Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Preparing for Success

Posted by Drew Molitoris | Tuesday, February 22, 2011 | Category: | 0 comments

Legendary UCLA coach John Wooden used to say that “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Too often young athletes expect positive results without a proper plan in place. Whether it is making your middle school team, becoming a starter on varsity or playing at the college level, there are important steps that all athletes must take.

Establish Your Goal
Write down your specific goal as a reminder of what you are working towards.

Seek Guidance / Involve Others
Verbalize your goal to those who can assist you in the process. Often times, we assume that others are aware of what we want even though we’ve never specifically told them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Learn from others successes and failures. Parents, coaches, and older athletes are great resources for information if you are willing to ask.

This is where most people fall short. Be willing to put in the necessary work! If your coach explains that your ball handling is preventing you from receiving more playing time, make sure you focus on improving those skills. Young athletes face so many distractions today between Facebook and video games that certain social sacrifices may need to be made.

Commit to Succeed
If Michael Jordan would have given up after being cut from the JV team in high school, he would not be the most recognizable athlete in the history of the world. Everyone experiences setbacks so it is how we respond that determines our ultimate success. Expect roadblocks and detours but do not lose focus on your goal!
These simple steps require thought and commitment but will create a foundation for success for young athletes. The earlier athletes learn these lessons the better prepared they will be both on and off the court.

Drew Molitoris
Director of Basketball Operations
College Coaches Network

Where Should You Shoot From?

Posted by Lee Miller | | Category: , , , | 0 comments

Whether you are a rec league, high school, collegiate or pro player you have to be able to score from different spots on the floor to be a successful offensive player.  But which shot or spot is the best to shoot from?  Obviously some of it depends on the score and time left  in the game, however all things being equal I think there are certain spots that are better than others.

I think the 3rd best shot available in the game is 3 pointer anywhere from the middle of the court over to the wing.  Besides the fact that it is worth more than a 2 pointer, a middle-to-wing 3 pointer typically will result in good spacing for the offense and thus a good shot at an offensive rebound.   Some coaches who really push their teams to shoot the 3 have this philosophy-If the other team only shoots 2's and shoots 50%, then all we have to do is make 34% and shoots 3's and we'll beat them.   I say middle-to-wing 3 because anything in the corner has a lower percentage of makes and is much tougher for the offense to rebound.  In addition, the rebounds off corner 3's are easy fast break opportunities for the other team. Lastly, statistics show that players shoot at least as good if not better from 20 feet than they do from 10-15 feet.

I think the 2nd best shot in the game is a layup. It has a much higher percentage of going in even if it's a defended shot than the 3 pointer.  Even if the shot is missed, almost 63% of all fouls occur in or near the lane (see chart above from 82games.com. Now that doesn't mean that they were driving for a layup, but without a doubt the closer to the basket you are the greater chance you have of getting a foul called in your favor.  So even though 100% of layups don't go in, getting fouled in the lane as you drive helps bring it up to #2 on my list.

The best shot in basketball is the free throw.  And some point out that making them isn't even as important as just getting there.  In the book Basketball on Paper, Dean Oliver's statistics show that "teams that get to the line more are more effective than teams that make a higher percentage of their free throws." In fact, 7 of the last 10 NCAA Men's Basketball Champions have shot more free throws than their opponent.  And in the NBA, 9 of the last 10 Champions have shot more cumulative free throws over the Finals than their opponent.

So if you want to win games, get to the free throw line. If you can't do that drive for layups.  If neither of those are your forte, then shoot top and wing 3's.

Lee Miller
Elite Hoops
"Release Your Potential"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Basketball Nutrition Basics

Posted by Lee Miller | Thursday, February 17, 2011 | Category: , , , | 0 comments

Elite Hoops is proud to welcome new Strength, Conditioning and Nutrition Coach Taylor Molitoris to our staff.  In addition to training under Jasper Cain or PureSpeed and Tony Villani from XPE Sports, Taylor is completing his BA in Physical Education from Kennesaw State.  He is also pursuing an ACE Personal Training certification as well as a Nutrition and Fitness advisor certification.  Taylor will be writing a weekly blog on health, nutrition and training. Check out his first blog below.

