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“ Basketball is my passion“ Coaching is where I feel at peace with all things. Coaching to me is not about winning and losing but rather about development and seeing the improvement throughout the years. I hope my years of experience will allow me to share some wisdom with other lovers of the game of Basketball. Twitter : @nextgenballer Instagram : @nextgenerationballer

Friday, April 30, 2010

Basketball for Parents or youth ?

At what point does parental involvement become too much? We have all heard or seen that parent who screams and yells at kids games. I am not referring to that parent who screams and cheers for their team but rather that parent who insists on criticizing the refs for everything they do. And I mean seeing this scenario at a game where kids are only 8 and 9 years old. There are multiple advertisements and pamphlets which remind us that the game is for the youth and for them to have fun. Now these scenes can be dismissed as a crazy parent but when parental involvement starts to go on behind the scene then I believe it has gone too far.

I can recall instances where parents have complained that their child did not get enough playing time and this was after the first game of the season and they players were if the fine age of 10 years old. Now unfortunately this continues to happen all through the playing career of a youngster. I have even recently heard of a case where a coach in university basketball was forced to leave their job because the parents complained their child was not getting enough floor time. This last instance makes we wonder at what point do we just let the kids play !!!!!!!

I urge all parents to sit back, watch enjoy and just let kids of all ages just be kids.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Whats in a Name

Some of the greatest athletes and some very interesting characters have played in the NBA and have been given nicknames that follow them their whole career. Even some of the old timers had nicknames. George Gervin was the called ‘The Ice Man” because nothing rattled him and he could make shots fro anywhere. Oscar Robinson was the “Big O” and Bill Russell was so great his nickname was “Bill”.
Walt Frazier was called “Clyde” after the character in Bonnie and Clyde. Nicknames really became prominent in the 1980’s as the hip-hop era took hold a player’s nickname was used more often. Everyone knows the Michael Jordan is “MJ”, “His Airness” or “Air Jordan”. Only the players that transcend the game get multiple nicknames. Shaquille O’Neal is known as "Shaq", "The Big Aristotle", "The Big Diesel", "The Big Cactus", "Shaqtus”, his reference to playing in Phoenix and the "The Big Witness" in reference witnessing the king Lebron James.

Kobe Bryant is known as the “black Mamba” because he can strike and score so quickly or “Mr. 81” after scoring 81 points in a game. Magic is used moor often than Ervin Johnson and Julius Erving was known as “Dr. J” for his sweet jumper and Chamberlin was “Wilt The Stilt” because of his height.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

More than a Game

Great athletes don't think.
They are just great performers and for the most part they can't boil it down to what makes them so special. They might have a story they like to tell themselves but in reality it's a combination of things. When it comes to their confidence and lack of fear (that's what confidence is, not caring for the outcome and/or expecting a positive result) it all comes down to the thought processes in their head.
For starters, I would say you should focus on your strengths. When driving against your opponent it's a matter of what you focus on. If you EXPECT that he or she is going to reject you, and you actually believe that, you are very likely to get rejected because it's the self-fulfilling prophecy taking place.
What you expect to be true generally is. Instead, not only should you focus on the things that make you a better player (and the fact that you've come to this website) tells me that you are willing to improve. Some people play the game for the sake of playing the game. But not you, to you, basketball it's more than just a game.

Basketball Canada to host FIBA Qualifier ?

