Monday, December 19, 2011

The 3 Parts to Becoming a Great Shooter

Posted by Lee Miller | Monday, December 19, 2011 | Category: | 0 comments

As a shooting instructor, I get asked the same question weekly, if not daily. How do I shoot the basketball better?  The answer may shock you.   There are three significant parts to becoming a great shooter.  The number one part and most importantly, is you have to shoot the basketball the correct way.  Shooting is an art, just like the stroke of a paintbrush; there IS a right way to shoot the basketball.  Players (and coaches) struggle with making changes to a player’s shot.  Until you prepare and shoot the ball the correct way, you will always get the same results.  Does this mean everyone has the exact same shot, absolutely not! The great shooters all posses’ four (4) things:  great footwork, great hand placement, the correct body posture, and a great follow-thru.  Simply, they are PREPARED to shoot the basketball before they even receive it.   As you go through the levels of competition from elementary school to high school, your preparation to shoot the basketball will determine your ability to get good shots off in the games. 

Once you are shooting the basketball the correct way, the second part of becoming a great shooter is to simply shoot more shots than any other player.  Muscle memory and repetition are very important elements in shooting the basketball. The main question is:  How hard are you willing to work to become a great shooter?  How much time are you willing to devote?    Shooting is the most practiced part of the game, yet players struggle with putting the ball in the basket.  When practicing, start off shooting the ball the correct way, at close range.  Build the comfort level and build your confidence while seeing the ball in the basket over and over.   Once you are committed to shooting the ball the right way, and committed to working hard, you will “graduate” to the next level of practicing or working out.

The third, and last part of becoming a great shooter, is to practice at game speed.   Game speed cutting, game speed footwork, game speed shots in rhythm.   Have you ever been to a game and seen a player in warm-ups that couldn’t miss?  Once the game starts, that player either doesn’t play or he/she can’t make shots.  The main reason is the pace of the game.  If you do not practice at game speed, how to do expect to make shots at game speed?   Players tend to “rush” their footwork and their shot, and they are never in rhythm.    As I stated above, preparation is key to getting game shots off.  As an offensive player, you will have the ball in your hands no more than 25% of the time in the game.  However, you will use your footwork 100% of the time to get open, and to square up to the basket with proper footwork and pivoting skills to shoot the basketball.  It only makes sense to practice your footwork daily if you use it the ENTIRE GAME, right?

If you want different results than what you are getting now, you must be open to change and correction.  Second, there is no substitute for hard work and shooting the basketball hundreds of times daily.  None, I promise I would have found them already.  Last, but not least, challenge yourself to get better daily.  Challenge (push yourself) to work-out at game speed.  If you’re not seeing mistakes in your work-outs, you probably aren’t challenging yourself enough.  As I tell the players I train, “I don’t want to see what you can do; I want to see you get better”. 

James Lee
South Carolina Director
Elite Hoops/NIKE Basketball Camps
"Release Your Potential"

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Right to Lead

Posted by Lee Miller | Monday, December 12, 2011 | Category: , , | 0 comments

The Right to Lead by Drew Maddux with thoughts taken from John Maxwell

It certainly isn’t gained by election or appointment.  Having position, title, rank, or degrees doesn’t qualify anyone to lead other people.  And the ability doesn't come automatically from age or experience either.  No, it would be accurate to say   that no one can be given the right to lead.  The right to lead can only be earned.  And that takes time.  Leadership emerges.

The Kind of Leader Others Want to Follow
The key to becoming an effective leader is not to focus on making other people follow, but on making you the kind of   person they want to follow.  You must become someone others can trust to take them where they want to go. As you prepare yourself to become a better leader, use the following guidelines to help you grow:  

1.  Let go of your ego.  
The truly great leaders are not in leadership for personal gain. They lead in order to serve other people.  Perhaps that is why Lawrence D. Bell remarked,  "Show me a man who cannot bother to do little things, and I’ll show you a man who cannot be trusted to do big things.

