Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Basketball Hoops

Make Your Standard Basketball Hoop Challenge You More

Aside from those games at the local fair, basketball hoops are the same size in diameter. For players who desire to be real sharp-shooters, there are basketball hoop accessories that are made to enhance your skills. The most effective of these tools are 'second-rims' that fit inside of your standard basketball rim. These make the basketball hoop diameter a little smaller, and therefore force you to be more accurate to sink the shot. Practicing your shooting with one of these on your hoop will provide you with more challenging drills. At first, these can be frustrating, but stick it out and you will reap the benefits.

The Basketball Hoop

Many people don't know why basketball called a 'basket'-ball. Well, the answer is simple, when basketball was invented the hoop was an actual basket. A peach basket to be precise. There was no net or even, originally, a backboard. As time went on, the basic backboard became bigger until it reached a similar proportion to what we see used today. The net was added after the rules were changed to dictate a circular rim, or hoop. The basketball hoop has seen many changes since Dr. Naismith created the game, but the game remains the same - put the ball into the 'basket'.

Basketball Hoop Accessories to Protect Your Arms & Wrists

With more players skying high these days to throw the ball down, the classic metal basketball rim can do major damage to wrists and forearms. To protect your player's when they are trying to 'be like Mike', get a basketball hoop rim softener. These accessories will make the rim on your hoop less dangerous without affecting the shots that come off the rim too greatly. The game is not gonna be played below the rim like it used to any time soon. Do what you can to make sure that the advances in the game don't lead to setbacks in player health. These are for practice only, but they can help teach your players what to avoid during real game situations.

Mini Basketball Hoops - Great Office Accessories

When you sit in an office for most of your day, what are the best ways to relieve a little stress towards the end of the day. For me, the little mini basketball hoop that hangs on my door always hits the spot. A few people in my office have the mini hoops that you can put on your garbage pail. Myself, I prefer the mini basketball hoop that I have to shoot over my head to make a goal. Even my clients can't help but take a shot or two themselves when we are in meetings. If you are looking for a great office accessory, get yourself a mini basketball hoop, you won't regret it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Basketball Equipment

Basketball Equipment to Help Improve Your Skills with Both Hands

The most effective basketball player is the one who can go to either side of the court and lose their defender on the way. Whether dribbling, passing, or shooting, having the equal use of both hands will give you an edge on your competition. When I was a kid, my Dad taught me how to shoot a layup with my left hand by tying a string from my left wrist to my left knee. By shooting the layup with my left hand, my left leg was forced to rise off the ground. To tech players today how to use both hands, there are far more advanced versions of this important basketball practice equipment. If you want to teach your kids or players how to be ambidextrous on the floor, take a look at the many pieces of equipment designed to accomplish just that.

Basketball Training Equipment that Will Make the Difference

Too many training regimens don't provide you with a real return for your time and effort. For basketball training, this is for too often the case. The effectiveness of your training is grounded in good planning and better equipment. Basketball training equipment such as stretch bands for passing exercises can age over time. Since the best training equipment doesn't change too often, it is important to get the equipment that will last through several seasons. Quality training equipment will make the difference in your game.

Advantages of Portable Basketball Equipment

I can still remember pouring the concrete as my Dad and I put in my first basketball hoop; it took us all day. Recently, I recalled this when I was pouring water into the new portable basketball hoop I got for my son; it took us 25 minutes. Portable basketball equipment today is more than just a convenience. It has helped the game grow through providing the ability for children anywhere to learn the game of basketball. Not every kid has a park with a hoop they can shoot on, or a driveway they can get their father to dig up and plant a big metal pole in. The new portable basketball equipment is less expensive and easier to maintain than previous equipment. These are only a few of the many advantages of portable basketball equipment.

Choosing the Right Basketball Equipment

When choosing your basketball equipment, think about your needs. Are you looking for a hoop for your driveway? Do you need coaching equipment for a whole team? There are many stores and merchants who specialize in basketball equipment and supplies. Determine what your goals are and then shop around. If you need equipment for outdoor play, you will want basketball equipment that will weather better. For indoor play, wear and tear is not as much of a concern. Choosing the right basketball equipment is just a matter of figuring out your needs.

A Short Checklist of Basketball Coaches Equipment

Here are a few basketball coaching equipment essentials for any new coaches out there looking to make an impact. First, get yourself a good whistle… and use it. Conditioning is key with a basketball team and whistles start windsprints like a pistol at a track and field meet. Next, get a large markerboard. In basketball, a coach can get their visions across much easier by diagramming rather than verbally explaining. Finally, be sure to surround yourself with good assistant coaches. We cannot all be Norman Dale from Hoosiers, and even he needed 'Shooter'.

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Basketball Rebounding

Watching the Ball In the Air

You begin by lining up nine feet from the basket with two players. The offense shoots the ball and the defense must yell once they know where the ball will rebound. The defense needs to predict and then position itself at the proper distance from the basket. Long hard shots rebound farther from the basket than short soft shots. Use words such as short, right, left and center. Regular shots bounce two to four feet from the basket. Shots with bigger bounces wind up four to six feet from the basket. The offense should shoot 12 shots per drill.

Most Important Rebounding Principle

The most important rebounding principle is to play every shot as if it will be missed. Great rebounders make two or three attempts to rebound the ball. A missed shot from the wing or the corner will be rebounded on the side away from where the shot was taken approximately 70 percent of the time. Rebounding is about the desire to get the ball. You can not score without it.