TORONTO - The FIBA-Americas Evaluation Committee has arrived in Toronto in order to inspect the facilities and have meetings regarding the 2011 FIBA-Americas Championship bid.
The FIBA-Americas Evaluation Committee is composed of FIBA-Americas President Horacio Muratore, Secretary General Alberto Garcia and Event Manager Javier Otero.
They arrived Tuesday and will have meetings with Canada Basketball and government authorities from Wednesday through Friday.
"Canada Basketball is well prepared, all the requirements have been met and it will be very important the support from the government, bid partners and the private sector," said Muratore.
The committee already visited Argentina and Brazil, which showcased strong bids and have shown full support from all sectors in order to make this event successful.
"Canada is making a strong bid to make this event [successful]. Their last big tournament was the 1994 FIBA World Championship. We are very happy to have three strong candidates," said Garcia.
“Canada Basketball is excited to host the FIBA Americas Evaluation Committee in Toronto as part of our proposal to host the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship for Men,” said Wayne Parrish, Executive Director and CEO for Canada Basketball. “Working closely with our bid partners, we have an eventful site visit planned that will showcase the very best of Toronto, from the award winning Air Canada Centre arena to world-class hotels, restaurants and venues. I am confident that Canada meets all of the requirements to host this prestigious tournament.
“Canada has demonstrated our capacity to successfully host a wide variety of international sporting events and Toronto is a multicultural basketball city eager to invite the world to celebrate our great sport. With 2011 marking the 120th anniversary of the invention of basketball by Canadian Dr. James Naismith, the timing would be ideal to host the FIBA Americas Championship for Men while commemorating this milestone on home court.”
On May 22 all three bidding countries will make a presentation to the FIBA-Americas Central Board in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After the presentations, the members, except the bidding countries, will vote for the best candidate.
The country that gets the lowest number of votes in the first round is eliminated and a second round of voting begins with the two countries left. The one that gets the most votes wins.
After the result is known, there will be a news conference to announce the host of the 2011 FIBA-Americas Championship, which is a qualifier for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Sports Illustrated: The Basketball Book

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Basketball Defense - The Final Installment

17. Change quickly from offense to defense when you lose possession of the ball.

18. Block out your man when a shot is taken, than move aggressively for the ball. Grab the ball quickly and firmly without tipping it as you may when on offense.

19. Do not leave your feet unless the ball is in the air.

20. Force dribbler toward side, corner, or a congested area. Be sure to stop the baseline drive when guarding a man on the side of the floor.

21. Take two quick steps backward toward basket when your man passes, but keep your eyes on him and try to block his cutting lane.

22. Discover the strong and weak points of your man, and play him accordingly. Note that the offensive man may also be faked.

23. Know the system of your opponent and adjust to it.

24. Help your teammates and protect against the easy shot.

25. Earn the right to be proud of your defense!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


7. Anticipate movements. Study your man. Make it difficult for him to have the ball in jumping-shooting range.

8. Keep good balance, relaxed and ready. Do not let the head bob up and down.

9. Talk. A talking defense is likely to be a good defense. Yell at a shooter and keep a moving hand in his face. Encourage and help teammates.

10. Be alert to avoid or shift on screens and call all shifts. It is better to shift toward rather than laterally, and the shift must be made without question when called.

11. Open up toward the ball with one hand pointing toward your man and the other toward the ball.

12. Make the offensive man commit himself.

13. Float when away from the ball. The further your man is from the ball, the further you may be from him.

14. Dominate your opponent. Be aggressive. Never relax when on defense. If you must rest, do it on offense.

15. Do not be caught standing or flat-footed, and never stand straight up.

16. Play the ball up underneath the arms of a dribbler or driving shooter and not down across the arms.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Offence scores points, but defence wins Championships !!!

25 Things You Should Remember On Defense

1. Keep between your man and his basket when he has the ball and is in a dangerous cutting area or position, with your back toward the defensive basket. Stay between him and the ball when he is near the basket. Stay an arm's length away when he has the ball.

2. Make it difficult for your man to receive the ball in scoring territory. The most effective defense is played before your man gets the ball.

3. By split vision, try to keep both your man and the ball in your sight at all times. As a general rule, give your man two thirds of your attention and the ball one third. Look through your man, not at him.

4. Never cross your legs. SLIDE! (Unless you are trying to catch the ball).

5. Do not charge an opponent or get your head leaning forward. Keep body low and advance cautiously protecting the most dangerous side and ready to retreat or slide to the right or left.