2.  Become a good follower first.  (We are going to take orders our entire life)  
Rare is the effective leader who didn't learn to become a good follower first. That is why a leadership institution such as the United States Military Academy teaches its officers to become effective followers first and why West Point has produced more leaders than the Harvard Business School.    
3.  Build positive relationships.  
Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less. That means it is by nature relational. Today's generation of leaders seem particularly aware of this because title and position mean so little to them. They know intuitively that people go along with people they get along with.    

4.  Work with excellence.  
No one respects and follows mediocrity.  Leaders who earn the   right to lead give their all to what they do. They bring into play not   only their skills and talents, but also great passion and hard work.  They perform on the highest level of which they are capable.  

You need to meet someone who expects greatness from you.

5.  Rely on discipline, not emotion.  
Leadership is often easy during the good times.  It’s when everything seems to be against you when you’re out of energy, and you don’t want to lead that you earn your place as a leader.   During every season of life, leaders face crucial moments when they must choose between gearing up and giving up. To make it through those times, rely on the rock of discipline, not the shifting sand of emotion.  
6.  Make adding value your goal.    
When you look at the leaders whose names are revered long after they have finished leading, you find that they were men and women who helped people to live better lives and reach their potential.  That is the highest calling of leadership and its highest value.  

7.  Give your power away.  
One of the ironies of leadership is that you become a better leader by sharing whatever power you have, not by saving it all for yourself.  You’re meant to be a river, not a reservoir.  If you use your power to empower others, your leadership will extend far beyond your grasp.    
Human Needs: 1. Live 2. Love 3. Learn 4. Leave a Legacy

“The followers who looked to these leaders learned from them, and so can we.  As you explore their worlds and words, remember that it takes time to become worthy of followers.  Leadership isn’t learned or earned in a moment.” -John Maxwell

Drew Maddux
Tennessee Director
Elite Hoops/NIKE Basketball Camps
"Release Your Potential"

Monday, December 5, 2011

The 4 Keys to Improving Your Game

Posted by Lee Miller | Monday, December 5, 2011 | Category: , , , , , , | 0 comments

I hear coaches all the time telling their players to go game speed.  I think a lot of players get confused by this statement and just go faster, which sometimes isn’t true to game conditions.  Instead, I tell players to put PRESSURE on themselves.  By training players to put pressure on themselves when they perform drills they have a much greater chance of making the shot, beating their man off the dribble or making the perfect pass in the actual game.  There are 4 ways to put pressure on yourself to improve your game. I think you need to use at least 2 of these in any drill to make yourself better

Time: Whether you put :30 on the clock to see how many Flip Flops you can perform or seeing if you can make 4 shots in :20 in our Kobe/Hopla Drill, time is a great source of Pressure that makes any drill game like.  Why do you think buzzer beaters are so rare-because of the pressure of the clock.

Number of Reps/Makes: I never like players to say they are going to shoot a number of shots. I prefer them to set a goal how many shots they will MAKE.  A few blog posts ago, I talked about how Kobe Bryant MADE 100,000 shots during the summer of 2007.  Not only should you track made shots, but also number of sideline sprints in a given amount of time, or maybe number of jump ropes in :30 or even how many times you can make the figure 8 in :30.  The number of reps is like the grade your teacher gives you on a test.  If you get an 80 on the first test, it would be great to get 100 on the next test, but even getting an 81 shows improvement and that’s why we LOVE to track the number of reps/makes.  When players see these numbers increase it makes them feel great about the work they have accomplished and when the see their hard work is paying off they tend to get in the gym more and become even better players.