Moving Toward a Rebound

You begin by having two players in the rebound-ready position. The forearms need to be bent up or back all the way. The wrists are bent back with the fingers spread apart. The knees are slightly bent with the legs about shoulder width apart. The players follow their own guess as to where the ball rebound. Players do not have to jump for the rebound. The player in the best position gets the rebound. There is no fighting for the ball. Players stay in the rebound ready position throughout the less on. Repeat this drill six times.

Fronting and Keeping Players Out of the Lane

Begin by having the offense start at the foul line and the defense stands inside the lane facing the offense. Start at medium speed with the offense trying to get past the defense into the lane. The defense blocks the offense with the arms and body. If the offense tries to charge the lane, the defense should push them off with their hands in the upper arm and shoulders of the offense. This drill lasts eight seconds and is to be repeated six times.

Rebound and Grab the Ball

You begin by having the offense hold the ball high over their head. The defense grabs the ball away from the offense, placing emphasis on using the fingertips to grab the ball. Once the defense pulls the ball away from the offense, the defense pivots away from the offense holding the ball overhead in a passing position. Repeat this drill six times.

Learning the Rebound-Ready Position

It is not easy to determine exactly when a rebound will bounce your way. After a rebound, players sometimes scramble on the floor for the ball. Players must be ready to catch or grab the ball instantly. To get into the rebound, ready position your forearms need to be bent up or back all the way. The wrists are bent back with the fingers spread apart. The knees are slightly bent with the legs about shoulder width apart.

Every missed shot is a pass to you!

Perhaps the most important key to being a good rebounder, offensive or defensive, is to assume that every shot will be missed. If you do this, you will always be willing to get in position, ready to be a rebounder.

The Outlet Pass

After you get the rebound, you need to make a good outlet pass. A good rebounder who can outlet the ball to the guard can start a fast break on the way to a score. This is a valuable asset to a team. Get the rebound, pivot away from the defense, and outlet to your guard for the fast break. It is a skill that is not much noticed by anyone but the coach knows how valuable you are.

Hands Up

Always keep your hands up at least shoulder high when getting ready to rebound. This will allow you to be ready for the rebound that comes off the rim quickly and low. Remember this: shot goes up-hands go up!

Want the Ball

Rebounding is a great skill to have as a basketball player. Those players that really WANT the ball and box out become the best rebounders. They take pride in rebounding. Lean back on your man and keep him out of rebounding position. A smaller player can be a good rebounder… make yourself become good at boxing out.

Boxing Out & Rebound

If you are real close to the basket when the shot goes up, you must "box out" and create some space to rebound. To "box out" from your defensive position: go towards your man and make contact. Pivot so you “Put your butt to their gut” and just slide with them, keeping them away from the rebound. When boxing out, keep your man from pushing you in towards the basket, so you can maintain good rebounding position. (If you let them push you under the basket, the rebound will go over your head). Then go get the rebound!

Attitude and Desire

Statistically, over ninety percent of all rebounds are taken below the rim. Therefore, rebounding is a product not of great athletic ability, but attitude and desire.

Make up your mind that you want to rebound, go after each and every one, and master box out techniques, and you can provide your team with a valuable asset--a dependable rebounder.

Watch your position

The key to rebounding is positioning and concentration on the ball. Anticipate the flight of the ball. Remember that most shots rebound to the opposite side of the basket. Next, you need to concentrate on the ball, until it is safely in your hands or rebounded by someone else.

Offensive Rebounding

In order to get an offensive rebound, you must get the inside position on your defender, who is trying to box you out. You must outquick him, or make some kind of move to get that inside position. You can try a jab step and change directions or you can develop a spin move to get to that position.

The "Perfect Rebound"

Most rebounds (90%) are caught below the rim. Try and think out what a perfect rebound is...
The perfect rebound is the one where everyone of your teammates and yourself box out their man so well that the rebound can be easily caught AFTER it has hit the floor.
When one thinks about this "perfect rebound" concept the team blockouts get better and better.

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Basketball Guards

Advance the ball

The great point guards can advance the ball up the court from the defensive three point line to the attacking three point line with 2-3 dribbles while under control, and they always pass ahead when a teammate is open down the court who either has an open shot, or can create a numbers advantage from which the retreating defense cannot recover

Shoot the 3

The shooting guard has to be able to play excellent defense and create shots for himself in the halfcourt offense. He needs to be a weapon from long range as well. This is true because the better a shooting guard can shoot from behind the three point line, the more it forces defenses to step farther out on the court to guard him. This in turn allows the lane to be open to both penetration, and for the post players.


Great point guards know their own team´s optimal tempo for both offense, defense, and in transition. They know when to speed the tempo up or slow it down.

Lead in practice

Great point guards get their teams prepared psychologically for practice and for games. They know which players need to be provoked to pick up intensity or concentration and which ones are excitable and need to be calmed.

Outlet pass

On the fast break they constantly find a way to get open on the outlet pass as far up the court as possible.

Keep your teamates involved

Great point guards know how to get their best scorers the ball on a consistent basis, but are always on the lookout for how to create high percentage scoring opportunities for offensive teammates in a lesser role. They are able to keep all of their teammates involved offensively which makes the attacking team more difficult to guard.

