Author Archives: coach stricklin

Bob Hurley’s Thoughts on Practice

Hurley Basketball1. Shorten practice as the season progresses, but maintain intensity.

2. Alternate easy and hard segments of practice.

3. Only emphasize one side of a drill.

4. Don’t stay on one thing more than 10 minutes. Come back to it the next day.

5. Stress fundamentals early in practice and build to team play later.

6. Make the players keep a notebook.

7. Have practice gear for them to wear. (varsity only)

8. The group that finishes practice as starters start the next day.

9. Practice should be harder than the game. Make players confidently look forward to the next game.

10. Spend more time with the offense early since the offense will take more time to develop.

11. Practice should be tough but variety is essential.

12. Reward playing time to those players who practice well.

13. Don’t punish after a bad game – TEACH!

14. Stay with your practice plan. If things aren’t working move on anyway and return to the problem the next day.

15. Use peer pressure to elevate the practice mood. If that fails, throw someone out. (anyone)

“Bobbleheads” Can’t Shoot

Bobbleheads Can't ShootWhen players start to experience a mid season shooting slump they usually look for any possible flaws in their mechanics.

They check their shoulders, their elbows, their feet and their fingers. One thing they hardly ever check is their head!

Here is what Thomas Emma, President of Power Performances has to say about a shooter’s head:

Too much head movement can drastically hinder shooting accuracy by causing the shooter to
lose balance and focus. This shooting defect is a common problem for athletes at all levels of play from junior high school on up through the professional ranks.

When shooting it is imperative for the shooter to keep the head stationary. Even the slightest head tilt can be enough to send an otherwise perfectly aimed shot awry. Coaches should consistently be on the lookout for players who move their heads when shooting because it is very difficult for a shooter to detect this subtle flaw in shooting form on his or her own.

If you find yourself in a shooting slump and all your other shooting mechanics seem to be “normal” try taking a look to see if your head is moving.

Have your coach help you or have a friend or parent record a short video while you are going through a shooting workout.

Once the problem is recognized it becomes much easier to fix.

Social Media “Don’ts”

Social Media and AthletesSeveral times a year I’m still amazed at some of the things that college and high school athletes share on their social media accounts despite the troubles that others have experienced by posting without thinking.

Here are some guidelines that the University of Michigan give its student athletes to prevent potential problems.

While a couple of these guidelines are geared more to college athletes the majority of them apply to athletes of all ages.

Don’t accept friends or follow requests if you are not sure who they are coming from.

Don’t put anything on social media tat you would not want your family, your future employers, those reading the front page of the newspaper, or the whole world to see.

Don’t post offensive comments, personal attacks, or racial comments.

Don’t post when you’re emotional, like right after a game. You are most likely to say something you will regret later.

Don’t post anything about a recruit, even if it is someone you know, as this will result in an NCAA rules violation.

Don’t post or tweet anything during class.

Don’t publicize information about your team, the athletic department, or the university that is not considered public knowledge.

Every college coach I know can tell you about at least one player that they either refused to recruit or quit recruiting because of something they read on a social media account. Don’t add your own name to that list of players!


Back to the Basket Workout

Back to the BasketDuring the course of the season when we are all worried a bout the next game it is easy to forget about skill development work and the process of getting better.

Over the next few posts I’m going to include some individual workout ideas that you can either use with your team or individually.

This particular workout will help you if you play with your back to the basket.

Start under the basket and spin the ball out to yourself so you catch it about the first hash mark above the block. Keep your center of gravity low and catch the ball out of a jump stop with your feet wide. Give a quick head and shoulder fake one way and drop step the opposite direction. Take no more than one dribble.

Drop step baseline from both right and left sides making (not shooting) 10 shots with the right hand and 10 shots with the left hand.

Drop step middle from both right and left sides making (not shooting) 10 jump hooks with the right hand and 10 jump hooks with the left hand.

Double drop step. Do a normal drop step one way, pick the ball up and drop the opposite foot in the opposite direction. Make 20 shots going in both directions.

Up and under. This is a great counter tot he jump hook. As the defense slides to one side show the ball, step through, and jump off two feet. Make 10 shots from each side.

Turn around jump shot. Make 10 shots turning to your right and 10 shots turning to your left. Do this from both sides of the floor.

Turn around up and under. Turn over your shoulder like you are shooting a jump shot, show the ball and then step through. Make 10 shots from both sides and in each direction.

Finish the workout with 25 free throws because as you do these moves correctly and become a bigger scoring threat you are going to be fouled more than ever before!


Use Hockey Steps to Shake Your Defender

Hockey StepsHere is a great tip from the Concord Storm that can be used either with or without the ball:

“As you run forward at a moderate speed, take a series of short, quick, parallel steps. Stay low with your knees flexed. Combine this with a change of direction move and you will have your defender scrambling behind trying to catch up.”

