30 second time outs

Sunday, December 26, 2004

The Twelve Weeks of Basketball

At Basketball-tips.com I get players (and coaches) asking for how they can improve any number of different skills or strategies. Everybody`s "wish list" is a little different -some are thoughtful and some are...interesting. Players usually want to know how to increase their vertical, or dunk in no time flat. Rarely do they ask how to execute a proper jump stop, bounce pass, or mid range jump shot off the glass. Some coaches want that one drill or play that will turn their team into championship contenders. It`s good to add drills and plays to your arsenal - as long as we don`t forget to simply teach players HOW to play.The amazing thing about the game of basketball is that there are NO short cuts. It`s different than Christmas. There is nothing "magical" that is going to happen one day, nothing that is going to show up under your Christmas tree that will make you instantly better. Santa Claus is not going to bring you an amazing vertical or a pure jump shot. Kris Kringle will not make your team a group of turnover free, tenacious defenders. There is no one tip or one special play that will make a player or team instantly better. Just hard work and repetitions. Over and over again. The right way. With NO slippage. Practice doesn`t make perfect - perfect practice makes perfect.

In keeping with the Spirit of Christmas I thought I`d leave you with a little song, sung to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas"
*******The Twelve Weeks of Basketball*******

On the first day of practice my team promised me a Big, Golden Championship Ring

In the second week of the season my team promised me 2 Made Free Throws, and a Big, Golden Championship RingIn the third week of the season my team promised me 3 Point Plays, 2 Made Free Throws, and a Big, Golden Championship Ring

In the fourth week of the season my team promised me 4 quarters played , 3 Point Plays, 2 Made Free Throws, and a Big, Golden Championship Ring

In the fifth week of the season my team promised me 5 GREAT PLAYERS, 4 quarters played , 3 Point Plays, 2 Made Free Throws, and a Big, Golden Championship Ring

In the sixth week of the season my team promised me 6 Deadly Shooters, 5 GREAT PLAYERS, 4 quarters played , 3 Point Plays, 2 Made Free Throws, and a Big, Golden Championship Ring

In the seventh week of the season my team promised me 7 Guards a dribbling, 6 Deadly Shooters, 5 GREAT PLAYERS, 4 quarters played , 3 Point Plays, 2 Made Free Throws, and a Big, Golden Championship Ring

In the eighth week of the season my team promised me 8 Forwards Leaping, 7 Guards a dribbling, 6 Deadly Shooters, 5 GREAT PLAYERS, 4 quarters played , 3 Point Plays, 2 Made Free Throws, and a Big, Golden Championship Ring

In the ninth week of the season my team promised me 9 Solid Passers, 8 Forwards Leaping, 7 Guards a dribbling, 6 Deadly Shooters, 5 GREAT PLAYERS, 4 quarters played , 3 Point Plays, 2 Made Free Throws, and a Big, Golden Championship Ring

In the tenth week of the season my team promised me 10 Guys Competing, 9 Solid Passers, 8 Forwards Leaping, 7 Guards a dribbling, 6 Deadly Shooters, 5 GREAT PLAYERS, 4 quarters played , 3 Point Plays, 2 Made Free Throws, and a Big, Golden Championship Ring

In the eleventh week of the season my team promised me11 Tough Rebounders, 10 Guys Competing, 9 Solid Passers, 8 Forwards Leaping, 7 Guards a dribbling, 6 Deadly Shooters, 5 GREAT PLAYERS, 4 quarters played , 3 Point Plays, 2 Made Free Throws, and a Big, Golden Championship Ring

In the twelth week of the season my team promised me 12 Strong Defenders, 11 Tough Rebounders, 10 Guys Competing, 9 Solid Passers, 8 Forwards Leaping, 7 Guards a Dribbling, 6 Deadly Shooters, 5 GREAT PLAYERS, 4 Quarters Played , 3 Point Plays, 2 Made Free Throws, and a Big, Golden Championship Ring!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 06, 2004

Blowout Wins - Are They Necessary?


I saw a couple of great acts of sportsmanship recently, just days after reading about basketball scores like 89-9 and 110-30. The University of La Verne was beating the Banana Slugs (their nickname, really!) from UC Santa Cruz 97 - 61 with under a minute to go and a starter reentered the game and immediately called a huddle with the other LaVerne players. They then proceeded to run out the clock without trying to reach the 100 point threshold that always seems so important to players and fans.

In another sport, Jeff Tedford, the football coach at Cal, had the game in hand and perched to score with the ball on the 13 yard line when he ordered his quarterback to take a knee and let time expire. A bigger win may have impressed voters to invite Cal to a bigger bowl game, but Tedford stuck to what he knew was right.

Some basketball-tips to deal with large victories posted from the message board at The New Southern California Basketball Server:
Coaches, 1st half - do your thing, anything goes.
2nd half (or at least the 4th quarter) - play everyone and don't press. I don't care if you are a pressing team and 'need to work on it'. What kind of work are you really getting against that type of inferior competition?

Don't get steals and shoot uncontested layups. Do that in layup lines. Pull it out and work on some sort of continuity that will help you run out the last possession of a game when you have a one point lead. Or better yet when it's tied with 35 seconds to go and you want to take the last shot. And then demand only inside shots. THAT will help you get better.

Play a tight zone as if you need to stop some big post player or a team that can't shoot outside. Don't deny passes and get steals in the half court either. Block out and rebound - then WALK IT UP!

If a team did that for an entire half using 35 seconds and even assuming that the losing team didn't 'play along' and shot in their first 10 seconds, the team would have to shoot 100% just to score 40 pts in the 2nd half. A more normal 50% and they score 20 pts. Maybe the other team scores a few and you only win by 40.

I loved winning by 15-20. Safe enough lead not to blow it in the last couple of minutes and big enough to get all subs in the game. Does not demoralize the opponent and lets you work on the parts of the game that you need to improve to beat the good teams. Who cares what you do against the bad ones, you'll beat them anyway! Practice what you need to do to beat the best.

Unless of course you think that it proves your manhood and ability to coach by winning by a larger amount. In which case - you are showing neither.

Lok's Ledger