Make something from nothing

It is also imperative that the shooting guard be able to be a spot-up shooter—to be able to catch and shoot—as well as be able to create his own shot off the dribble.
The shooting guard is often called upon to get the team a quality shot when their offense has broken down. In other words, when a play has not worked, or the opposing team's defense has thrown a team out of sync, the shooting guard must step up and be able to create something out of nothing.

Pressure the ball

Great point guards keep constant pressure on a passer or dribbler forcing them off of their desired path of attack.

Talk on defense

Great point guards talk constantly on defense helping their teammates to recognize potentially dangerous points of attack by their opponent. They keep their focus throughout the course of a game, and pay attention to details at nearly all times.


Great point guards pay attention to situational advantages such as on the free throw line, during jump balls, or in the flow of the game. For example, when an attacking team has a penetrating guard with no one getting back for defensive balance, they know to attack hard and quick on the counter fast break.


Great point guards quickly and clearly communicate play calls or changes both in the open court and on dead ball situations. They also have the ability to quickly organize a team after an offensive pattern breakdown.


Great point guards seldom turn the ball over due to pressure, and when they deliver a pass to a teammate it is to a point closest to the best position from which their teammate can score. Not occasionally, but virtually every single time.

See the floor

Great point guards always have their head up and maintain full court vision at all times. They do not see one opponent or blocks of 2 or 3, they see all 10 players on the court, and understand the relationship of each by positioning.

Team philosophy

Great point guards understand completely a coach´s (and therefore the team´s) playing philosophy from top to bottom and every ounce of energy and effort is put forth to execute that philosophy. I have seen good guards who are great physically who constantly break out of the team philosophy creating confusion over the team´s offensive and defensive goals. Great guards understand you cannot win if all the oarsmen are not rowing in the same direction.

In the Open Floor

In the open floor, the two-guard must be able to run the lanes effectively, and be able to — after receiving the ball in a fastbreak situation — take the ball to the basket and score.

What is a Shooting Guard

A "shooting guard" is generally just what you think it means: Someone whose primary job is to shoot the ball, either as a spot up shooter, catching and releasing, or coming off screens; someone who can spot up from either in close or three-point range, and someone who defends the other team´s off-guard.

Know your scorers

Great point guards know who can score on their team, how and where

Open Shot

Great point guards do not shoot every time they are open but can knock down the shot any time they are open.

Court Vision

Every time players get the ball they should square up and look down the court before initiating transition. Poor court vision results in forced passes, offensive fouls against an unseen defender, and inability to see open teammates who might more easily advance the ball up the court with more effective results. Only after the player looks ahead should they put the ball on the floor - and then only to advance the ball up the floor, drive to the basket, or improve a passing angle. Then when advancing the ball with a dribble, you must be able to dribble without thinking about dribbling or about the opponent who is guarding you. This will free you to see the court, ready to pass to a teammate who is open.

Defensive Position

Great point guards rarely get caught out of position in defensive transition and the best have the ability to buy time, and space to force the defense into a low percentage shot in the open court even with a superior numbers advantage. They may not stop the break every time, but if they stuff it half the time, they will save you 8 or 10 free points a game.

Stop dribble penetration

Great point guards can stop dribble penetration on defense

Many Tasks

Though they do not have the same responsibilities heaped upon them that point guards do, a talented two-guard is an integral part of a successful team, given that he is called upon to perform so many varying tasks on the floor.

Why Dribble?

Only after the player looks ahead should they put the ball on the floor - and then only to advance the ball up the floor, drive to the basket, or improve a passing angle. Then when advancing the ball with a dribble, you must be able to dribble without thinking about dribbling or about the opponent who is guarding you. This will free you to see the court, ready to pass to a teammate who is open.
Only after the player looks ahead should they put the ball on the floor - and then only to advance the ball up the floor, drive to the basket, or improve a passing angle. Then when advancing the ball with a dribble, you must be able to dribble without thinking about dribbling or about the opponent who is guarding you. This will free you to see the court, ready to pass to a teammate who is open.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008


The 17-Sprint Drill

For the 17-sprint drill, you begin on the sideline and sprint to the opposite sideline. You repeat the drill for a total of 17 sprints. Across and back equals two sprints, so you will finish on the opposite side where you started. After you rest for two to three minutes, you perform another set of 17 sprints.

The Wall Run

The wall run is a great way to condition for basketball. Begin with your arms straight out against a wall. Drive your knees up as high as possible with good forward body lean. When doing this drill, drive your knees up as fast as possible staying on your toes. Perform the drill in 15 to 30 second intervals. Work for 15 seconds and rest for 30 seconds for 10 repetitions.

The Four-Corner Drill

The goal of the four-corner drill is to perform it in the shortest amount of time possible. Start in one corner of the court and sprint to the opposite baseline. Now, slide as you would when you are on defense against another player to the corner. Back pedal to the starting baseline and finish by sliding across the starting baseline. Do not cross your feet when you slide. Be sure you are facing down court during the entire drill. Recover for 90 seconds between repetitions.

The Opposite Hand Layup

The goal of the opposite hand layup is to cross the lane diagonally from one corner of the freethrow line as many times as possible in 60 seconds. Starting from beyond one corner of the freethrow line, dribble diagonally across the lane and perform layups with your dominate hand. Dribble back to the starting position with your dominant hand. Recover for 90 seconds between repetitions.