Punishment: Miss a shot in the game and your coach may pull you out or maybe you even lose the game if it’s a last second shot.  In a different scenario, you let a defender go by you and score a layup. Again, your coach may pull you out or you might have just given up the game winning layup. Either way you feel some sort of punishment if something like this happens. How do we replicate punishment in our drills? Simple-We add some form of punishment.  It doesn’t have to be a major punishment, but if a player doesn’t reach their minimum baseline number or target number in one of our Living by Numbers drills, we have them do a basketball pushup, basketball burpee, or maybe even a sprint.  Something quick and short, but enough of a punishment to make them feel game like pressure.

Defense: Making an uncontested layup is pretty easy and most of the players we work with can make the shot 99% of the time. Now imagine you just stole the ball with 6 seconds left, you have to go full court, no one is in front of you, and LeBron James is chasing you down from behind. A little different, huh? Adding defense to a drill makes a HUGE difference. One of our favorite drills with defense is the Trailblazer Drill. In this drill, not only do players have 6 seconds (Time), they have to make the shot (Reps), if they miss they have a basketball pushup (Punishment) and lastly a defender is chasing them (Defense). 

If you can make the majority of the drills you perform have at least 2 of the forms of Pressure listed above you will become a much better player than if you perform the drills without them. I heard my high school coach once correct the phrase “practice makes perfect” to “perfect practice makes perfect.” I’ll take it a step further, “Pressured perfect practice makes perfect.”

In the spring of 2012, Elite Hoops will be rolling out its new Living by Numbers program.  Players of all age and skill levels will be able to create their own account on our site, track their progress in a variety of drills, see how they compare against players their own age and also upload videos of their own accomplishments. Players and Records that have been broken and videotaped at an Elite Hoops event will be VERIFIED accounts whereas players and records that are not performed at an Elite Hoops event will be UNVERIFIED.  So make sure to contact us today and see how you, your team or your whole league can be LIVING by NUMBERS.

Lee Miller
Elite Hoops/NIKE Basketball Camps
"Release Your Potential"

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Shoot the Ball and Close Your Eyes

Posted by Lee Miller | Wednesday, October 26, 2011 | Category: , | 0 comments

Next time you're in the gym working on your game, shoot a shot and close your eyes as soon as you release the ball.  Don't open your eyes until the ball hits the ground (make or miss). Not too beneficial is it? Yet that's basically what every player does during their workouts until they meet me.

The reason you watch your shot go in or out is so that you can judge your shooting form and performance.  Make all your shots-your form is great. Miss them all-your form is bad, but for some reason most players only watch (and thus track) only their shooting performance during workouts. Players very rarely track their speed, how quickly they shoot, how fast they dribble or any of the other various drills they may work on.

That's where I come in.  A few years ago, I began tracking some of the data and drills of some of the players I train. Four years later, we now how a solid database called Living by Numbers which houses 1000's of players scores in at least 12 different drills.  With this database, we track players reps/scores for numerous drills.  For example, many players are familiar with the Mikan Drill, but no one every tracks their progress in that drill.  We do.  Check out AJ Davis (2013) of the Buford Wolves as he records 21 made Mikans in :30 tying our record held by former Milton standout and current Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Julian Royal.

We have 4 Divisions in our Living by Numbers database: High School (3rd-4th graders), College (5th-6th graders), NBA (7th-8th graders) and Elite (High School and Collegiate players). We have found that tracking players scores in these drills really encourages them to A) work on their fundamentals and B) push themselves to get a better score each time they perform.  Using the Living by Numbers program, players can truly see their progress year over year. In 2010, Owen Ferguson broke our Front/Back Bounce record of 76 bounces in :30, when he collected 88 bounces at our NIKE Camp in Birmingham, Alabama.  Was Owen satisfied? No.  He came back to our camp again in 2011 and this time he broke his own record and collected 99 bounces (see video below).  Amazing! That's a 12.5% improvement in 1 year and when you can show players that they are actually improving it makes it that much easier for them to work on their game.