6. Sprint back when you lose possession of the ball, but look over your shoulder for guidance.

( remaining to be posted later )

Friday, April 16, 2010

PRACTICE ! PRACTICE ! PRACTICE ! ( despite what Iverson says)

There are a number of reasons why practice is the critical element in your athletic performance.

• This is, of course, the time when you improve your technical skills, and get individual or team plays down to the point where you can execute them automatically, without having to stop and think about what you are doing.
• This is also the time where you work on weak areas, and expand your range of skills. Some athletes are content to stay in their comfort zone, and use practice as a time to get ego-strokes rather than to bring some of the weaker aspects of their game up a notch.
• Practice can be an important period in terms of your self-confidence. As things go well in practice, you will feel more encouraged, and generally confident in your abilities to execute under pressure. The most important key to athletic success is the ability to deliver the goods at crunch time.
• It is also a time to work on your mental game. If you envision yourself as a player who can go strong late in the game, if you want to be a team leader, if you could do a better job of re-focusing and getting back into the game after making an error or, if your game would benefit from better anticipation -- than you should be practicing and solidifying these mental skills at the same time you are looking to make progress on your physical skills.

What is important to remember in all of this is that significant progress will be accomplished to the degree that you take personal responsibility for making progress. Too often, athletes, especially in team sports, show up to practice physically, but not mentally. They go through the motions and put in the hours, but they have not taken the time to articulate to themselves clearly what they plan to get out of the practice, so their progress is sporadic rather than focused.

Here are some important steps that will help you become personally accountable for your own progress:

• You should have a clear sense of what you are trying to get out of the practice. What is the outcome you desire (for example: tighter ball control, to cut down on your turnovers, greater confidence in your court decision-making ability, or more explosive moves). If you have not figured out exactly what you want to happen, or rely on the coach to do this, you are not likely to make as much progress.
• Since, you are responsible for team goals, and whatever the coach decides you should be working on. But you must not let that prevent you from assuming responsibility for your personal goals as well. You can even meet with your coach in advance, to identify individual goals for yourself.
• In order to make good progress, you also need a game plan. What are the things that you can do to accomplish your goals for practice? These include reminding yourself of your goal and giving yourself positive feedback for staying focused.

In sum, what you want to do is:
• Set goals
• Engage in the work of achieving them, and
• Evaluate your efforts
As you apply this strategy to improving your athletic skills, you will be incorporating a life skill that will serve you in personal and professional concerns in years to come.

Good Luck!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


It was only one possession,
Why must my coach scream,
My poor defense permitted the basket,
But what can one hoop mean?

As the pass comes my direction,
And I fumble it into the stands,
The coach’s voice rings loud and clear,
“Catch with your eyes and hands!”

C’mon coach, it’s a single possession,
Our team will be okay,
It’s just the first two minutes,
My gosh, we got all day.

At the 2nd quarter mark I remember,
That the center is strong and stout,
A putback for two, quite simply due,
To my failure to turn and block out.

But it was only one possession,
I didn’t commit a crime,
My team is ahead and I’m playing well,
And there’s still plenty of time!

As the halftime buzzer is sounding,
And I watch the ball bank in,
I know I will hear from my loving coach,
Of my questionable effort to defend.

But is was only on possession,
Coach- don’t have a heart attack!
We’re down by one, but we’re having fun,
I know we’ll get the lead back!

The second half mirrors the first,
But it’s early, it’s not a big deal
That my failure to use a pass fake
Results in an unlikely steal.

But quickly I sink a jumper,
I’m greeted by high fives and slaps,
But the next possession I give up a lay-up,
While suffering a mental lapse.

But it’s only one possession,
C’mon coach, chill out.
It’s crazy to see you disgusted,
As you slap the assistant and shout.

“Victory favours the team making the fewest mistakes.
Single possessions are the key.
So treat them like gold and do as you are told.
And play with intensity.”

I step to the line for one and one,
But I’m having a concentration lapse.
The ball soars through the air – Good Lord, it’s a brick!
I’m afraid the support will collapse.