The Shooting W

You will need a rebounder for the shooting W drill. Begin by shooting a jumpshot at either elbow off the lane and sprint to either half court corner. Sprint back to the free throw circle or top of the key for another jumpshot. Then sprint to the midcourt circle and back to the key and repeat another jumpshot in the free throw circle. After the second shot, sprint to the opposite half court corner and back for a third jumpshot at the free throw circle or top of the key. If you miss a shot, grab the rebound for a short follow shot. If you make the shot, your rebounder will rebound the ball. Three shots equal one set. Work up to three to five shots. Shoot three to five freethrows and repeat the drill.

The 300-Yard Shuffle

The 300-yard shuffle is based on the distance of a regulation basketball court. You begin by starting behind the baseline and sprint to the opposite freethrow line. Touch the freethrow line with your foot and sprint back to the baseline. A total of six trips up and back completes 300 yards. Rest for five minutes and repeat the drill.

The 55-Second Drill

You will need a passer for the 55-second drill. Starting on the right wing, shoot as many shots as possible in 55 seconds off of a pass. You must move seven to 10 feet side to side after each shot. At 55 seconds, shoot five to 10 freethrows and move to the center area of the court. Repeat the process and then move to the left wing area of the court. Repeat the drill again.

The Four-Step Drill

The four-step drill involves running across the court from sideline to sideline. Start on one sideline and sprint to the other side and back for a total of four sprints. (Going up and back equals two sprints). You should complete this in 15 seconds or less. Rest 30 seconds and then get ready for the second sprint - four times down and back for total of eight sprints. You should complete this in 30 seconds or less. You rest 60 seconds and then get ready for the third set, eight times down and back for a total of 16 sprints. Complete this last set in 60 seconds or less.


The gassers drill involves acceleration, deceleration and change of direction. Start on one baseline, sprint to the nearest freethrow line and back. Sprint to the half court and back, sprint to the far free throw line and back, and finally to the far baseline and back. At the end of each sprint, your foot must touch the line before you turn and sprint to the next line. Running time should be 30 seconds or less with 90 seconds of recovery time between repetitions.

The Crosscourt Sprint and Shoot Drill

You will need a passer for the crosscourt sprint and shoot drill. Begin by shooting a jumpshot at the top of the key and then sprint to either side of the court. Now sprint back to the top of the key or elbow to receive a pass and shoot jumpshot. After your jumpshot, sprint to the closest sideline. Now sprint to the opposite sideline and back to the key or elbow to shoot again. Continue the pattern, adding an extra sideline run before the jumpshot each time through until you are crossing the court a total of five times. Finish the drill by shooting five to 10 freethrows. Repeat the sequence two or three times.

Line Jumps

Stand beside any line on the floor. With your feet together, jump forward and backwards over the line, then sideways back and forth (two separate exercises). Repeat for thirty seconds, counting the number of times that you return to the starting point. Try to better yourself every day.

Jump Rope

One of the most important pieces of equipment a basketball player can possess is a jump rope. Daily use of a jump rope will develop stamina, leg strength, agilty and coordination, timing, quickness, and hand-eye coordination. All of these are extremely important to becoming a good ball player.

Bench Jumping

Either face a bench that is about one and a half feet high or stand beside it. You can either jump over and back or sideways. Feet should be kept together. Go for thirty seconds and count the number of times that you return to the starting point. Attempt to increase the number every day.

Finish on a positive note

if the last thing that players do at practice before they hit the locker room and go home is something that they do not enjoy (or even dislike!), that is what they will be talking about until the next practice comes around. A negative atmosphere may be brewing, without even knowing it. A much better method is to end practice on a positive note, and have everyone looking forward to getting back to work at the next practice.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ball stability

Heavy Workout Basketballs

Heavy Workout Basketballs bounce like normal basketballs, but are heavier to build up arm and finger strength and improve just about every aspect of the game. They help improve ball stability too, by building up the player's hands and fingers. Heavy workout basketballs come in regulation and intermediate sizes, and weigh two times as much as a normal basketball. Think of the arm strength and ease of ball handling that can come your way when you use resistance training with a heavy basketball.

Stability Ball Exercise

The stability or balance ball offers many different exercises for every level of fitness from beginner to professional athlete. Stability ball exercise is effective, gentle, and fun! They are particularly great for slow resistance muscle development and of course, balance, which helps basketball players stay light on their feet so they can weave around their opponents on the court.

Swiss Balance Ball

The Swiss balance ball offers workouts that specifically target certain areas of the body, like the back and the abs. They are very easy to use, and offer low impact exercise, too. They are great for fitness toning, and working specific body areas gently but effectively. Basketball is a high impact and intense sport and balance balls offer a low impact training option which can be a terrific break on the knees and joints.

Balance Ball Exercises

Balance ball exercises are fun, and the whole family can get involved. Balance ball exercises can include stretching, strength and resistance training. They also make great office chairs to build your abdominal muscles and help your internal balance. You can do push ups and even partner exercises with your balance ball.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008


Around the World

Around the World: Circling the basketball first around your head, than your waist, Finally, put your legs together and take the ball around both legs at the knees. Then spread your legs, bend at the waist, and take the ball around one leg. Then the other. This will give you a feel for the basketball and help you become more comfortable in your ball handling. A good hand speed and coordination drill, also great conditioner for your arms

Figure 8

Spread your legs, bend at the waist, put the ball through your legs, around one leg, back through your legs, and around your other leg, making a figure eight. This will help you get a feel for the basketball as you move it around. Keep your head up not looking at the ball and increase your speed.

