-Ball Dribbling has become the staple drill to increase your ball handling skills. You get twice the improvement in half the time! It also has the added benefit of catapulting your weaker hand to catch up with your strong hand.

Here are 5 drills that will help you master the art of 2 Ball Dribbling;

Stationary 2 Ball Dribbling – Stand low and balanced with both feet shoulder width apart. Be sure to keep your knees bent, butt down and head up. Try to stare at the rim or objects in the gym. Be sure to not focus your eyes down towards the basketballs. If you are just starting our try to get 10 simultaneous dribbles in a row. If that is too easy pound the basketballs into the ground as hard as you can for 50 dribbles and don’t let the balls come above waist high. You did the drill correct if your shoulders feel a little burn. Dribbling soft will make you a soft dribbler.

2 Ball 5 Hi 5 Lo – Dribble 5 simultaneous dribbles waist high followed by 5 simultaneous dribbles below your knees. Emphasize a strong dribble form with bent knees and eyes up. Repeat this until you get to about 100 total dribbles.

2 Ball V-Dribbling – Start off with regular stationary 2 ball dribbling. As you get into a good rhythm start to make 2 V’s with the basketballs. Begin with very skinny V’s and as you improve increase the width of the V’s. You will notice that as you improve you with begin to have better range of motion with the basketballs. The first part of this drill will be done with both basketballs making V’s in front of your body. Then do the second part of the drill with both balls creating V’s on your sides. Once you get a good feel with these drills you can combine 2 ball 5 Hi 5 Lo with 2 Ball V-Dribbling. Keep making V’s but make 5 Capital V’s followed by 5 lower cased V’s. Repeat this for about 100 dribbles.

2 Ball 1 Hi 1 Lo – This one is tricky and will take awhile to master. Always start with good rhythm in Stationary 2 Ball Dribbling with eyes up and knees bent. Begin to dribble 1 ball to below your knee level while keeping the other ball bouncing waist high. Dribble the waste high ball 5 times and then reverse it to the other side. Be sure to keep both balls bouncing during the transition. Repeat this for about 100 dribbles.2 Ball Box Drill – Start at the block with both balls waist high. You will face the same direction for the entire drill. Dribble to the elbow directly in front of you. Proceed to the other elbow while facing the same direction. Then Dribble backwards to the other block and then dribble back to the original block. At that point you will have completed 1 box. Repeat this 5 times in each direction. Start out by going 50% speed and increase to going as fast as you can while still being under control. This drill really emphasizes pushing the ball out in front of you move laterally.

Master these drills and the basketball will start to become feel like part of you when you dribble. It’s a great feeling to navigate the basketball court with complete control of the basketball. It will help you become a better passer and teammate by being able to see the floor with greater court vision. Spending 5 to 10 minutes a day on these drills will go a long way. Repetition with intensity is the key.