The bottom line is track every thing you do.  Most of our drills are :30, but be creative with your own workout and be sure to make it fun.  Then track your progress and watch your own records fall.  If you have any questions about our Living by Number program, feel free to email me at

Lee Miller
National Director
Elite Hoops
"Release Your Potential"

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Art of the Screen

Posted by Anonymous | Thursday, October 13, 2011 | Category: , | 0 comments

The screen and roll, or pick and roll, is one of the most effective offensive weapons in the game of basketball. There are three parts to a good screen that the screener and the person being screened must use. The first part is the screen itself; it must be a solid screen on the actual defender. The second is the person being screened must set up the defense by going away from the screener and then running the defender into the screen. The final part is coming off shoulder to shoulder with the screener. The screen is best used at the highest level of basketball, the NBA. Players in the NBA set good, hard screens on the defenders, and the ball handler does a good job setting the defense up and, using the screen effectively, and when I say effectively I am referring how he comes off the screen shoulder to shoulder. Here is an example of Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire using the pick and roll to near perfection. Take note on how Steve Nash sets the screen up with a hesitation move and then comes of Amare’s shoulder when he sets a solid screen on the defender. That is how the pick and roll is done. This might be the most important part of the screen, if the ball handler does not come off the screen shoulder to shoulder, then that leaves room for the defense to slide through and stay with the ball handler, but if the ball handler comes off the screeners’ shoulder then the defense either has to trail the ball handler or go underneath the screen, which gives room for the ball handler to shoot or pass.

This is almost a lost art at the high school level. Now I am not saying that high school players do not set screens, I am saying that I do not see players set screens effectively. Many times high school players set a screen on an area rather than a defender. You have to head hunt the defender and set a good, hard screen instead of just empty space. By good, hard screen I do not mean an illegal or dirty screen, I mean a solid screen that your teammate can use. A good screen is hard for the defense to guard, and there are multiple options that come from setting an effective screen. The screener can pick and roll for a layup, or he or she can pick and pop for a jump shot. You can even slip the screen, that is where the screener appears to come set the screen and then slips to the basket hopefully for an open layup. These are just a few variations and options that basic fundamentals of setting a screen can provide.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Real Kevin Durant

Posted by Anonymous | Thursday, October 6, 2011 | Category: , | 0 comments

When no one is watching are you working on your game? When practice is over are you getting up more shots because you had a bad shooting day? Do you work on your weak hand twice as hard as strong as your dominate hand? Are you hanging out with friends on the weekend when you could be in the gym? These are questions you should ask yourself on a daily basis if you want to be the best basketball player you can be. If you are not doing these things there is someone else in a gym somewhere doing something to become a better basketball player. Many think success is just given and not earned. There is a reason why Kevin Durant has become one of the rising stars in the NBA and it starts with his work ethic, leadership, and humbleness.

Kevin Durant did not always start out being the most humble hard working player but learned to be very soon. When Kevin was young, he would have good games in which he would brag about how he played. His mother brought that to a halt very quickly telling Kevin to be humble because all the stuff could be taken away from him. From then on, Kevin did not want to take his talents for granted and improved his work ethic. One of the things Kevin does to improve his game is working out after practice is over, and he feels that this is the reason why he has become better during his time in the NBA. He is also known for giving 100% every time on the court going through every drill, every set, and every workout has hard as possible to become the very best he can be. As you may know he has traveled the country all summer on a summer league tour tearing up all competitors that step in his way. Notable games he has played in are at Rucker Park, a historical park in New York, where he scored 66 points. Then in the Goodman League v. Melo League in which players like: Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Chris Paul, John Wall, Brandon Jennings, and DeMarcus Cousins played in, he scored 59 points. How is that for hard work paying off?

Not only does Kevin’s work ethic make him a better player but it also rubs off on his teammates. Through leading by example, he gets his teammates to commit to the team by doing whatever it takes to win. For example, starting shooting guard for the Oklahoma Thunder, Thabo Sefolosha, totally commits himself to the defensive end for the betterment of the team. In a league where scoring is glorified Kevin pushes his teammates to be the very best at their role on the team. Also with anticipation of the lockout, Kevin has already notified the his teammates that they need to meet him in Houston to start training for the upcoming season whenever it may start. All he wants is to get better and make those around him better too.