Crab Walk

This drill can go from baseline to half court. Step forward with your left leg and pass the ball from your right hand to your left under your left leg. As you take your next step with your right leg, pass the ball from your left hand to your right under your right leg. Continue this pattern all the way down the floor.

Squeeze the banana

This is a drill that helps increase the strength in your fingers. Hold the ball in front of you at eye level with two hands. By squeezing your fingers and thumb together with one hand at a time, you move the ball from one hand to the other as quickly as you can.
More finger and arm strength will imrove your ball control.


This is a drill to work on your ballhandling. Hold the ball between your legs, with both hands on the ball, right hand in front and left hand in back. Quickly switch your hands,(now left hand in front and right hand in the back), without letting the ball touch the ground. Do as quickly as possible...this drill is one of the hardest to master... but it just takes lots of practice.

Figure 8 Dribbling

This is a drill to practice your ballhandling. Dribble the ball as quickly as possible in a figure 8 through and around the legs. Use the fingers when you dribble, and dribble very low and quickly. Switch from the right to the left and back to the right. Example: start with the right hand dribbling the ball in front and then dribble through your legs with your right hand, switch to your left hand and dribble from the back, around your left side to the front and back through you legs... then switch to your right hand behind the body and around the right side. Try to go as fast as possible, and your dribbling skills will improve with daily practice.


This is another ballhandling drill that seems very difficult at first, but with daily practice, will improve your handles. This drill is called touch-touch-touch because that is what you do... while keeping the ball between your legs, you touch the ball once with your right hand(fingers) in front, then with your left hand(fingers) in front, then with your right behind you, and then with your left behind you. Continue in this manner as fast as possible. Before long, you will master this skill.

The Midas Touch

Having a soft touch is very desirable, and really just means that rather than clanging off the rim, your ball dribbles softly around the edge - due to your soft touch. To develop a soft touch, you want to have more rotation on the ball when you shoot and a higher arch to your ball.

The Midas Touch

Having a soft touch is very desirable, and really just means that rather than clanging off the rim, your ball dribbles softly around the edge - due to your soft touch. To develop a soft touch, you want to have more rotation on the ball when you shoot and a higher arch to your ball.

The Midas Touch

An undesirable trait is thinking too much, and it is due to being tentative. To overcome this tentativeness you want to make sure that when you don't have the ball you think about what you will do with it when you get it (for example - "If I'm open for the shot I will shoot it." etc). This prevents you from freezing up and "thinking too much" once you have the ball.

Up the Ladder

Hold the ball out in front of you and pass it back from hand to hand using only your finger tips. Go from out in front of your waist to above your head and back. This will help you develop the finger tip control that you will need to properly handle the ball.

One on two

A good drill to use to better your dribbling under pressure is to try to advance the ball against two defenders. This will force you to use a variety of manuevers while being alert to the defense.

Figure Eight--Running in Place

Move the ball around your legs as in the Figure Eight Drill, but in addition, run in place.

Pass and Catch

With 2 hands, make a bounce pass between your legs from front to back and catch the ball with 2 hands behind you. Then bounce the ball through your legs from the back to the front, and catch the ball in front of your body. This is a good drill for body awareness.

Situp Dribble

While doing bent-knee situps, dribble up with your right hand as you sit up, and around your feet, then switch hands to your left as you go back down, and then dribble with your left hand as you sit up, back around your feet, switching back to your right hand. Continue as quickly as possible.

Between the Legs Scissors

To start this basketball drill, place your left foot ahead of your right and bounce the ball between your legs from your right hand to your left. As the ball gets to your left hand shift your feet so that your right leg goes ahead of your left and bounce the ball back between your legs. This shifting of your feet will occur with every bounce.

Figure Eight Drop

The ball is moved around the outside of the left legfrom the back to the front. Then it is passed in front of your body and around the outside of your right leg from front to back. Now the ball is between your legs at the back of your body. Bounce the ball, and as it is bouncing, reverse your hands, bring your right from the back to the front and your left from the front to the back. Catch the ball before it bounces again. Continue to do figure eights.

Ball Circle

A great way to become comfortable with the basketball is to take it and circle it around your head, then around your waist, and, finally, around your knees. Reverse direction and take the ball back up--around the knees, waist, and head.

Figure Eight Drop Reverse

For this drill, follow the procedure described in the Figure Eight Drop Drill, except that when you bounce the ball, your movement will be reversed. After the bounce, circle the ball around the outside of your right leg, in front of your left leg, and around your left leg from the front to the back.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Author Intro Tips


The constant quest for a "better way" is what makes our profession as coaches, and this great game of basketball, an ever changing adventure. As long as we continue to grow and learn, the future of our sport is in good hands. Basketball coaches come in as many shapes and sizes as the number of game plans that are possible during the evolving, re-inventing, and recycling of ideas in our wonderful sport. In this book I hope that each coach may find some tips that will either "square" with what they already knew, make them look at something from a different "angle", or provide something new that completed the "circle" for them.

While these might not be the 101 most important tips in the game of basketball, I hope that there is something for everyone. I've tried to provide some ideas that may not be mainstream, some might be presented in a different manner than usual, and a few that initially might not come to mind. Find some tips that fit your personality, coaching style or the kind of coach that you strive to be. Put those tips to use and make them your "new seasons resolution" . Otherwise, these 101 tips might be like the treadmill on my back porch. It was bought with good intentions and high expectations, but if I don't commit to using it...

