Thursday, December 27, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

"Perfect practice, makes perfect."

We all know the saying, "practice makes perfect." Total Package takes it up a notch. I tell players, "perfect practice, makes perfect." Yes, yes, I know it is very unlikely that anyone will perform perfectly, but that is what I want players to focus on when they walk on the court.

WHY perfection? Because a player must not be content on just going through the motions of a skill, they must master the skill in such a way that they will out perform their best opponent under the most hostile conditions.

The Total Package Basketball motto reflects this principle, "You're only as good as your last performance."

What needs to happen for a "perfect practice?"

Before you step out on the practice floor, be committed to doing things correctly.
Correct technique, game like speed, intensity - do not let players, coaches or yourself, keep you from the task at hand.

Pay attention to the little things. Using proper footwork on defense, positioning yourself to receive a pass, setting up your man for a jab cut, close out with short, choppy steps, contest every shot, box out, step through the ball when going after a rebound are a few of the little things to be done to have a perfect practice. Do you have it in you?

Set goals you can measure over time. You need to have goals and a time line to reach them. Just because you do something well a couple of times does not mean you have mastered the skill. Goals can be set in everything you do: shooting accuracy, defensive stops, rebounds, turnovers, box outs, steals, finishing a 17 in less than 65 seconds or 60 seconds.

An example:
make 25 layups with one dribble from the 3 point line in 50 seconds. Give yourself 2 weeks. If you reach your goal, decrease the time or increase the number of layups. Use your weak hand instead of your strong hand. Take it up a notch and say the basket does not count if it touches the rim when it goes through the basket; all net or no score.

Basketball is a team sport. You are not in this alone. Leaders want others to follow them. Be a leader. Encourage others to be their best and they will follow you.
Get a team mate or friend to help you reach your goals, and in turn you help them reach theirs.
You are not to compare what you accomplish with what someone else does. When you do this, you only become better than that person, but you will not be your best.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Individual workouts are key to team success

"If you don't do it in practice, don't expect to do it in the game."

You may have heard a coach say the statement above time and time again. Total Package Basketball emphasizes to players, if you work hard and focus on executing drills and plays to perfection in practice, you and the team will be able to play your best under the fast paced, high pressure situations of a game. Sometimes an outstanding play happens by chance during a game. It may provide some excitement for the crowd, but solid preparation is needed for long term success. To build a winning program players need to practice and practice well the skills, moves and strategies they plan to use during a game.

Keys to success:
1. Commitment.
Being at every workout and team practice to do the number of repetitions necessary to develop the skill and understanding each other as a team.

2. Conditioning.
If a player is not in condition, he cannot practice at the speed that is effective and improve his skills. He will not perform at his best for the complete game.

3. Attitude.
Intentionally practicing with game-like intensity and execution will prepare you and the team for predicable success during the game. Leading by example will motivate teammates to do the same.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

How hard are you working on your game when the coach is not looking?

It is much easier to work hard when someone is right there to motivate you. When a player walks into the gym for a Total Package work out, players know the coach is going challenge every aspect of their game. He requires everyone to focus on listening to the coach, running drills and execute plays accurately with game like intensity. If execution is sloppy, intensity is half speed and players seem to be focused on something other than the task at hand, expect consequences.

How hard are you working on your game when the coach is not there to motivate you? What are you doing beyond the weekly workouts to improve your game? If you are serious about playing at the next level, you will need to work on your game every chance you can get. The consequences for not working on your game is that you will get beat by the player who does. You need to have the attitude that you are going to prepare yourself to be your best when you play the best. To do so, only comes by consistently working on your game when no one is looking.
Here are some things you can be doing:

  1. Make time. Set a side an hour block of time each day to work on individual skills. Be consistent. Make it a goal to workout 6 or 7 days a week. Some days it may only be for 15 minutes, but it is something. At an open gym, spend 10 to 15 minutes working on the drills before going out to play.
  2. Have a plan. Write down the drills practiced during a Total Package workout. Use them as guidelines. When you need a breather, shoot 4 free throw.
    10 minutes – ball handling
    5 minutes – footwork – push step explosions/jabs/pump fakes
    10 minutes – form shooting
    5 minutes – rapid fire shooting
    10 minutes – bread and butter moves
    5 minutes – rebound off the back board and put backs
  3. Focus on correct technique. Do things correctly. “Perfect practice, makes perfect.” This is the goal. Few reach it successfully. Do not get frustrated if perfection is not reached. In the journey to do things correctly, one will improve their game rather than hinder it.

Share what you do to improve your game when the coach is not around by clicking on Comments.