Tuesday, August 9, 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 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.
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!