Ray Lokar is the Southern California Coordinator for the Positive Coaching Alliance and serves as a Lead Trainer and Mentor Coach for PCA. He has coached in SoCal for over 25 years at the youth, high school, and college levels and developed a majority of the content for Coach Lokar was the Head Basketball Coach of the 2002 California Interscholastic Federation Champions while at Bishop Amat High School and served a two-year term as President of the Southern California Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association. He now coordinates the Basketball Coaching Education Program for the Amateur Athletic Foundation in Southern California.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ankle Supports Tips

Athletic Ankle Support

Ankle support for athletes is extremely important, especially for young, growing athletes with immature bones. Athletic ankle support not only gives the athlete an edge in movement and stability, it helps support young, growing bones and muscles so they mature correctly. The best thing to do for ankle support is to train and work out to improve your strength and flexibility. If you need an extra boost, though, look to an ankle brace.

Ankle Support

Ankle support is crucial to good basketball play and your own good health. The best ankle supports are made of neoprene and they not only support your ankle but increase your bounce, make your landings softer and keep your muscles warm. We all get injured at one time or another, and ankle supports are key to basketball players who are constantly stressing their joints with jumping and running.

Ankle Braces and Support

For injuries, practice, and play, the best ankle braces and support must hold the ankle firmly and protect it from injury. The Active Ankle Brace allows for great motion but will not allow lateral twisting. It's recommended especially for injured ankles. You should give your ankle time to heal, but if you can't miss that big game then you want to make sure you are looking for a brace that caters to injury and not just a warmth or support brace.

Elbow and Knee Supports

Ankles aren't the only part of the body that need good support. Elbows and knees can take a beating during basketball, too. Good elbow and knee supports provide excellent range of motion and protection where you need it most. They are comfortable and yet secure, and provide the wearer with relief, comfort, and ease of use. There's another benefit to wearing athletic supports when you play basketball. The supports keep your muscles warm and loosened, which is very important whether you are practicing your moves or playing in front of a crowd. This can prevent muscle tears and strains - the bane of all athletes.

Two Ways to Support Your Ankle

Learn the two basic ways to correctly support your ankle for the best results when you play basketball. Even the best basketball shoes need additional ankle support.

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Cavaliers Sign Lorenzen Wright

CLEVELAND, OH - September 5th, 2008 - The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed veteran center Lorenzen Wright to a contract, Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry announced today. Per team and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Wright, 32, played 13 games last season with the Atlanta Hawks and five games with the Sacramento Kings. The 6-foot-11, 255 pound center was drafted by the L.A. Clippers with the seventh overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft and has played in 761 career games (445 starts) with averages of 8.1 points and 6.5 rebounds in 24.2 minutes per game.

“Lorenzen brings us valuable size and experience and adds depth to our front court,” Ferry said. “We think he’s a good fit for us and look forward to him joining our team.”

The 12-year veteran has appeared in 15 postseason games (11 starts) and averaged 7.7 points, 5.3 rebounds,1.1 assists and 24.2 minutes per game.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Oklahoma City team nickname will be Thunder

Damien Wilkins, left, applauds as the name, logo and colors of Oklahoma City's NBA franchise are unveiled Wednesday. Wilkins is a player for the Oklahoma City Thunder, which moved from Seattle this summer.

OKLAHOMA CITY - Thunder can be heard from miles away, an early warning that a storm is about to arrive. So, perhaps it’s only fitting that the name of Oklahoma City’s NBA team didn’t sneak up on anyone.
Six weeks after the name first surfaced, team officials officially announced Wednesday that the team formerly known as the Seattle SuperSonics would be known as the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“It’s hard to keep a secret,” team chairman Clay Bennett said after stepping to a podium on the ground floor of the downtown office building where the team is headquartered.

