Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rip Through and Attack

Posted by Chris Langley | Thursday, December 16, 2010 | Category: , | 0 comments

The rip-through and attack move, that we teach players at training, is a great move for offensive players to use when defensive players reach or are off balance. We teach players to catch the ball at their waist (in good triple threat position) and then rip it strong to their opposite knee. By teaching offensive player's this move, they can get the one step advantage that it takes to beat a reaching defender when attacking the basket. To make the move even more effective, use as few dribbles as possible when attacking the basket. This move will lead to some easy points for players who utilize it properly!

Check out below how the the rip-through and attack move is used effectively in game action!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

University of Georgia Team Practice

Posted by Elite Hoops | Wednesday, December 1, 2010 | Category: , , | 0 comments

Whenever I get a chance to attend a college practice, I make sure to bring my notebook to write down anything that might be valuable to help us train young players or teach young coaches. Today, up in Athens, Georgia I watched the Bulldogs practice for a couple of hours in preparation for their game against UAB. Now, I have been to about a dozen practices since Mark Fox has been the coach, but everytime I'm up there I pick up something new from him and his staff.

At the top of John Wooden's Pyramid of Success is Competitive Greatness. Now, in order for a team to achieve that the team must have a great coach. And Coach Fox is just that. He is a fearless leader who takes command of his players, staff and practices. He opened practice with a brief message about where the team stood and what they needed to accomplish that day at practice. The energy level was extremely high throughout 99% of the practice, however at one point during practice, there was a lull of energy. Fox reminded his players. "that enthusiasm is contagious," and that a couple of the players needed to lift the rest of their teammates energy levels. Not only is enthusiasm contagious, but it is also one of Wooden's corner building blocks on his pyramid.

Fox not only tells players how he wants things done, he shows them how he wants it done. During drills, he will act as another defender, show guards how to make the pass, he'll even hit the Bigs with a pad to get them used to contact. During the scouting report, Fox put on a blue jersey and played for 15 minutes as one of UAB's starters. After hitting a 15 footer, Fox told the Georgia player guarding him, "I'm 6'3 and 42 years old and hitting shots on you. Whats the (UAB player) gonna be able to do?"

High School players ask me all the time how much difference there is between high school and collegiate practice. It's immeasurable. Practice is longer. Coaches are tougher. Players are bigger and faster. And concepts and terminology are more immense.

The three things I noticed in this practice is that are much different than typical high school practices are: Sounds, Intensity and Comradery.

By sounds I mean players voices. Players on the college level talk and communicate much more with each other than most high school teams. I always joke that players talk on the way to practice, in the locker room and after games, but when they are on the floor most of them fail to talk to their teammates. I think the easiest way to teach player communication is through the Shell Drill.

The intensity level easily doubles from the high school level to college. I think this tends to be because on most high school teams there is a notable difference between the top few players the the rest of the squad. Many times the top player(s) can go half speed and still beat their teammates. For the most part on the college level, there is less disparity from player 1 to player 12 and thus players battle and fight on a more level playing field which in turn makes for a more intense practice.

Lastly is comradery. College players eat, sleep, practice and go to school together. The more you are with teammates the more comradey you will have. On the high school level, players typically go home after practice and do not see each other until the next day at school. On the college level, players have study hall after practice, then eat together and then head back to the dorms together. To make up for this, I think it is vital that high school coaches take their teams to out of town tournaments as well as social events planned together as a team.

As I mentioned earlier, I take every opportunity to watch college practices. One of my mentors, Coach Jim Harrick once told me, "You can always learn from a coach. Sometimes it's what to do, and sometimes its what NOT to do." In the case of Fox and his Bulldogs, its what to do.

Lee Miller
Elite Hoops Director

Know Your Role

Posted by Elite Hoops | | Category: , | 0 comments

Does every player in your program know what their role is? Are you sure?

A major factor in your team’s success is getting every player to:

-Know Their Role
-Accept Their Role
-Have Pride in Their Role

Coach Jones takes a unique approach. Prior to our first game, he conducts a 15 minute meeting with every player and their parents. He offers his thoughts on their first 3 weeks of practice, he clearly defines their role on the team, he estimates how much playing time they will get, and he outlines his expectations.

He encourages each player to speak freely and voice any concerns. The parents are included to make sure nothing is lost in translation. The meeting isn’t adjourned until everyone is on the same page.

Coach Jones’ honesty, sincerity, and inclusion of the parents make this approach extremely effective. Here is another useful exercise to try with your team: Have every player write down the number of minutes they would like to play in each game. Collect everyone’s number and total them up.

In a standard high school game there are160 playable minutes available (32 minutes of game time x 5 players on the court at all times). I guarantee the number you total will far exceed 160 minutes. In many cases, it will be double. What does that mean? It means that most of the players want to play more minutes than they actually will (or are even possible!). They may have written down 20 minutes… yet realistically will play significantly less than that.

Discrepancies in playing time can become a major distraction if not handled appropriately.

While things can certainly change, it is important to clearly define each player’s role (including an honest estimate of playing time) to reduce the chance of it becoming an issue later in the season. Grumblings at the “end of the bench” can become a cancer to the team. Team’s that keep high morale and great attitudes at the “end of the bench”… are teams that will maximize their potential. They epitomize the word “team.”

While every player wants to start and wants to score points… that is not everyone’s role. There are so many ways players can positively impact a game… in limited minutes… that don’t make the newspaper.

Villanova’s men’s basketball program records the following on a board called “Attitude Club” after every game:

Extra pass (a pass that sets up an assist)

Screen assist (a screen that leads to an immediate score)

Tap backs (tapping a loose ball or rebound to teammate to gain position)

Quick outlets (getting the ball to a guard immediately after a rebound)

Shot contests (high hand on all shots)

Dives (getting on the floor for loose balls)

Deflections (disrupting the offense’s flow by getting a hand on the ball)

Paint passes (working the ball inside; hitting cutters and feeding the post)

Players that play limited minutes can still score highly in these areas. Players that don’t play at all can still do these things in practice (which will help earn time in the future). Whether you play 30 minutes a game, 3 minutes a game, or don’t play at all… make the most of every opportunity you have (even if it is in practice) and find a way within your role to contribute and make your team better.

One of my primary roles with DeMatha is to get our team mentally and physically ready to compete. Coach Paul Ricci has the same role at the University of Maryland.

Here is a video of their pre-game warm-up:

This is what they do prior to lay-up lines, passing drills, etc. This warm-up takes about 10 minutes.

Please keep me posted on how your team is doing this season.

I can be reached at:

Play hard. Play smart. Play together.

Alan Stein