Thursday, July 28, 2011
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.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
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.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
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.
Today was the first day of the Nike/Elite Hoops Coed Elite Basketball Camp at Greater Atlanta Christian. With a total of 54 campers signed up for the week to build upon their knowledge of basketball. Boys and girls are intermixed into groups based on age and skill level. Campers flew through stations this morning, and were taught by Camp Director, Lee Miller, to "never mistake activity for achievement." The coaches want to see if each camper can push themselves and try their very best every minute at every task. It was explained to them that though you are physically moving and performing an act it doesn't necessarily mean that you are getting any better, or reaching achievement status yet. By the end of stations, most of the campers were able to achieve the drill in front of them. Stations included drills from perimeter moves to team defense. Two fundamental skills that coaches emphasized greatly on today were ballhandling and proper layup form. Every camper has promised to become one percent better each day.
In the Ballhandling Station, players were taught stationary drills specifically to help them gain a comfortable feel for the basketball. Ballhandling is a fundamental skill in the game that cannot be overlooked early on.
In the Shooting Station, coaches went over the proper layup form known as the "Mikan Drill." This drill is an easy layup drill that focuses on technique and form. Players were to make sure to have their
"right hand, right knee in the air," when performing a right handed layup and the make to have their "left hand, left knee in the air," when performing their left handed layup. While beginner players are told to work on form more then speed normally, this camp has older, more elite players ranging from ages 12 to 16, making speed a priority to most of the players. This encourages them to develop quicker foot work in between layups.
We have a tremendous staff this week with college players and well known high school coaches from Atlanta. Coaches see high skill in this group and look forward to a successful week.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
The Nike Elite Skills Girls Camp in Nashville concluded yesterday at CPA. It was a fantastic week as there were numerous records broken, girls that were pushed to get better, and ton of fun had by all those involved. Championship Friday ended the week as the following girls were honored for their performances:
Mary Caroline Hayles- College
Savannah LeGate- WNBA (RECORD-17)
Sarah Davis- HS
Chloe Moore- College
Nayia Holmes- WNBA (RECORD-29)
Micah Skinner, Emma Maddux- College
Jayna Ferrell- WNBA (Record- 9)
Claire Wilson- HS
Emily Allen- College
Savannah LeGate- WNBA
Charitee Groves- HS
Cate Goodrum- College
Grace Dishman- WNBA
Most Outstanding Players
Claire Wilson- HS
Mary Caroline Hayles- College
Jayda Dunn- WNBA
We look forward to returning next year to the campus of CPA in Nashville for another sold-out girls camp. On behalf of all of us at Nike Elite Hoops Basketball, thank you to all the campers, parents, and coaches that were involved in making this a special week!
Championship Friday was exciting for campers and full of basketball! Players started their morning of with 5 of their 10 stations, where they reviewed what they had been taught all week long. After stations, championship activities began! Players competed in their Living By Number Championships. Below is a list of the drills that players competed in and the champions in each division:
After our Living by Numbers Championships, all leagues participated in a championship game on the main court, with parents, other players, and coaches watching! All the games were exciting to the very end! At the award ceremony following the championship games, some players received NIKE bookbags, NIKE sweatshirts, and NIKE t-shirts for all of their hard work! To find out who won the Most Complete Player and Coaches Award, in each division visit www.facebook.com/elitehoops.
Championship Friday at Homewood High School was exciting for campers and full of basketball! Players started their morning off going through their Skill Development Stations, where they reviewed what they had been taught all week long. After stations, Championship activities began! The Top 3 Living by Numbers scorers from each division competed in the Mikan, Figure 8, Cone Layups and Hot Shot Championships. Below is a list of the champions in each division and their scores:
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Some people believe you can go in the gym, work on the same shots over and over, and come out a better shooter…WRONG. You become a better player when you challenge yourself to become better than you already are. You shouldn’t be content when your athletic ability hits a plateau. Sure it occurs naturally, but well-rounded athletes should expect a climbing slope throughout the years that they play. The way to continue on this slope of success is to train yourself harder and stronger each and every time you hit the court, the weights, or the track.
Day 4’s quote was “don’t train at the level you’re at, train at the level you want to be.” Every coach here at NIKE/Elite Hoops Basketball Camp sees a unique potential in every player that walks through our doors. But we also see what it takes for those players to reach that potential: the willingness to exert hours of blood, sweat, and tears- nothing less. Signs of improvement occur when players test their body’s ability to elevate its level of play, endurance, speed, and decision making on a higher level than they are on.