The announcement had long been anticipated, but everyone knew what was coming.
The local ABC affiliate reported in mid-July that Thunder had been chosen as the nickname. Then the NBA Web site listed as a link to the Oklahoma City team’s page. Then the Orlando Magic’s site listed games against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Even the logo and colors leaked out over the weekend. Then, prior to the 5 p.m. announcement, Thunder merchandise started showing up on the NBA’s online store.
“I thought it was great fun. Maybe I have a warped sense of things,” Bennett said. “I thought it was a lot of fun. I was disappointed in the image being released.”
That left Bennett somewhat surprised that hundreds of people still showed up in the atrium of Leadership Square, watched from their office windows or leaned over a second-floor walkway to hear it for sure.
“My family talked about wanting to come down, and I said, ‘Well, I don’t think it’s that big a deal. Everybody seems to know the name already,”’ Bennett said.
To unveil the logo, six children joined players Desmond Mason and Damien Wilkins to pull down a curtain as the AC/DC song “Thunderstruck” blared over the loudspeaker. What was revealed was a large blue banner with the logo in the middle, and splashes of yellow at the top and reddish-orange at the bottom.
Bennett said the light blue color coincides with the state flag to represent the inclusion of all Oklahomans, the yellow refers to the sun and the reddish-orange color to the sunset. With the University of Oklahoma featuring crimson as its primary color, and Oklahoma State using orange, Bennett said it was “not too red and not too orange.”
Thunder is a fitting moniker for the Oklahoma City franchise, not only as a reference to powerful storms in the area known as Tornado Alley. The Oklahoma City-based 45th Infantry Division carries Thunderbirds as its nickname, and that’s a reference to the state’s American Indian heritage. Even one of Oklahoma native Garth Brooks’ biggest hits was “The Thunder Rolls.”
“There’s just all kinds of good thunder images and thoughts, and the in-game experience of Thunder,” Bennett said. “Just here was a good sense of how that evokes emotion. It’s very powerful.”
The team name had been the most evident — and talked about — element missing after Bennett announced July 2 that the SuperSonics would be moving to Oklahoma City through an agreement that will have him pay the city of Seattle up to $75 million to settle a lawsuit.
Bennett said the uniforms and mascot won’t be unveiled for another few weeks, but T-shirts, basketballs and other Thunder merchandise went on sale immediately after the announcement.
“The guys in the jerseys, if they play, the jerseys are going to look real good,” coach P.J. Carlesimo said.
While the team applied for trademarks to six names — the others were Wind, Barons, Marshalls, Energy and Bison — Bennett said the decision on the name had been made “quite some time” ago. He said the names on the trademark applications weren’t finalists, and he wouldn’t reveal what other names got serious consideration.
General manager Sam Presti told the crowd designing a logo “takes an immense amount of work, and it does take some time.
“Not that anyone was really paying attention to the amount of time it was taking,” he quipped.
Team officials said they hope they can make the qualities of character, perseverance, selflessness, community and winning synonymous with Thunder.
“It’s very unique,” said Mason, a former Oklahoma State forward who the Thunder acquired in an offseason trade with Milwaukee. “It’s going to take some time getting used to, just like Utah Jazz or Orlando Magic, but I think it’s a great thing for the state and a great thing for the city.”

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

James Improvises an MVP Performance in the Big Easy

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images
LeBron James' clutch dunk with 55 seconds left put the East up two,
capping his MVP performance.

Surrounded by an abundance of friends and family members, LeBron James was the center of attention at the postgame photo shoot following Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game.

After posing with the members of his inner circle for numerous serious pictures, James had a suggestion to liven up the room:

“Let’s do it again except for this time I want everybody to freestyle,” said James, who less than an hour earlier had the best improvisation of the night:

With the game tied and under a minute remaining, James stole an errant pass, dribbled up the sideline and crossed the first defender in his path, Amare Stoudemire, at the 3-point line before rising up to dunk in the face of defender No. 2, Dirk Nowitzki.

Besides bringing the New Orleans Arena crowd to its feet, the jam put the East in front to stay en route to a 134-128 victory.

“I didn’t want to settle for a jump shot,” said James, who was named the game’s MVP for the second time in three years. “I wanted to be aggressive and try to get to the hole to get the layup.

“When I saw those bigs coming, I didn’t want to lay the ball up because they would have definitely made a play and tried to block it. I was able to go strong and dunk it through.”

While James’ slam is the play that everybody will most remember from the game, it is not the only reason he received top player honors.

Like he has done all season, James showed the world why he is the league’s best all-around player, finishing with 27 points (12-for-22 shooting), handing out nine assists, grabbing eight rebounds, blocking two shots and making two steals.

He fell one assist and two rebounds short of the first All-Star Game triple-double since 1997.

“I just wanted to win the game,” James said. “They beat up on us pretty bad last year in Las Vegas and as the East, we didn’t want to allow that to happen again.”

While some All-Star Games are sloppy due to players trying to get too cute with the ball, this one had the feel of an intense regular-season game.

“This was the most competitive All-Star Game I’ve played in,” James said. “Guys really wanted to win the ballgame. As fans and everybody that watched the game, I think they would think the same thing.”

The West wiped out a 16-point deficit thanks to the play of hometown hero Chris Paul, who had 16 points, 14 assists and four steals.

The final five minutes of the game, during which the West rallied to take a slight lead only to get its heart broken, are probably getting shown on an instant classic channel right now.

Ray Allen helped set the stage for James’ late-game theatrics by draining three 3-pointers in the final 3:15 on the way to a game-high 28 points for the East.

“Ray hit some big shots,” James said. “Some of the biggest shots of the game and he kept it flowing. I put the finishing touch on it.”

James, who was also named MVP of the 2006 game, is the 11th player to win the award more than once.

“I mean to add the MVP trophy with the win means a lot to me,” James said. “I played well and I helped our team win. It means a lot to go out there and perform the way I was able to in front of the fans of New Orleans

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Spain's Rubio plays well beyond his years

Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio brings a calming influence to his team -- despite being just 17-years old. Rubio and Spain face their toughest test yet when they play Team USA Saturday at 10:15 a.m. ET.

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Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio brings a calming influence to his team -- despite being just 17-years old. Rubio and Spain face their toughest test yet when they play Team USA Saturday at 10:15 a.m. ET.

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Getty Images

Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio brings a calming influence to his team -- despite being just 17-years old. Rubio and Spain face their toughest test yet when they play Team USA Saturday at 10:15 a.m. ET.

At the core of Spain's reigning World Championship basketball squad are seven former, current or future NBA players (Marc Gasol and Rudy Fernandez will join the league this season).

But when the team was getting rocked by China in a preliminary game last Tuesday, on the verge of suffering a huge upset, the player who righted them and turned the game around was a skinny 17-year-old making his national team debut.