Kevin with all of his accomplishments has remained just as humble as he was when first entering the league. The only thing that he cares about is winning and remaining loyal to the ones that helped him reach the platform that he is on. The reason he continues to get better is because he has an understanding that he does not know everything about the game of basketball and is willing to learn. As he continues to learn along with his work ethic, his potential is through the roof.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What Is "It"?

Posted by Lee Miller | Wednesday, September 21, 2011 | Category: , , , , , , | 1 comments

Over the past 3 years, I have trained over 300 HS players throughout the southeast. Of those 300, only 2 have "it". If I was a coach at the high school level, and I could have 12 of either one of the players (both guards), I'd take it. You ask either of the players to shoot 200 shots and they shoot 300. You ask either to be at the gym at 3:00 and they are there at 2:45 working on their game. You tell either of them to deactivate their Facebook account for 6 weeks to concentrate on their game and they do it.  Both of these players work hard, work often, and understand what commitment is, but what is the "it" that they have?

Every year, Fortune magazine compiles its Fortune 500 list of the top revenue producing companies in the United States. Number 1 on the list is Wal-Mart bringing in an astounding $421 billion in revenue. Even Number 500, Seaboard brought in $4 billion.  That being said, these are some major companies, doing some major business with some elite level CEO's at the top of the helm. A lot of these CEO's could probably work 40 hours a week and still have a Fortune 500 company on their hands, but what do you think is the AVERAGE wake up time for these CEO's?  Try 5:45am.  According to Starwinar, 85% of Fortune 500 CEO's wake up before 6:00am. That means 425 of the 500 CEO's wake up every morning about an hour earlier than the average American. Will just waking up early give you "it"?  No, but all of these CEO's have "it".

Sean Combs "Diddy" is worth $475 million and is the richest hip hop star in the world, according to Forbes. But in 1990, Diddy wasn't worth a penny.  That year, he took an UNPAID internship with at Uptown Records. He commuted via train every weekend from Washington, DC to New York to work for free because he had a passion and a desire to make it big in the music industry. A year later, due to his hard work, Diddy landed a full time gig as Director of Artists at Uptown. In 1993, he signed a multi-million dollar deal with Arista records for his Bad Boy Entertainment label that he created while at Uptown.  The rest is history and YES Diddy has "it".

In the summer after the 2006-2007 NBA season, Kobe Bryant realized his fingers were unevenly spaced after taping them the entire previous season due to a fractured metacarpal.  As a result, his shooting percentage dropped that season.  He watched film on 1000's of his shots and noticed the ball was slightly rotating to the right. So what did 5-time NBA Champion, Kobe Bryant do? He MADE 100,000 shots that summer correcting his form and rotation. Kobe says he doesn't practice shooting shots, he "practices making them, " and YES if you haven't figured it out yet, Kobe has "it".

In Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers, he discusses the 10,000 hour rule.  He says that to achieve greatness in a specific field you must spend 10,000 hours mastering your craft.  He mentions that the Beatles played over 1200 times in Hamburg, Germany from 1960-1964 and amassed more than 10,000 hours of playing time during that span.  A year later, almost everyone in the US knew their songs.  He mentions that Bill Gates, former CEO of Microsoft and worth an estimated $50 billion, started programming at the age of 13 and spent over 10,000 hours perfecting programs before he started Microsoft. The Beatles had "it" and Bill Gates still has "it".   

After you date someone for a while, how will you know when he/she's the one? You'll know. How will you know which of the 30 homes you've just seen is your "dream home"? You'll know. How will you know which college coach is truly the one for you to commit to? You'll know. And how do you know when you have "it"? Just look in the mirror... and You'll know.