Another strong point coaches emphasized today was sportsmanship. Coaches work very hard to incorporate this into the Nike/Elite Hoops environment and with Champion Friday so near it is important that players remember it. It is not uncommon to see players shaking each others hands, congratulating their teammates, and even the players on other teams. Even on "Championship Friday" teams must go and shake hands after their games. Players that show good sportsmanship during practice and training sessions are the players that coaches will want on their team. Remember, "it's amazing how much can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit."
These player's skill level has improved so dramatically in the past four days that coaches are very excited to see what is in store for tomorrow as "Championship Friday" draws closer. Players are excited for the games as well as they talk amongst themselves about which team will come through with the win and which teammates will go home with some prizes!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
There are 3 ways you can apply pressure: (1) with defense (2) with the clock (3) with reps. Although 2 out of the 3 is considered good training, 3 out of the 3 is best because it combines every scenario you will face during a game.A "2 out of 3" example would be if you are shooting jump shots during practice, don't just set a goal of 15 baskets. Instead, set a goal of 15 baskets with a time limit. The pressure of making all 15 shots with the pressure of the ticking clock will help you prepare yourself for game-like situtations. The picture located in the top right corner demonstrates another form of the "2 out of 3" pressure types. As the camper drives towards to basket to gain shooting reps, Coach Miller stands tall with hands high to apply defensive pressure. With this kind of pressure, the offensive player should have no trouble driving around the defender and straight to the basket during a game. But remember, as you train yourself for the game, it is important to create good habits. We believe that you play as well as you train, so it is important to create GOOD habits during practice, so when you hit the court for an actual game, those GOOD habits become natural under pressure, allowing you to defeat your competitor.
Today at NIKE Basketball Camp at Kedron Fieldhouse, coaches introduced the quote, "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." In school, if you don't do your homework, or study for a test, you will more than likely fail that class or that test. If you do not practice for a try out, you will most likely not make the team. There are so many factors to consider when preparing yourself for anything, so you need to do it right. Coaches emphasized the significance of this quote by focusing on what players need to do in order to prepare for a game. The preparation coaches practiced with today is pressure. Players don't normally practice under the conditions that are going to be prevalent during a game. They don't have the roar of the crowds, or the shrill of the coach in their ear. They really don't even have an opponent most of the time. In result, most players cannot perform as well in games as they can in practice. In order to help players avoid this, coaches introduced a few pressure drills during Living By Numbers and stations.
We had a great day in Nashville as 95 girls worked really hard to make themselves 1% better. The thought for the day was-"If you are not making a mistake, you are not getting better." The girls really worked hard in their station work, games, and living by numbers sessions to do just that- push to the point that I get better because I am out of my comfort zone. We had 3 more records broken as 4th Grader Chloe Moore broke the Figure 8 Dribble (15) and Front Back Bounce record with 70. Nayia Holmes broke another record with 29 on the Figure 8- both of these records are phenomenal and only surpassed by how special these 2 girls are. We are excited about Day 3 and whats ahead during our league games and cut throat times to see the girls level of improvement.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
On day 2 today at Nike/Elite Hoops Basketball Camp at Kedron Fieldhouse the quote of the day is "Hard work brings prosperty." It is encouraged by the coaches to work and play hard on and off the court in order to one day achieve their goals, and to keep growing in the process. You will not grow and become a better player without hard work, its impossible. Thats why coaches emphasize the importance of the fundamentals, they are like the base of basketball... You need to have something to grow and expand upon.
One vital fundamental is ballhandling. No matter what your position is on the court, you must be able to control, and maintain control of, a basketball. Coaches stress on the importance of developing good ballhandling skills throughout the whole week, but today specifically. This is because our Living by Numbers drills of the day are all based around ballhandling. Players were given five different drills known as the Figure 8 without dribble, Figure 8 with dribble, flip flop, front back bounce, and front back catch.
Each and every player competing in these drills has the hope of beating the record hanging on the wall of the gym. There were no records beaten today, but tomorrow, next week and next summer still hold potential for these young players. As long as they keep working hard on these drills, they will eventually prosper. If these young players can keep up the hard work they will, one day, be the players that coaches are seeking.
We are off to a great start to the week here in Nashville,TN on the campus of Christ Presbyterian Academy to the Nike Elite Hoops Basketball Girls Camp. Day 1 featured almost 100 girls wanting to be pushed and motivated to improve 1% more as a player before they came to camp yesterday morning. The thought for the day was taken from legendary coach Don Meyer and it simply was 4 words- "PICK UP THE TRASH." Basically, stating to leave the group, the team you play on, the class you are in, or whatever the situation is better than the way you found it- these girls did just that as they encouraged total strangers, loved each other well, and showed great enthusiasm for the game of basketball and others. We are excited to see what the week has in store as there are some really good players here- in fact, 2 record were broken and we will post footage and and pictures later when we capture it on video on Tuesday.
