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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

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Why are Girl ballers more fun to watch ?

I just came back from our organizations annual volunteer dinner and besides the great food I was also able to participate in some great conversation. One thing that came up was the subject of why girls play a more fundamentally sound game of basketball versus that of youth boys. You see even for any given age group there is a distinct difference between the girl’s game and the boy’s game. Girls seemed to more concern with doing the fundamentals and making that one extra pass whereas boys are m ore determined drive the lane regardless of how many players are guarding them or who is wide open. In the past the argument was that boys are more athletic and thus use their physical attributes to succeed while on the other hand girls tend to use the mental aspects to further themselves. Either way girls tend to worry more about “being good than looking good” on the court anyways. One theory that sparked my interest was the theory that girls don’t watch the NBA as much as boys and therefore do not try to emulate the pros.

If you get a chance watch a WNBA game this summer and you will see what I mean.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hardest Shot in the Game

There are only mere seconds remaining in the game. The score is tied or worse there is only a 2 point differential and your shots will determine if the team wins or loses. The crowd is silent; no one is in front of you. It is just you, the basketball and the net! Every eye in the building is watching you, not their child or favorite player BUT only you and waiting to see what happens. You dribble the ball, you spin it backwards, you look to the net and you shot. As the ball is in the air all eyes are watching its path and you are hoping that all your practice has paid off.


Commonly known as the Free Throw, it is far from free as even though you have no one guarding you the pressure can be intense . I like to refer to it as the hardest shot in the game. In the pros you have the fans from the other team doing everything they can to distract you but in the youth leagues you can hear a pin drop. Talk about pressure, knowing that everyone is waiting for you to either make the shot or in some cases miss the shot.

Now some can handle the pressure and that is what makes the difference in a game. I have seen youngsters at the age of 9 years old hit nothing but net with 1.2 seconds in a tie game and that is a sign of what you call a player. Of course there is the likes of Ray Allen of the Boston Celtics who can be depended upon to hit both shots in a crucial playoff game but even when he is shooting you can still feel the tension even watching on television.

So next time you see a player go to take a foul shot do not think about how lucky they are to have no one guarding them but rather watch to see how they handle the pressure.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Shooting drills

We have all heard the saying “ teams are made during the season and players are made during the off-season.”. Well there are many things you can do to improve yourself during the off-season including conditioning drills but perhaps the most important thing you can do is to make sure you shoot on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter where you shoot just as long you get some shooting in. Here are a couple basic drills to help you out.

Mikan Drill

Named after the first real big man in the NBA, George Mikan. Start on the right side of the basket, while standing within layup range, go off of two feet and shoot a right handed layup. As the ball comes down, keep your arms up, take two steps to the left side of the basket and repeat the same motion only shooting a left handed layup. Grab the rebound, take two steps right, keep your arms up, and shoot a right handed layup. Repeat this rhythm drill for a total of 10 rotations.

Superman Drill

This drill uses the same motion as the Mikan Drill only it is extended to the outside edge of the "painted area" (more commonly known as "the lane"). Start somewhere between the lowest block and the next block toward the free throw line. The difference in the drill is you are not trying to make a shot. Throw the ball off the backboard above the rim at an angle. You want to get grab the "rebound" from the opposite side of the lane without letting the ball touch the ground. Younger players will want to take more than the ideal maximum of 3 steps to get to the other side. This is also a "rhythm" drill. Keep your arms and hands up. This a tough drill used for rebounding and footwork. Keep the rotations to no more than 10. Remember, stay outside the lane!


Monday, May 10, 2010

Why Sports ?

1.Team Spirit- Team sports actually do build teamwork skills. Playing sports is fun and allows your child to learn social skills in a low pressure atmosphere. It also gives your child something to do and a group to belong to. It is important for early child development that children have a group of friends that has the same goals and interests.

2.Character and Self-Esteem-Research has found that kids that play sports, especially girls, are more likely to have a positive body image and higher self esteem. Sports are also known to help kids develop discipline. They learn to set goals and then work to achieve those goals. They learn that by working hard they can accomplish the things that they want to in their lives.

3. A Healthy Future-The immediate benefits of daily exercise can extend far past childhood. In the teen years kids involved in sports are less likely to take drugs or smoke because of the impact on their performance. Girls who play sports are also less likely to become teen moms.

According to the President's Council on Physical Fitness:

“Childhood activity improves child health which, in turn, is beneficial to adult health. An active lifestyle during childhood has a direct benefit to health in later years. An active child becomes an active adult who, in turn, has a lower risk for disease than an inactive adult.”

4. Dumb Jock is An Oxymoron- Motor skills, strategic thinking, and even math skills are learned by playing sports. Children develop strategic thinking as they figure out plays and the best way to get around a player or score a goal. Math skills are used as they calculate scores and stats. Statistics also show that kids who are involved in sports while in high school are more likely to experience academic success and graduate from high school.

5. Family Bonding- Unlike some other activities, it is very easy for parents to be involved in their child’s sports team. From coaching to volunteering as a booster, a sport can act as a common bond between a child and a parent, especially later in life.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ready to begin off-season

“The only place that success before work is in the Dictionary. “

Now before I start introducing a series on drills to work on in the off-season, I just want to share one of my favorite basketball stories. Please watch and enjoy. Please click on the link below if you love basketball.