Lee Miller
Elite Hoops
National Director
"Release Your Potential"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Are You Living by Numbers, Really?

Posted by Chris Langley | Monday, September 19, 2011 | Category: , , , | 0 comments

During our NIKE summer basketball camps, player's worked daily on our Living by Numbers drills. These drills are specially designed in order to emphasize fundamental skills like ballhandling, shooting, and footwork in a timed environment that works to simulate the pressure player's will feel during an actual 5 on 5 game. The 12 drills that player's worked on throughout the week were as follows:

Layup Form:
Mikan Drill (30 seconds)
Power Layups (45 seconds)
Cone Layups (30 seconds)

Cone Jumpers (45 seconds)
Hot Shot (1 minute)

Figure 8 No Dribble (30 seconds)
Figure 8 Dribble (30 seconds)
Front Back Bounce (30 seconds)
Front Back Catch (30 seconds)
Flip Flop (30 seconds)

Switch Cone Slides (30 seconds)
X-Box (30 seconds)

Each player's scores were tracked by their coach, and entered into the Living by Numbers Database found on the Elite Hoops website. At camp, player's were told that their scores found in the Living by Numbers Database were to act as a "baseline score" or an individual goal, as they worked on these drills daily to improve before tryouts. For our staff, the idea behind this was that if players track their scores daily, they will no doubt see tangible improvement in each drill over time, and hopefully, want to continue to get better as they set higher and higher goals for themselves!

Is that happening though? It is time to find out! If you were one of the players that attended our NIKE basketball camps this summer, be honest with me for a second, as I ask some questions about your off-season training and your Living by Numbers scores.

Have you been working on those drills daily?
Have you been timing yourself to create a pressure situation?
Have you been recording your scores daily?
If so, are you seeing improvement?
If not, why haven't you been working on each one of these drills daily?
If you answered "Yes" to questions 1-4, that is great, and I applaud your hard work, effort, and commitment to the game! And you are probably seeing improvement over the first time you did the drills in camp, so well done because we all know that "hard work brings prosperity!"

For those of you who haven't been working on your Living by Numbers drills daily, and answered with "No" or "Kind of" or "Sometimes," today is the day to stop making excuses! Although we all have them, an excuse isn't going to do you any good when tryouts come and you aren't prepared, or your season comes and you miss open layups because the pressure of the game gets to you!

Luckily, there is still time! You still have over a month before tryouts or before practice starts, so go to your Living by Numbers scores on the website, dust them off, and start working to make-up for the valuable time you have lost!

Although you haven't been working like you should have been over the summer and now into fall, all is not lost. Work on preparing NOW, so that you stand out in a tryout and are prepared to hit the ground running when your season starts! The time for you, as an individual, to get better comes in the off-season because during the season, your coach's focus is on the "team" getting better. So practices consist mostly of team offense and team defense work, not about getting 200 shots up, or working on ballhandling, or individual quickness. You need to work on YOUR game NOW, before the season even starts!

So I say all this to say, that you need to use the next 6 weeks to get yourself the individual work that you need to improve. Take your Living by Numbers scores seriously and working on them daily! If you do this, I can't promise you will make your team or make every layup, but I can tell you that your chance of success is much higher! Good Luck!

-Coach Langley

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fundamental Post Moves

Posted by Anonymous | Wednesday, September 14, 2011 | Category: | 0 comments

Every basketball player should learn how to post up and have some post moves in their offensive arsenal.  No matter what position you play, from point guard to center you should be ready to play down low.  One of the most important things when it comes to posting up is position.  If you get position right under the basket, which is an ideal spot, then you should be able to score just about 99% of the time.  Of course getting the ball there is not going to happen every time, and this is where having a variety of post moves comes in handy.  Another big aspect of playing down low is reading how the defense is playing you.  For example, if the defense is playing on the high side, this is a good time to use the drop step move towards the baseline side to seal the defender, and have an easy layup.  If the defender is playing on the low side, this is where you should turn towards the middle and make a jump hook or an up and under move.  It is important to practice and learn post moves first without any defense, and once you feel as though you have a good grasp on them, and then try to implement them against a defender.  Here is an example of a drop step combined with an up and under by Jake Carwell of Wheaton Men’s Basketball team. 

