Here is a great video that demonstrates how hard it can be for coaches having to deal with all the outside influences their players have around them.
Players: Please watch this and internalize how important it is for you to be accountable for your own actions. The more you push blame aside in your life the less likely you are to be successful in whatever path of life you choose!
When 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.
During 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!
Here 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.”
The following advice comes from former high school, college, and professional star Danielle Viglione, who is now helping others follow in her footsteps at the Sacramento Skills Academy.
It is so simple yet can have a major impact on any player’s (and/or coach’s) career. I am going to read this to my own team this afternoon!
I’m sure you all have dreams in basketball. When I was a girl about your age all I had was a ball and a dream. I think about all the countless hours I spent in a gym or on an outdoor court by myself when no one else was watching.
I broke Cheryl Miller’s record for points in a season my junior year in high school. That same year I broke the national record for three pointers made in a game with 14 and I scored over 3000 points in my high school career in just 3 years.
I was the California player of the year two years in a row and went on to play at the University of Texas where I started breaking records my freshman year.
I still hold the Texas single game scoring record of 48 points and also received countless scholar-athlete awards because I put an emphasis on school. I started my professional career playing for the Sacramento Monarchs and then spent 10 years playing overseas in Israel, Turkey, and Italy.
But the thousands of hours of relentless training, the hours with no one in the stands, no one to cheer me on but my own ambition and desire – that is what made me successful. I was great when I didn’t have to be!
I was giving 100% when no one was watching. The toughest competition in my life is that which I set up for myself when no one else was watching. You need to do the job that doesn’t have to be done and do it better than it needs to be done.
Without a doubt, passing is the most under developed skill in the game today yet it is definitely one of the most important.
Because so few players can pass the ball really well, becoming a great passer is one of the quickest and surest ways to get a lot more playing time. If you can accurately deliver the ball to your teammates than you are an invaluable asset no matter what offense your team is running.
Here is a simple series of passing drills that you can work on by yourself – all you need is a wall and a ball. If you regularly stay after practice and spend a few minutes working on your passing (Who else does that? Probably no one else on your team!) not only will your passing skills improve but your coach will know you are serious about getting better and getting more court time!
Right hand and left hand behind the back pass: 12 reps in 10 seconds with each hand
Pound dribble into a behind the back pass: 12 reps in 20 seconds
Right hand and left hand fake high then bounce pass low: 12 reps in 20 seconds
Right and left hand fake low and air pass by the ear: 12 reps in 20 seconds
Fake right and pass left with a left foot pivot: 12 reps in 20 seconds
Fake left and pass right with a right foot pivot: 12 reps in 20 seconds
Dribble moves followed by right and left handed passes: 10 reps each, no time limit
Each pass above needs to be thrown hard off the wall and needs to be aimed at a specific target (use a piece of tape if necessary).
Just throwing the ball in the direction of the wall is not game-like and won’t help you improve!