Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Youth and School Based Sports

Media Scrutiny Can Magnify Misbehavior

Is poor sportsmanship worse than ever? Two authorities say no. It’s just more visible.“Athletes today cannot afford the same misconduct on (and off) the field as they once could,” wrote Nate Barnett, owner of Your Sport Guru, a sports information website. “That is why positive sportsmanship is so much more important in today’s technological society.”He cites three reasons:
1.Fifteen years ago, there were no cellphone cameras or YouTube. The capability to capture, upload, attach, and send video clips did not exist then. Today, someone is always is watching – and filming.
2.Sports such as baseball are more popular today, and college and pro teams are pickier about which players to select. Result: If any phenom with baggage does something dumb, hundreds of kids are poised to take his or her place.
3.Bad sportsmanship equates to mental immaturity. As kids progress, the sports they play get tougher and the pressures mount. The more mentally mature a player is, the better his or her chances to stand out and advance.
Hall of Fame quarterback and Heisman Trophy runner-up Don McPherson believes that increased media exposure has actually made college and pro athletes better behaved than in years past. “The athletes in my day would not be able to handle the media scrutiny,” he told the Oregonian. Where misconduct has gotten worse, he says, is among youths. “If we don’t proactively teach what we expect out of sports, then the message of the larger sports culture is going to teach them something more dangerous.”
[, 6/3/08;, 10/20/08]

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Preseason Training is crucial

The general purpose for pre-season basketball training is to prepare the athletes for the demands of the upcoming season. Talk to you school's Strength and Conditioning coach. It is their job to get the athlete in the best shape possible to cope with the rigorous practice and game schedule that will follow. If your school does not have one, Kitsap Sports in Silverdale has the Bodylink program which can help you build strength and endurance.

The basketball season often begins 17th of November and continues until March. This five-month season is very demanding, even for highly trained athletes. Often the first two weeks of the season may include double sessions. This sheer volume of training is severe. Once the regular season begins, the on-court volume often decreases. The main objective of pre-season conditioning is to get the players ready for the end of November and to help them maintain that level of conditioning throughout the season.

To successfully prepare the team for the season, you must not take lightly the conditioning demands of basketball. Remember, a basketball court is only approximately 30 yards in length. There is a lot of sprinting with start and stop motion. Also important to consider is the fact that slower teams usually lose. The focus of the training should be on speed, agility and anaerobic conditioning.

The objective of preseason training is to execute a sport specific conditioning program that will successfully prepare for the season. Hard work and a great effort are expected of every player. Training must be a five day a week effort splitting the time between strength training and conditioning. As you can see, the focus of our training is on specific conditioning for basketball. Agility, flexibility, strength training and conditioning are all addressed to make a complete program.

Conditioning is extremely important during this training period. Conditioning takes place five days a week. Here are some ideas:
• Monday emphasizes change of direction type movement.
• Thursday is interval day, focusing on track work.
• Tuesday and Friday could be stationary bike workouts.
• Wednesday includes shuttle drill work.

All workouts are preceded by a warm-up and flexibility session. Many high school athletes lack the needed flexibility to play at their potential. The key to any warm-up is to raise the body temperature. If you are able to do that, your flexibility sessions will be more beneficial.

A pre-season program with different modes of training can produce improvements in the conditioning levels of basketball players. To handle the stresses and demands of a competitive season give our program a try. It is very worthwhile.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Individual skills development for team success

Most kids think it all about "me". I need to get better for "I". But, Total Package Basketball philosophy is to get better to make your team better. There is no "I" in team. We are committed to developing players who want their coach and teammates to know they have solid skills and are well prepared for game situations.

During workouts:

1. Focus on task at hand - develop skills necessary to fit into the role being asked of in the context of the team.

2. Talk to the coach to find what skills you need to develop individually and what you need to work on to fit the role being asked of you for the team.

3. Know your limitations - understanding and developing your strength and weaknesses.

4. Have the team goals and strategies in mind when you are preparing.

"For a kid to even come in and play as a freshman, and then to have that go-to guy label on him, and to be able to be that guy, is very rare," said Craig Murray, a 1986 Garfield graduate and the director at Total Package, an AAU team in Bremerton.

Being the "go to guy" is a dream for many players. The focus needs to be on "how can I make the team better", this will best prepare you to win the respect of the coach and the team to be successful.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Respect is earned.

After a difficult loss the opposing team was overheard saying to themselves, "we are the best. That team shouldn't even been on the same court with us." Some people would say that statement was disrespectful to the losing team. What it did reveal was the losing team did not gain the respect from their opponent.

Recently the Tacoma News Tribune reported the game bewteen CK and Lincoln. The title of the article was, "Abes' pressure deflates Central Kitsap." One of the Lincoln players said, “It was a hostile environment," Lincoln senior Rayshon Cranshaw said. "But we’ve played in hostile environments before, and we knew if we played pressure defense they couldn’t handle it.” Lincoln had the attitude it takes to success. The hard work and experience paid off in the end. Respect was the result.

RESPECT IS EARNED. One cannot just say they are a basketball team, they the need to show they are a team on the basketball floor. The road to earning respect begins before you walk on the court at workout. I can't help but evisioning Tyler Hansbrough from North Carolina. He has earned respect from players, coaches and the media because of his work ethic. In a recent interview on ESPN, he acknowledged that he practices with an attitude and with passion.

1. Have Attitude - as you get ready to walk on the floor, be ready to do everything correctly and with authority. Say to yourself, "No, one is going to steal the ball from me. My man is not going to get an easy lane to the basket. I am going to contest every shot. I will touch the endlines when we run sprints. I am going to be the hardest working player on the court."

2. Have Passion - play hard, under control and with intensity. During workouts, many players pace themselves as if it is a long distance run. Basketball is a series of sprints: stop and go, dive and slide. Leave it all on the floor,(break a sweat, floor burns, lungs burn, muscles aches, horse voice) all for the love of the game.

If you add these two qualities to your workouts, you will earn the respect from your teammates. As a team, you will earn respect from you opponants. Teams will not overwhelm you. You can handle whatever pressure they give, because you are preapred with the right attitude and passion.