 Reece Wiedeman-Skill Development Coach, Elite Hoops

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day 2 of NIKE Basketball Camp at Carolina Courts

Posted by Chris Langley | Tuesday, August 9, 2011 | Category: , , , | 0 comments

Each day at the NIKE/Elite Hoops Basketball Camps we preach to the players that practicing isn't enough. In order for players to truly get better each day, they must not only practice, but they need to practice with pressure. We hear stories from players all the time about how many hours they practice and yet that practice isn't turning them into a better player. The reason why? Pressure.

When a player shoots a shot during a regular season game there is pressure to make that shot coming from numerous sources: their coach (who wants the score on that possession), their teammates (who want to win the game), their parents (they want their son/daughter to look good on the court), defense (who wants to block the shot) and lastly themselves (they don't want to fail). It's not easy to hit a shot with that amount of pressure...unless you have dealt with it before-and MOST players haven't.

You can recreate game like pressure in practice or at home in 3 ways:
1. Have a defender guard you for the ballhandling/shooting drill
2. Have a clock time you
3. Set a number of makes/reps to perform

To make yourself a really strong player use two or more of these techniques together. In our Living by Numbers series that we perform daily at camp, players have 12 fundamental skill drills that they work on trying to get a certain number of reps/makes in a certain amount of time. By creating pressure for players in drills it makes practice more "game like." Thus, when a player gets into the game and has an opportunity to make a shot, dribble the full length of the court with a defender chasing them, etc. it is much easier for them to perform because they have done it before under pressure.

Today, at the NIKE/Elite Hoops Boys Basketball Camp at Carolina Courts players performed 5 Ballhandling drills: Figure 8, Figure 8 Dribble, Flip Flop, Front/Back Bounce and Front/Back Catch. Each player had 30 seconds to perform each drill and maximize their number of reps. We reminded them today that, "The more you sweat in peace the less you bleed in war." And based upon the effort today from our campers, they won't be bleeding in games nearly as much as they used to.

Day 1 of NIKE Boys Basketball Camp at Carolina Courts

Posted by Chris Langley | | Category: , | 0 comments

At our second annual NIKE/Elite Hoops Boys Basketball camp at Carolina Courts, coaches emphasized the importance of "not mistaking activity for achievement." Players were told that just because they were at camp, in a station, or even playing 5 on 5, they were not going to achieve anything (or get better) if they weren't giving their full effort!

This applies to any aspect of their game, whether it is ballhandling, rebounding, shooting, or defense. A player must go game speed to get better, and eventually perform better in games. The goal is to help players develop this type of work ethic outside of camp when working on their game in the off-season because that is when real improvement occurs!

If players continue to work hard the rest of the week, in their stations, 5 on 5, Living by Numbers, and 3 on 3, then they should see tremendous improvement by Friday! The coaches are excited to see what's in store for this talented and hard working group!

Check out all the action and more photos at!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 4 of NIKE/Elite Hoops Coed Elite Basketball Camp at GAC

Posted by Anonymous | Thursday, July 28, 2011 | Category: , , , | 0 comments

On day 4 of the Nike/Elite Hoops Coed Elite Basketball Camp at GAC players continued to work hard in their stations as well as their Living By Numbers. Coaches emphasized that they must keep on working hard on these drills in order to succeed outside of camp. All of the ballhandling, perimeter moves, defense, and shooting techniques at camp are designed to help our players work on form, as well as mock game-like conditions and situations. Our goal is to allow players to interpret and execute proper technique, while having to also focus on all of the other aspects of the game simultaneously. These aspects range from defenders, to speed, to time, and to the pressure that comes while playing in an actual game. We want to make the pressure in practices and trainings are as difficult as possible so that games can be a breeze.
If the players are truly devoting all of their effort to getting one percent better each day, like they promised to at the beginning of camp, then they will definitely see the improvement.
Campers have done a great job this week and the coaches cannot wait to see what will come next during "Championship Friday!" Everybody has high hopes of a positive outcome.

