Monday, December 5, 2011

The 4 Keys to Improving Your Game

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

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"

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