Today’s young athletes are engaging in innovative training programs that seek to improve their overall abilities.  The exercise science of the 21st century has given us new insights into the way we approach training and is constantly producing new methods.  At the same time, new information about nutrition has shed some light on the importance a solid diet has on an athlete’s performance.  Getting the essential nutrients that your body needs can help improve performance, body composition, energy levels, endurance, and longevity.  A proper diet can even affect the rate in which you recover from an injury.  There are some easy ways that you can start incorporating healthy foods into your diet right away to maximize your training results.

                The first thing to look it is the amount of calories you consume each day.  Most kids are not eating enough food every day and the foods they do eat are high in saturated fats, sodium and preservatives while low on proteins and essential nutrients.  The best way to make sure you are eating enough is to take the three basic meals of the day and break them up into 4-6 smaller meals. The idea is to feed your body every 2-3 hours to keep it in an anabolic state (state in which the body is repairing muscle tissue).  Any time we exercise we are actually maker ourselves weaker by entering a catabolic state.  This is the process of breaking down muscle during  exercise.   The time period in between work outs is when our bodies actually grow stronger muscle fibers, which leads to increased strength, speed and overall performance.  When we don’t get enough to eat in between workouts our bodies actually feed off themselves by breaking down muscle for energy.  Over time, this leads to muscle atrophy (weakening of the muscles) putting you at a greater risk for injury!

                Now, on to the types of foods you should be putting into your body.  All of the calories you eat come in the form of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.  It is important to balance the intake of these different types of calories.  For basketball players,  a diet rich in complex carbohydrates is essential.  Complex carbohydrates are broken down by the body more slowly than other carbohydrates and providing a slow, steady stream of energy throughout the day. Some examples of complex carbohydrates are whole grain foods  like oatmeal, bran, oats, wholegrain cereals, wholegrain pasta, brown rice,  potatoes, beans, and whole wheat breads.  These foods are especially important during the season and while participating in intense training programs.  Proteins should make up the next largest portion of your calories. Protein helps to repair muscle tissues and preserve lean mass.  Good sources of proteins come in foods like fish, chicken breast, eggs, lean beef, cottage cheese,  lean turkey and milk. A good rule of thumb is to consume 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.  Fats should make up the smallest portion of your calories but should definitely not be neglected! Fats are the most concentrated form of energy your body can get. Try to consume foods high in mono/polyunsaturated fats.  These are the “good fats” that are found in oils, nuts, and fish among other things. Examples are fish oil, olive oil, canola oil, almonds(nuts), peanut butter, flaxseeds, avocado and sunflower seeds. Try to balance each meal to where the majority of the calories come in the form of complex carbohydrates followed by proteins followed fats. 

          Fruits and vegetables should also be included into a high-performance diet.  Try to consume fruits during the first two meals of the day.  Examples of fruits are blueberries, bananas, apples, raisins, and oranges.  For the following meals of the day, a serving of vegetables is recommended.  Good vegetables choices include spinach, broccoli, green beans, asparagus, tomatoes, salads.  Also, remember to drink plenty of water with each meal (8-16oz.) Try to avoid things like sodas, energy drinks, and other beverages containing preservatives and high fructose corn syrups.  You may also want to go to your local health store and purchase whey protein powder and complex carbohydrate powders to blend into post-workout shakes.  After exercise, your body is starving for nutrients.  A quick and easy way to help replenish your muscles is a protein/carbohydrate shake mixed with water.  It would not hurt to have a banana or apple waiting on you when you finish your training/game.  Remember, whether it is in the form of meals or small snacks, try to give your body a steady supply of nutrients throughout the day by eating every 2-3 hours, drink lots of water, and get plenty of rest so that you will be ready to perform at the highest level.  

Taylor Molitoris
Strength, Conditioning and Nutrition Coach
Elite Hoops

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's the Hardest Sport to Play?