Great basketball story

Saturday, May 8, 2010

More Basketball Tid-bits

Cool Tips for Basketball Players: Guinness World Records for Basketball

1. Most underhanded free-throws in one minuteNBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry - 24 free throws

2. Longest time to spin a basketball on one finger (using one hand)Joe Odhiambo - 37.46 seconds

3. Longest time to spin a basketball on your nose Jack Ryan - 4.00 seconds

4. Longest time to spin a basketball on a toe Jack Ryan - 9.53 seconds

5. Most wheelchair basketball free throws in one minuteTIE NBA players Trooper Johnson (Golden State Warriors) & Jeff Griffin (Utah Wheelin' Jazz) - 25 free throws

6. Most bounce passes ending with a slam dunk in 30 seconds Milwaukee Bucks Rim Rockers (individual names TBD) - 21 bounce passes

7. Most times a basketball can be dribbled in one minuteNBA Player Jordan Farmar (Los Angeles Lakers) - 228 dribbles

8. Most basketball free throws made in one minute(female)WNBA Player Becky Hammon (San Antonio Silver Stars) - 38 free throws

9. Most basketball underhanded half-court shots in one minuteNBA All-Star Jason Kidd (New Jersey Nets) - 2 shots

10. Most basketball over handed half-court shots in one minuteNBA All-Star Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets) - 4 shots

11. Most three pointers in two minutesNBA All-Star Jason Kapono (Toronto Raptors) - 43 three pointers

12. Most free-throws made in one minute while blindfoldedJack Ryan - 5 free throws

13. Most free throws made backwards in one minuteTIE NBA Mascot Harry the Hawk (Melvin Banks) & Nicole Joseph Dumas - 3 free throws

14. Highest basketball front flip slam dunk with a trampolineHigh Impact Squad Jerry Burrel - 10 feet 9 inches

15. Farthest basketball front flip slam dunk with a trampolineHigh Impact Team member Kevin Vandervolk - 19 feet 2 inches

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Why play sports ?

A lot of people preach about playing sports for the “Fun of It”, but is that the only reasons for youth to be involved in sports. Quite honesty, I think yes it is !!!!

I was recently reading an article which outlined some other benefits of playing sports ;
“Research or studies have found that kids, especially girls who play sports tend to have a positive body-image and high self-esteem. Kids involved in sports are less likely to take drugs or smoke because they realize the impact that these destructive activities can have upon their performance. Girls who play sports are also less likely to become pregnant

Statistics show that kids who are involved in sports while in high school are more likely to experience academic success and graduate from high school. Playing sports improves the Math skills in children. Sports help to build leadership skills, sportsman spirit, and teamwork. Sports can also give children a sense of pride and accomplishment. Moreover, they can make good friends with people having similar or same interests.

A very important benefit of playing sports is that it makes a person happy. It has been found that exercising or playing sports leads to the production of happiness molecules in your body. Hence, sports generate positive or constructive energy.

Need I say more ?

Monday, May 3, 2010

More Basketball Names

Dominique’s prowess on the court coined him “The Human High-Light Reel” because every night he did something spectacular. Larry Bird was known as “The Hick From French Lick” and “Larry Legend”. One of the most power dunkers was Darryl Dawkins so his nickname of “Chocolate Thunder” is fitting. Clyde Drexler could just fly when dunking so his moniker became “Clyde the Glide”.

Dirk Nowitski is the proud owner of three nicknames “Dirty”, “Dirkules” and “The Diggler”. Gary Peyton was known for his smothering defense and became “The Glove” and on the opposite is “kid Delicious”, Kevin Durant for his scoring ability. Of course “Krpytonate” for Nate Robison and for some unknown reason Bruce Bowen is call “The Mosquito”.

Anfernee Hardaway was called “Penny” early in his childhood and naturally Dwayne Wade is “D-Wade”. Rafer Alston is known as “Skip To My Lou” after his streetball past. Allen Iverson became “The Answer” because he answered the city of Philadelphia’s prayers, he also was just “AI”. Chauncey Billup’s earlier nickname was “Smooth” and now it is “Mr. Big Shot”.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Basketball Tid-Bits

Cool Tips for Basketball Players: NBA Interesting Facts

Dikembe Mutombo, one of the greatest NBA shot blockers of all-time, legal full name is Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean Jacques Wamutombo. Trying same that name five times fast.

Pete Maravich, one of the greatest college and professional scorers in the history of the game holds the record for most points in a game where the player has fouled out. His 68 points against the Knicks are the highest total ever for a player who was disqualified from a contest.
Sometimes it’s good to foul out (yeah, right, try telling your coach that!). Maravich was also a gifted ball handler and several of his neighbors have claimed they witnessed him dribble a basketball while in a moving car at speeds up to 20 mph. Do not try this at home.

Speaking about not fouling out, did you know that Wilt Chamberlain never fouled out of an NBA game? When you think about it, this is incredible considering he averaged 46 minutes a night through his career and in 1962 played every minute of every game.

The only two players in NBA history to turn the ball over more than 4,000 times in a career (trying doing that in a single game, I dare you) was Karl Malone and John Stockton. Interesting enough, Stockton holds the NBA career record for assists while Malone in points. Even more interesting, the Top 7 All-Time leaders in turnovers were all named to the NBA’s 50 greatest players including Moses Malone, Isaiah Thomas, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, and Magic Johnson.