Day 3 pictures at Nike Elite Hoops Basketball Camp at CPA

Posted by Anonymous | | Category: | 0 comments

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 3 of NIKE/Elite Hoops Coed Elite Basketball Camp at GAC

Posted by Anonymous | Wednesday, July 27, 2011 | Category: | 0 comments

On day 3 of the Nike/Elite Hoops Coed Elite Basketball Camp at GAC, coaches stressed the importance of practicing under pressure. When playing in games, players are hit with ten times the amount of pressure than they're hit with during practice. Between parents, coaches, friends, and fans the pressure to succeed during a game is almost unbearable. So it is easy for players to want to feel cool and collected in non-pressured situations such as practices. In practice, it is you, your coach and your teammates. Practically zero pressure. Consequently many players do not do as well in their games because of the lack of pressure put forth during practices. To help players in this category of the game, coaches introduced a couple of pressure layup and shooting drills today during Living By Numbers and morning stations.

The first drill, Trailblazer One on One, was introduced during our Rebounding/Fastbreak Station. This drill has two competing players-one on offense and one on defense-that start under the basket on the baseline. The offensive player, who is holding the basketball, dribbles towards and around a cone positioned at the three point line and then shoots a layup. At the same time, the defensive player sprints towards and around a separate cone placed between the three point line and halfcourt. The defenders goal is to block the offensive player's shot. The offensive player must either score or get fouled to get the point. The drill puts both players in a pressured shooting environment that players will more than likely find themselves in during the games.
The other drills were, again, introduced during our Living By Numbers, these drills are known as Cone Layups and Cone Jumpers. A lot like shooting under pressure, these drills have players up against the clock rather than up against other players. They have 45 seconds to make as many shots as possible and try to beat past records.
Pressured situations are a prime focus for many coaches and it is good for players to learn them here at camp in order to succeed in the future with other coaches.

Day 2 at Nike Elite Camp in Nashville at CPA

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Hunter Vick breaks the Flip Flop record at 92!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day 2 of NIKE/Elite Hoops Coed Elite Basketball Camp at GAC

Posted by Anonymous | Tuesday, July 26, 2011 | Category: , , , , | 0 comments

On day 2 at the Nike/Elite Hoops Coed Elite Basketball Camp at GAC, coaches focused on emphasizing how important ballhandling skills are in young players. The more that ballhandling is practiced the more likely players are to get better at the various drills. During our Living By Numbers drills today, players were given five drills to work on in the off-season to not only get better, but to also get more comfortable and, therefore, allow their skills to broaden. Hand speed and hand quickness is a key focus when dealing with the ball. The five drills are known as Figure 8, Figure 8 with dribble, Flip Flop, Front Back Bounce, and Front Back Catch.
Every one of the players participated in the Living By Numbers ballhandling skills putting forth a great effort, and straining to beat the records hanging on the wall. Although nobody beat any records today, it was tremendous to see each player working their hardest under the pressure from teammates, and the clock. Each player was able to receive their own personal best record and that is exactly what coaches are looking for. The hard work and determination that players showed today is exactly what we are looking for in all Elite Hoops players, it is also what coaches in the future will be looking for. If the players can keep up with this hard work then they stand a good chance of making whatever team they try out for in the Fall.

Nike Elite Hoops Basketball Boys Camp In Nashville,TN Day 1

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Day 1 was a fantastic day for over 100 campers at the Nike Elite Skills Basketball Camp at CPA in Nashville, TN. Here are some photos from station work on Day 1.