Posted by Lee Miller | Wednesday, February 16, 2011 | Category: , , | 0 comments

I love the game of basketball and it has been my favorite sport to watch and play since I was in 9th grade.  Having played baseball, basketball and football growing up, I think it is the hardest team sport to play of the three major sports. Before you begin to doubt my thoughts, please read my reasons below. If you still feel that I'm wrong, please comment on the post.  

Basketball is tougher than baseball because you actually have to be in shape to play. What other team sport has an All Fat Team? The average body fat percentage of players in the 2010 NBA Draft was 7.9%. Yes, MLB players have to hit a 90+ mph ball coming from only 60 feet away, but they are only successful 25% of the time. NBA players, however on average are successful 46% of the time while typically having a 6'6'' defender in front of them. Lastly, the average baseball player only has to field 2-3 plays per game on the defensive end whereas their basketball counter parts will play defense on nearly every possession.

Basketball is harder to play than pro football because you have to play both offense and defense.  True, most high school and some college football players play both ways, but in the NFL thats not the case. There are many gifted offensive basketball players not in the NBA right now strictly because they can't guard anyone (see Jon Scheyer).  If you are gifted on one side of the ball in football you still have a chance. In basketball not so much. 

Another way to determine how tough it is to make it professional in a sport is to look at two sport college stars and see which sport they went pro in.
-Bo Jackson played in the NFL and MLB but not the NBA
-Deion Sanders played in the NFL and MLB but not in the NBA
-Antonio Gates plays in the NFL, but played college basketball at Kent State and played in the 2002 Elite 
-Donovan McNabb plays in the NFL, but played college basketball at Syracuse and played in the 1996 
     NCAA National Championship
-Kenny Lofton played MLB, but also played college basketball at Arizona and was a part of the 1988 Final 
-Tony Gonzalez plays in the NFL, but was a starter for Cal and their 1997 Sweet Sixteen team.

Only 2 of the Top 25 on this list played NBA basketball. Another list has younger players, but only one of its Top 8 played pro basketball.  Without a doubt basketball is the hardest sport to play of the three major sports.  You have to be in great shape, you have to play offense and defense, and most importantly you have to be gifted at both ends of the floor.

Lee Miller
Elite Hoops
"Release Your Potential"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

NIKE Girls Basketball Camp at Blessed Trinity High School

Posted by Chris Langley | Tuesday, February 15, 2011 | Category: , , , , , | 0 comments

Elite Hoops will once again be hosting its NIKE Girls Basketball Camp at Blessed Trinity High School in Roswell, Georgia from June 6-June 10, 2011. This camp will be open to girls entering grades 4-9 and will run for 4 full days (Monday-Thursday) from 9:00am-3:00pm with a "Championship Day" on Friday from 9:00am-12:00pm. Enrollment is limited to 80 campers to maintain our 8:1 player to coach ratio.

Assisting Elite Hoops as Co-Director for this camp will be BT Head Varsity Basketball Coach Tamara Henderson. For more information on this camp or to register go to the Elite Hoops website.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Meeks and Williams Still Shining for Sixers

Posted by Chris Langley | Thursday, February 10, 2011 | Category: , , , | 0 comments

Elite Hoops Hall of Famers and Philadelphia 76ers, Jodie Meeks and Lou Williams are still shining as the 76ers climb towards the playoffs. Over the past six games, Meeks is averaging 13.2 points on 49.0% shooting. Meeks is also shooting 45.2% from 3-point range over the past 17 games and ranks tied for 26th in the league in 3-point percentage at 40.7%. Williams has scored 20+ points in eight of his past 23 games played with an a ppg average of 16.0. He's been on fire the past 2 games, shooting 56.0% from the floor and 40.2% overall. The Sixers are 8-1 when he scores 20+ points this season.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Training or Exposure?

Posted by Chris Langley | Monday, February 7, 2011 | Category: | 0 comments

Thanks to Alan Stein and Stronger Team, we get a look at two high school basketball players debating over what is more important in the off-season, getting exposure or getting better. Which one do you think is most important?

Hint: The answer is GETTING BETTER!