During recent U-17 and U-18 International competition, I noticed how many contested layups the USA players made. This was because they were seeking contact with the defender. Many times they made the shot and were fouled for a 3 point play.

Practice making layups through contact.

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Defense

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  • You’re only as good as the amount of energy you put into it. Good habits are contagious. You will be amazed with the results.

  • TAKE THE STEPS NECESSARY TO SUCCEED. – GOOD HABITS work for everything.

  • PROTECT THE BASKET: (MIGHT REQUIRE SPRINTING.)

  • STAY BETWEEN YOUR MAN & THE BASKET. LIKE A MIRROR.

  • ALWAYS SEE THE BALL.

  • APPLY PRESSURE TO THE PLAYER WITH THE BASKETBALL. MAKE THE OPPONENT WORRY ABOUT YOU. BE A BUG THAT HAS TO BE SWATTED AWAY BUT KEEPS COMING BACK.

  • MOVE QUICKLY WHILE THE BALL IS IN THE AIR. LIKE A CAT.

  • ON A DEAD BALL (PLAYER HAS STOPPED DRIBBLING) – BECOME A SHARK – GET UP ON PLAYER WITH THE BALL – ALL OTHERS GET INTO DENIAL POSITION (SWORD FIGHTER STANCE).

  • ALWAYS BE MOVING. – READY TO POUNCE.

  • ON AN OPPONENT SHOT MAKE CONTACT, (ESPECIALLY NEAR THE BASKET) - GO GET THE BALL WITH 2 HANDS. GROWL.

  • RECIPE - REBOUND + DEFENSE + TEAMWORK = FUN.

  • (MAKE DOING IT THE TEAM WAY – YOUR WAY) SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

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If you decide to go one-on-one, do it immediately after you get the ball, or don't do it at all. The longer you hold the ball and look around or jockey for position, the more time the defense has to get in good help-position to stop you and clog the lane. A good rule to follow is this: When in doubt, pass. Or, if you've held the ball, pass. Seldom does a team lose for having passed up open shots. You lose by missing shots, by shooting too fast, by taking bad shots, and by shooting tentatively.

Put in the work & see where basketball takes you.

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It’s fun. 2nd most popular sport in the world. Basketball helps develop athletic & social skills that carry over into everyday lives.

It’s social. It helps develop many important life skills like teamwork, sharing, leadership & communication.

It’s everywhere. Schools have basketball programs for students. Rec centers offer basketball for kids & adults. Best of all, basketball is played indoors meaning no cold or rain!

It’s simple. You only need a ball. Most gyms have a hoop & parks & schools have outdoor hoops. Bring a friend & play some 1on1 in the driveway.

It’s inexpensive. Basketball is affordable. You can play it for free.

It can lead to fantastic experiences. If you find a passion & develop into a good player, you may find basketball will offer a unique experience by playing on travelling teams, school teams or even in College.

HOOP HABITS

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Players under pressure revert back to their deeply held habits. In a big game, against tough defense, you will see what type of player you are. You will see what your habits are.

Are you a little out of control, a little weak with the ball, make too many mistakes. In a tough game your habits will be magnified. Do you have a plan to find a way to change?

Develop a few key habits to help your game. Become powerful with the ball, throw short and sure passes. Control your body, eyes and ball. Get in the habit of thinking the game.

Practice the ability to change speeds with vision of the court. Practice stopping on two feet and pivoting with power. Practice making strong, accurate passes and fake passes and shots.

Quotes from John Wooden

  • It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.

  • Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.

  • Don't let making a living prevent you from making a life.

  • Be true to yourself. Make each day a masterpiece. 

  • Never mistake activity for achievement.

  • Don't give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you.

  • If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes.

  • If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

  • Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.

  • Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.

  • It isn't what you do, but how you do it.