That kid was point guard Ricky Rubio.

The 6-3 Rubio finished with only one point, but his quickness and defensive mindset turned the game around as he harassed the Chinese guards into several turnovers, picked the pockets of NBA players Yao Ming and Yi Jianlian and threw Pau Gasol a perfect lob for a powerful, momentum-changing dunk. Rubio's relentless pressure shook up the Chinese backcourt into losing their flow and confidence.

Afterwards, coach Aito Garcia Reneses -- who also coaches Rubio on DKJ Joventut -- shrugged off a question about why Rubio was on the court ahead of more experienced players.

"This 17-year-old kid is actually a very mature player and I don't see any problem putting him on the court in overtime, or in any crucial situation," Reneses said.

Indeed, in the third quarter, when Spain looked rattled by the huge, extremely loud crowd and on the verge of succumbing to China's momentum, it was Rubio who stayed cool and composed. His confidence, lack of hesitation and apparent unflappability are startling in a player so young.

"We were looking to pressure a lot and I was just focused on defense," Rubio said after the game, wearing flip-flops and a slight grin. "Everything flowed from that."

Rubio will face a formidable backcourt challenge when Spain takes on Team USA on Day 8. These Olympics may represent Rubio's debut to much of the world, but hoops heads have known about him for a while. His reputation exploded in the final of the 2006 FIBA U-16 Championships, where he torched Russia for 51 points, 24 rebounds, 12 assists and 7 steals. He played his first game for DKV Joventut in the demanding ACB League at age 14 and became a starter this year, his first full season.

Rubio will be eligible for the NBA Draft next year, but is signed to his current team through 2010 and resists all attempts to ask him about his future plans. "I will play in the ACB next year and I'm not thinking about two or three years down the road and whether or not I'll be in NBA or Europe," he insisted.

Lang Whitaker, executive editor of Slam Magazine, traveled to Barcelona in February 2007 to spend time with Rubio and his family, and came away impressed with both his support system and his basketball skills.

"It was pretty remarkable to see Ricky at 16 dominating against a bunch of men," said Whitaker. "While his shot could still use some improving, he has an innate sense of the game and he seems to understand that scoring isn't always the most important part of a play."

In that regard, Whitaker believe that Rubio's closest comparison is Magic Johnson, though early American press tends to compare him to "Pistol" Pete Maravich, the scoring machine who starred for the New Orleans Jazz 30 years ago.

"That is an almost purely physical connection - similar looks and body types -- because basketball-wise they are nothing alike," Whitaker said. "Maravich was a scorer first, while Ricky seems suited to being a distributor first and scorer second, though he's tall enough that he'll be able to score in the post against smaller guards once he gains some muscle."

For his part, Rubio is definitive about to whom he hopes to be compared:

"I play like Ricky Rubio."

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

National Basketball Association

NBA logo depicting Jerry West

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is North America's premier professional men's basketball league, composed of thirty teams from Canada and the USA. It is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB), which is recognized by the International Basketball Federation as the National Governing Body (NGB) for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major North American professional sports leagues, which also includes the NHL, the NFL, and MLB.

The league was founded in New York City, on June 6, 1946 as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). The league adopted the name National Basketball Association in 1949 after merging with the rival National Basketball League. The league's several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices located in the Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue in New York City. NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in Secaucus, New Jersey.

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UConn's Thabeet not 'not your average 7-3 guy'

Hasheem Thabeet will be one of the best players in college basketball next season, writes Mike DeCourcy.

To explain how far Hasheem Thabeet has traveled as a basketball player, you could start in Tanzania, the place of his birth. That would be intriguing, but it only conveys his long journey to play the game in a circumstance where he can learn, improve and test himself against the best competition among players his age.

You could go back to his first days as a freshman at Connecticut, when he'd run up and down the court like Asafa Powell but stumble around the lane like Will Ferrell. That would be entertaining, but it only suggests he once was fearful -- not that one day he might become fearsome.

No, the best place to go for an understanding of how profoundly Thabeet has improved is inside the mind of the point guard whose job it is to get him the basketball. A.J. Price ran the UConn offense last season, when the 7-3 Thabeet averaged 10.5 points and shot 60.3 percent from the floor as a sophomore center. Price says he frequently hesitated to throw an entry pass to Thabeet, even when he had perfect post-up position with a defender at his back and no double-team in sight.


Michael Jordan goes for a slam dunk

Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five active players each try to score points against one another by propelling a ball through a 10 feet (3 m) high hoop (the goal) under organized rules. Basketball is one of the most popular and widely viewed sports in the world.

Points are scored by shooting the ball through the basket above; the team with more points at the end of the game wins. The ball can be advanced on the court by bouncing it (dribbling) or passing it between teammates. Disruptive physical contact (fouls) is not permitted and there are restrictions on how the ball can be handled (violations).

Through time, basketball has developed to involve common techniques of shooting, passing and dribbling, as well as players' positions, and offensive and defensive structures. Typically, the tallest members of a team will play center or one of two forward positions, while shorter players or those who possess the best ball handling skills and speed, play the guard positions. While competitive basketball is carefully regulated, numerous variations of basketball have developed for casual play. In some countries, basketball is also a popular spectator sport.

While competitive basketball is primarily an indoor sport, played on a basketball court, less regulated variations have become exceedingly popular as an outdoor sport among both inner city and rural groups.

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