“Also while you are running and taking these hockey steps alternately thrown in some head and/or shoulders fakes. This will help confuse the defense because with different body parts all going in different directions the defense can’t be totally sure which way you will eventually cut.”

How to Seperate Yourself from the Pack

Pat Riley ShowtimeHere is some great advice from basketball Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley who is now the President of the Miami Heat.

It is taken from Riley’s book “Showtime.” Although the book is a little older it is still full of awesome insights for players and coaches alike.

The ones who can really separate themselves from the pack are those who understand what it takes to sustain excellence. To get away from a “to have” mentality. “To have” is something we get early in our life. To have power. To have a little bit of prestige. To have position. To have the car and the house and all those things that we feel that we need.

And then you understand later on in your career that those things don’t mean anything. When you experience them you realize the only thing left is to be the very best. You prioritize “to be” over “to have.” And when you’re thinking about being the very best, you’re making sure that you’re being a person, a performer, whom you can be proud of.”

A Closer Team Might Only be a Touch Away

Closer TeamsOften times a team’s culture is reflected in it’s day to day activities, routines, and traditions.

Some of these routines need initial instruction and explanation and others are so simple and obvious that everyone catches on immediately.

One such routine takes place it the UCONN women’s program. At the beginning of every practice coach Geno Auriemma has the team gather around  the center circle at mid court.

While Coach Auriemma is talking, each player quietly and discreetly touches the player next to her until they’ve worked their way all around the circle.

The touches might include a quick pat on the back, a tug on the shorts, or a slight fist bump – each player seems to have her own style and preference.

It’s not important how its done but why it’s done is very important. The touches signify that everyone is “all in” together, that everyone is important and that no matter what they do in practice that day (or what happened the day before) they are united.

The most interesting thing about this UCONN tradition is that even though it has been going on for years Coach Auriemma has no idea who actually started it.

That means a player started it, obviously without recognition or fanfare, in hopes of bringing her teammates a little closer.

What are you doing each and every day to bring your teammates closer together?


The Perfect Present for Basketball Coaches

BC 250Still looking to buy a last minute Christmas present for your “favorite” basketball coach?

Then by all means consider subscribing to Basketball Classroom! (Especially if your favorite coach is you!)

Basketball Classroom is the first of its kind in terms of coaching programs. It’s no nonsense, straight to the point information produced by real coaches for real coaches and is presented in several multimedia formats to accommodate all learning styles – just like a real classroom.

The program contains dozens of videos, special reports, audio files, charts, diagrams, interviews, and animated plays. It doesn’t matter if you are just starting to coach your first team or if you’ve been pacing the sidelines for years, you can benefit from the information in Basketball Classroom.

Some Christmas gifts lose their value almost as soon as they are opened. The benefits from enrolling in Basketball Classroom can be career changing and will last forever!

Check it out now! – you and your players will be glad you did (make sure your speakers are on or you have a headset on to watch the preview video).

Merry Christmas from your friends at HoopSkills!!

A Simple Trick to Improve Team Chemistry

Team Chemistry TipWant to bring your team a little closer together?

Then try this really simple yet effective technique – from now on have every player and every coach touch every other player or coach he sees throughout the day.

High five, fist bump, choreographed team hand shake – it doesn’t matter as long as there’s some type of quick intentional physical contact.

The key word here is EVERY.

Every player and every coach gets the exact same treatment and attention regardless of personality, grade, or stature.

Leading rebounders, bench warmers, head coaches and volunteer assistant coaches are all greeted and acknowledged by everyone else.

No one is left out!

It might sound silly but try it for two weeks and I promise your team chemistry will improve and everyone on the team will be a little tighter!

Viglione Ball Handling Part 2

Part 2Here is Part 2 of Coach Danielle Viglione’s high intensity ball handling workout:

Start by standing on the baseline under the basket facing half court or you can start on the elbow facing the basket. Use the line of the key from the baseline to the elbow to make your dribble move.

You will take one dribble and make your move midway between the baseline and the elbow. Start at 50% speed and shift gears on the crossover to 100% speed dribble.

Stop at the other side and turn around and do the same move on the way back, Change speeds and work on explosive bursts as well as your ball handling moves.

    • Crossover dribble: 10-15 moves in 30 seconds switching hands each time
    • Between legs dribble: 10-15 moves in 30 seconds switching hands each time
    • Behind the back dribble: 10-15 moves in 30 seconds switching hands each time
    • In and out right hand: 10-15 moves in 30 seconds with only your right hand
    • In and out left hand: 10-15 moves in 30 seconds with only your left hand
    • In and out crossover: 10-15 moves in 30 seconds switching hands each time
    • Bounce out one dribble and go: 10-15 moves in 30 seconds with only right or left hand
    • Bounce out one dribble and cross: 10-15 moves in 30 seconds switching hands each time
    • Retreat dribble with 2 dribbles back and then go: 8-10 moves in 30 seconds with same hand
  • Retreat dribble with 2 dribbles back and crossover: 8-10 moves in 30 seconds switching hands