Tag Archives: ball-handling

Don’t Confuse Motion and Progress

11 Apr

tumblr_m1bwfq9uOV1qi2f8bo1_500[1]“Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.” – Alfred A. Montapert

“Don’t mistake activity for achievement.” – John Wooden

Some players — and coaches — are enamored with “hustle” — bodies flying all over the court or field with reckless abandon.  To some, it looks like a lot of effort is being expended.  Unfortunately, as I observe scholastic sports, much of this activity lacks purpose… there’s no rhyme or reason to it.  Some of it is nothing more than a lot of frenetic energy that, ultimately, doesn’t accomplish much.

Whether you’re practicing, playing, or training… have a goal.  Understand what it is you want (need) to accomplish and what is required of you to achieve the desired result.  Think situationally about the “why,” “what,” and “how.”  Your practice, game-play, and training should be purposeful.

For example, when you practice ball-handling and shooting, don’t just randomly dribble and throw the ball at the basket.  Work on your “off” hand, and practice moves that help you create your own shot (hesitation, step-back, etc.).

When you take batting practice, don’t just swing the bat to make contact.  Practice bunting, hitting behind the runner, hitting to the opposite field, and hitting the ball in the air (sac fly).

When you train, don’t just do random exercises.  Perform exercises and drills that are aligned with your goals, and reflect the demands and movement patterns of your sport(s) — whether they be strength, speed, power, agility, etc.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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Make Things More Challenging

2 Nov

As a boy, Stephen Curry played basketball in his grandfather’s gravel driveway, as did his father, Dell.

“If you can dribble and control the ball off that gravel,” Curry says, “you’ll be all right on hardwood.”

Even now when Curry trains, he adds elements that make the game harder, so when he’s in that moment of competition in a real game, it should be easier.

Here are some examples of basketball drills with an added degree of difficulty:

  • Ball handling and shooting with an over-sized basketball
  • Ball handling with a weighted basketball
  • Ball handling with two basketballs
  • Over-speed ball handling
  • Ball handling with “blinders”
  • Shooting on a smaller (diameter) rim
  • Shooting with a quicker-than-normal release
  • Ball handling and defensive footwork drills with banded resistance

This strategy lends itself to other sports, as well.

Hockey and soccer players can practice shooting into smaller nets.  They can also practice puck/ball handling with a variety of obstacles, including banded resistance.

Baseball players can take batting practice from a shorter than regulation distance, while maintaining pitch velocity.  Also, batting practice from close range with golf ball-sized wiffle balls and/or a thunderstick (practice bat with a handle-sized barrel diameter) is a great way to improve hand-eye coordination.  Fielding practice gloves — which are flat like pancakes and don’t “close” — can accelerate the development of proper, sure-handed fielding.

Improve your game by adding a degree of difficulty to your practice drills.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Don’t Confuse Motion and Progress

18 Mar

tumblr_m1bwfq9uOV1qi2f8bo1_500[1]“Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.” – Alfred A. Montapert

“Don’t mistake activity for achievement.” – John Wooden

Some players — and coaches — are enamored with “hustle” — bodies flying all over the court or field with reckless abandon.  To some, it looks like a lot of effort is being expended.  Unfortunately, as I observe scholastic sports, much of this activity lacks purpose… there’s no rhyme or reason to it.  Some of it is nothing more than a lot of frenetic energy that, ultimately, doesn’t accomplish much.

Whether you’re practicing, playing, or training… have a goal.  Understand what it is you want (need) to accomplish and what is required of you to achieve the desired result.  Think situationally about the “why,” “what,” and “how.”  Your practice, game-play, and training should be purposeful.

For example, when you practice ball-handling and shooting, don’t just randomly dribble and throw the ball at the basket.  Work on your “off” hand, and practice moves that help you create your own shot (hesitation, step-back, etc.).

When you take batting practice, don’t just swing the bat to make contact.  Practice bunting, hitting behind the runner, hitting to the opposite field, and hitting the ball in the air (sac fly).

When you train, don’t just do random exercises.  Perform exercises and drills that are aligned with your goals — whether they be strength, speed, power, agility, etc.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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