In post game I sit at my locker,
Pondering what more I could do,
I realize the value of each possession,
What a shame that we lost by two.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Who is the game for ?
As I write this , I cannot help but think back to a classic movie I saw while growing up and recall the phrase “ LET THEM PLAY, LET THEM PLAY “ . Thus the theme of this note.

I cannot stress how important the LOVE of the game is to children both young and old. I have noticed throughout the years that the players who are able to develop and grow are the ones who have a passion for the game of basketball. It is not always the ones who play on a winning team or are the best shooters but the ones who just love to play the game. If they feel the passion for the game then they will dictate how much they want to play or practice. I have said in the past that one of the jobs of parents is to provide kids with the opportunity to enjoy the game. They will all not enjoy watching the game being played by others, or going to camps, or playing on an extra team but offer them the chance.

Let’s remember the game is for them and not us. If they are not a star now, that is okay their love will carry them through these times. As a parent we must make sure they are having fun, as not every coach will have this as their focus and it is sometimes up to the parents to remind children of their reason for playing. It is also important to keep things in perspective as the years go on and remember that they are still young. It is funny how quickly some kids forget a loss while we parents never seem to forget them. Also do not underestimate how much our children listen to us and feed off of our actions and words.

Bottom line, basketball is a great game which can provide children with not only great experiences but also instill teamwork, commitment, and confidence in our children. Let’s allow them to play the game for as long they can.

This note applies to all youth of the young age 5 or 6 but I strongly believe that this message applies to all young people ages 4 – 18 yrs old.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Basketball Tips

Basketball Tips - Tryouts, how to make the team...
From the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook, @ http://www.coachesclipboard.net
I'm the coach and you are a player trying to make my team. So how do you impress me with your skills, and what is it that I am looking for in try-outs?
The things I look for are solid fundamentals... don't be flashy. I like kids who play tough defense, hustle after loose balls, play aggressively (but not dirty). I love kids who box out and rebound. I like kids who are good passers, and avoid turnovers. I like team players. Don't try to impress me by dribbling between your legs.
Be the first one arriving for practice and the last one to leave. Show me work ethic. Hustle hard during drills. Show respect for the coaches and the other players. Ask the coaches to help you with your weaknesses. We all like to practice the things we are already good at. You get better by working on your weaknesses.
Are you a tall inside player? If so, impress me with your rebounding, defense, and some post up moves. Example: a drop-step baseline move (see Inside Post Moves)
If you are a guard, show me you can handle the ball and keep under control. If you can shoot the "3", fire some up during shoot-arounds. I like a perimeter player who can shoot the outside shot, but can also drive to the hoop, can see the whole floor and pass, and can handle the ball well. Show me your outside moves (see Outside Moves).
Work on your skills at home, or at the nearby playground in the summer (off-season). Work on the correct things, not just the things you are already good at (see Practicing in the Off-Season).
Be physically "in-shape" (conditioning) when you arrive at try-outs.
During tryouts, don't be intimidated by better players, or players who made the team last year. There will always be a few players at try-outs who are better players and who you know will make the team. But you too can be an important part of the team to as a "role player" .
Remember that hard work, hustle and a good attitude will impress the coach, even if your shooting is off that week.

Copyright © 2002-2006, James A. Gels, all rights reserved.

Want to be a Basketball Player

So you want to be a Basketball Player

Throughout my travels to various basketball gyms during the past ten years I have heard many coaches speak and watched many practices and games. During this time some phrases seem to be always repeated whether it is 8 year girls or 18 year boys.
They are:
- Box out
- Cut to the ball
- Follow through on your shot
- Dribble with your head up
- Screen to help your ball handler
- Stay low on defense

I am sure you can think of many more common phrases but many of the ones I have mentioned all seem to have one thing in common, they represent the mental aspect of the game more than the physical. I believe if you can make these part of your basketball habits then you can start to call yourself a player.

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Choose your words, for they become actions. Understand your actions, for they become habits. Study your habits, for they will become your character. Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.”