Measure Your Success By Your Effort

Footwork Makes You Smarter

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Footwork Makes You Smarter

Footwork Makes You Smarter
I like to say footwork makes you smarter. All things being equal in terms of athleticism, it’s footwork that will make you a more effective player a more efficient player. You need to let your feet get you to a spot where your hands can take the shot. You need to be able to create space from your defender. When creating space, we need to think three dimensionally. We don’t just want to create some space on the floor, but also in the air.

I like to introduce footwork drills into our practice warm up. It’s a good way to get repetitions and a good way to ingrain footwork that you want established in dribbling and shooting drills.
Each one of these footwork dance-steps, we do for a full length of the floor. It’s a good way to help get warmed up and work on your footwork at the same time.

You can do these footwork drills without a ball. I tell my players they can get repetitions in on the way to super, on the way to the washroom, on the way to their next class. Do you care more about getting better than looking different from the rest?

Teaching Points
1. Athletic Stance
• Seat down
• Straight back with your chest up
• Eyes down court
• Legs at a less than 90 degree angle and on the balls of your feet
2. Ball Handling
• Keep the ball below knee and outside of knee on
• On dribble moves keep the ball low, shoe lace high, and receive the ball low. Remain ball quick by keeping the ball low.
3. Explosive
• Foot first ball second. The ball needs to be out of your hand before your pivot foot lifts.
• Explosive steps. Your first step should be low and long.
• The ball should be passed out to yourself. You should lead your with the ball when you make your move.
4. Shot Fakes
• Jab steps should be short quick and violent. You only need to jab about six inches to the reaction of your defender.
• Seat should drop during shot fake.
• The ball should rise above the brow.
• Eyes should draw a bead on the rim.
• All three of these motions should happen simultaneously.

Kobe Dance Steps
Use one length of the floor baseline to baseline for each of the three footwork moves. Make sure you are low and athletic. Foot first ball second. Pass the ball low to your opposite hand, and receive the ball low.

Nash Dance Steps

Shot fake, 1 dribble right and 2-step into shot

Shot fake, 1 dribble left and 2-step into shot

Shot fake, 1 dribble right, step-out

Shot fake, 1 dribble left, step-out

Shot fake, 1 dribble right, step-hop

Shot fake, 1 dribble left, step-hop

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ballers – What Can We Learn From Other Sports?

There is an inherent toughness build into this sport. You can’t be effective playing this sport if you do not like contact. Although there is not near the same amount of contact in basketball, ask anyone that has played in the post or driven to the hoop, there is plenty of contact to be dealt with. The physical toughness of football translates into a mental toughness that is required to play both sports. Football players have long trained for speed, strength, agility and quickness. In the game of basketball you are falling behind these days if you are not following suite and working on your body. Not only will it make you a more explosive athlete, but it will help ward off injuries.
Is there a sport that requires more concentration? Not only is there a huge mental factor to the game of sports, but a golf swing and the technique required to perform properly certainly rivals the technique required to shoot a basketball effectively. Golfers are looking to improve by honing their golf swing, looking to perfect it. Basketball players should be looking for those types of nuances in their shooting mechanics. Basketball players should also actively work on their mental game, to become more focused and more confident.
The two biggest parts of volleyball that I have observed: 1) teammates really rely on each other to get the job done. Each player’s roles can be specific but there are certain skills that all must be able to do. If you can’t receive a serve, you will be centered out and it will have a bad outcome for your team. Good teams are skilled and trust each other, and they spend considerable time in their rituals between points cementing that culture. 2) Volleyball player’s ability to shuttle their focus between plays. Point ends, they group together, cheer or encourage, then right back to being focused on the next point. Basketball players could do well to learn to trust each other as teammates and to shuttle their focus. Clear their head on bad plays and get focused on the next task. We have all seen players celebrating too much on a good offensive play only to get burned at the other end, because their minds were not focused on the next task of getting a stop.
Body Building
Introspective, self-assessing and self motivated. You have to possess these qualities to be successful in this sport. Basketball players need to take stalk of where they are, where they want to go, and how to get there. Moreover they need to have the self motivation to do it on their own. Basketball players are built in the off-season. Teams are built during the season. It’s not uncommon depending on how your practices are run, to actually become less skilled during the season. If your team does not shoot much in practices or run ball-handling drills, then you can see those skills can diminish over the course of a season. Can you be honest with yourself, take a hard look at where you are, and be motivated to work constructively on getting better? That’s what body builders are constantly doing. Looking at their symmetry, their size and making a plan to change what needs to be changed.
Communication is essential in rowing. So much so, that the sport has gone high tech with microphones and speakers built right into the cox box. The cox box gives specifics for stroke rate, stroke count and time. It is the responsibility of the coxswain to guide the crew in the perfect execution of a race plan. In basketball the single most effective thing you can teach your players how to execute team defensive principles is to get them to talk on defense. Communication between the 5 players on the floor can elevate the teams effectiveness.