Monday, July 18, 2011
We're back in Homewood, Alabama for yet another round of NIKE/Elite Hoops Basketball Camp, except this time we are at Homewood High School! On Day 1, new faces arrived at check in bright and early, and the coaches could tell the players were eager to work hard and get better. Monday emphasized refining the players' weaknesses. Whether it is ball handling, reading the defense, or something as simple as communication, the slightest improvement makes it that harder for your opponent to beat you. Our camp director, Coach Lee Miller, stressed the importance of training "1 times your strength to 2 times your weakness." Let's say dribbling with your left hand is a struggle for you and dribbling with your right hand is a breeze. If you work 10 minutes on right-handed ball handling (strength), then you should work 20 minutes on your left-handed ball handling (weakness). Sure it is great to be dominant in one area of the game; however, players that are consistenly dominant in ALL areas of the game outlast their opponent in any situation they face on the court.
Throughout the day, campers worked on various ball handling drills that forced them to work on their weaknesses. Although a hassle at first, each camper soon learned the importance of sharpening the dull components of their game. After lunch, the players were teamed together for a little 5 on 5 competition. It was during this competition that players valued the statement that Coach Miller said to them earlier in the day. Campers were able to understand the advantage of being a consistent dribbler with both hands, as opposed to only one, and exactly why our coaches here at NIKE/Elite Hoops Basketball Camp aim to erase any weaknesses our players might have. As the first day came to a close, head coach at Homewood High School, Tim Shepler reminded the players that "it is the average player that goes to the gym and works on their 'favorite' shot or whatever feels natural to them, but it is the champion that pushes themselves outside of their comfort zone because our strengths grow from what once were our weaknesses."
"Do not mistake activity for achievement." One of the many quotes we share with campers here at Nike/Elite Hoops Basketball camps, this quote emphasizes to them that just because they are shooting at the basket, or dribbling down the court does not necessarily mean that they are achieving anything, but instead, simply acting upon a drill. In order to achieve, to get one percent better each day here at camp players "must not mistake" the act of doing a drill with achieving the drill. You must work at it every day and not only at camp, but at home as well. Day 1 of the NIKE Boys Basketball Camp at Kedron Fieldhouse welcomed eager campers to concentrate on the improvement of their individual skills, this improvement is mainly focused on during the morning stations. Stations include a diverse set of skills ranging from proper lay up forms in the shooting station to basic blockout drills in the rebounding station. Stationary drills and the proper defensive stance were two fundamental skills that coaches focused primarily on today.
During the ballhandling station players were taught a variety of different stationary drills, some known as the ball slap, corkscrew, and crossover. These are primarily to get the players comfortable with the ball, so that during a game they feel more in control. Players are encouraged to perform each of these drills as fast as they possibly can to prepare for our Living By Numbers competitions done throughout the week.
The drill that expands on the proper defensive stance is known as the "Big Step Drill." The Big Step Drill is a simple directional drill that focuses on how to effectively defend an opponent. Players were to make sure to have their feet shoulder width apart with their knees bent, and their back straight. One hand should be hitting up on the ball, while their other hand "wiping" the passing lane. Their feet should be staggered to the side as they force the player in the direction they want, and while sliding, they should never touch, this is known as the "Big Step, slide."
Players applied the skills that they learned in their stations to their 5 on 5 and 3 on 3 games. Throughout the week coaches will expand on each drill day by day while player's skills expand as well. Our main focus here is to help players improve by one percent each day.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Championship Friday was exciting for campers and full of basketball! Players started their morning of with 5 of their 10 stations, where they reviewed what they had been taught all week long. After stations, players competed in their semi-finals games of their 5 on 5 leagues. After the semi-finals games, Championship activities began! Players competed in their Living By Number Championships. Below is a list of the drills that players competed in and the champions in each division:
After our Living by Numbers Championships, all leagues participated in a championship game on the main court, with parents, other players, and coaches watching! All the games were exciting to the very end! At the award ceremony following the championship games, some players received NIKE bookbags, NIKE sweatshirts, and NIKE t-shirts for all of their hard work! To find out who won the Most Complete Player, Hustle Award, Defense Award, Coaches Award, and Eagle Award, visit www.facebook.com/elitehoops.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
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 Blessed Trinity 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. To see the current Living by Number Record Holders click HERE.