Archive for Basketball Tips

Sep
09

Mental Toughness on the Basketball Court

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This was my greatest nemesis as a young player. I could score from almost anywhere on the court, except I had a problem with the breakaway lay-up. I know what you are thinking. I missed these shots at will when I was growing up until I was near 8th grade.

It got to the point that instead of laying it up, I would stop near the basket and shoot a little jump shot. It had to have been terribly embarrassing for my father as he watched from the sidelines. I hate to think how many points I could’ve scored if I could’ve hit a simple breakaway lay-up.

As I was able to get past that I realized it was a problem with my mental toughness and mindset. I write about this often because it is that important.

Basketball, I believe, is a game of perfected repetitions. Many players are great dribblers or ball handlers because that is the most common thing done on a court. Big players aren’t very good dribblers typically because common sense says that they don’t practice as much. Watch a good point-guard handle the ball and look at his face. That is a confident player who knows that he has that skill down. This player believes in himself. But focus on that same player two passes later when he has an open shot and you may find a completely different face.

The forehead rises and crumples a little and this player is unsure of himself. I say this because this is a form of mental toughness. A good basketball player always believes that he can do anything on the court well. He believes he will make any and every shot, just like he knows nobody will take the ball from him while dribbling.

You need to focus on being confident. Confidence is created from perfected repetitions and practice, practice, practice. Watch Shaq shoot a foul shot and you’ll see a player who is completely lost at the line. Each shot is completely different from the other one. No confidence. When he makes it, it seems like an accident. Be confident and get there by completed perfect repetitions of what you are working on.

Watch games with a purpose. You’ll hear me talk about this all the time. Watch games on television or go to high school games and college games. When I was 5 years old I remember my dad taking me to high school games and asking me if I could see myself out there one day. That stuck with me for years as it moved on to college.

Watch instructional videos. When I was younger I would go through the Pistol Pete set, the Steve Alford set and anything else my dad could get his hands on. Was it worth it? To my father it was and to me it was. It’s a minimal investment worth a potential scholarship. If you can get one source to get a light to go on and help you realize the type of player you can become, you’d want it wouldn’t you? I would think so. Just like people pay for education and dance classes and such.

Don’t be afraid of the competition. Push yourself and play against players that are better than you. Sure, you may be intimidated at first, but that is something that goes away with practice and repetition. When I was in 7th grade I was chosen to play with the 9th graders and it was a big deal to me. I was very small and at first I was very intimidated. That passed as I realized what my strengths were and what I needed to work on.

Use Springbak Springsoles. Springbak Springsoles are used by the top Division I Universities for a competitive edge and injury prevention. In basketball, it eliminates shin-splint problems, extends your shooting range, and much quicker reaction times to the basketball. Check out this testimonials video, it explains why pro athletes, trainers and coaches use our product. Then Dr. Michael Yessis Ph.D explains the science behind the product and how and why they work to improve athletic performance in any sport!

I mentioned in other articles about going to camps and this I would highly recommend. Great players want to play against great players. When I went against Jason Kidd I learned that I wasn’t nearly as good as I thought. When Travis Best scored 10 points on me in 4 possessions I was pretty humbled. When that happens, you have two choices, quit or get better. Anyone reading this should pick the get better part. Learn from experience and move on. Those players were pros and I knew they were going to be pros then. http://www.springbak.net/testimonials

Basketball, golf, hockey, and football are truly gamesBasketball Tips of perfected repetition. I got over my lay-up phobia by hard-work and practice. It wasn’t easy and I faltered at times, we all do, but the best players learn from mistakes and improve on them. In life we will all fail at something but what determines the type of player and person we are is how we act when we fall down. The best way to be mentally tough is to put yourself in situations and overcome them. That doesn’t happen while you’re playing video games.

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Mar
13

Quickness Training Tips for Basketball: Maximize Your Quickness with Technique

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     To maximize quickness in basketball, whether making a cut left or a right cut, technique is the key. Regardless of the sport that has a defender guarding an offensive player, there is a continual need for the offensive player to “beat” the defender. This is especially necessary in sports like basketball, soccer and football.

As just stated, technique is the key. In order to cut left, a quick short movement of the right foot to the floor is the start of the cut. The right foot should hit the floor or ground with an explosive push to the left with the entire length of the foot on the inside of the shoe striking the floor or ground with an explosive push off to the left, which can best be described as side ward, low to the floor or ground, jump to the left. As this side ward push or jump is being performed, the players left leg should be reaching out to the left, as his or her body leans to the left. In this way, when the left foot lands an alley to go by the defender should be created.

All of this movement, the push off, the bodylean and the reach out of the left leg should be simultaneous as possible. To cut to the right past a defender, everything is reversed. First, the left foot hits the floor or ground and the right leg reaches out as the body leans right.

Some of the greatest practitioners of this technique or art form are broken field runners in football like Gayle Sayers, or on the basketball court, Michael Jordan. If you watch film or You-Tube, you can study the masters just mentioned, utilizing this technique. If dribbling the basketball, bring the ball back up to the right hip when making a cut right, if right handed. When making a cut left, the crossover dribble should be made close to the body and low, with the hand behind the ball pushing the ball to be easily picked up with the left hand dribble.

Have fun and enjoy these quickness techniques! Bill Crow ~ Chairman Springbak Company – Former Professional Basketball Player

Categories : Basketball Tips
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Mar
18

Strength Training for Basketball – What Type of Training is Needed?

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Basketball SilhoetteAll solid basketball training programs will include exercises for improving your vertical leaping strength. Even if your present jumping height is lacking, you certainly can build-up your strength for the particular muscle groups involved. Increasing your vertical jumping ability even slightly can make a big difference in a game. The really good news is there are quite a few jumping drills you can use to increase your leaping ability. You can use strength training exercises with weight for your legs. There’s an old drill that some call, box jumps, and the reason people still use them is because they work well. It is subtle, but it works, and all you do is jump up onto a sturdy box. The only way you can actually get better (jump higher) is by training hard.

When you train for basketball, you have to do a certain amount of strength training. You should train all your muscle groups, as basketball is a game where you use both your lower and upper body. Your arms as well as your legs have to be ready for all kinds of rapid and repetitive movements in this sport. Vertical jumping requires you to have strong leg muscles. In the weight room, you should do several exercises for your leg muscles, including lunges and squats. Aside from your other training, it’s a good idea to hit the gym a few times per week for all around strength training. It will not only give you an edge on the court, it makes injuries less likely. Also, see our last blog post on ‘Proper Shoe Gear To Prevent Injuries’, this is an awesome article on Shoe Gear and how often you really need to change your athletic shoes and why!

You will need to train so you have good basketball skills, and then you need to train so your body can withstand the physical demand placed on it. Practicing ball handling exercises regularly is a good way to get more comfortable and agile when it comes to handling the basketball. Train with handling the ball with “go around the world” drills, and that is simply moving the ball around your body. Yet another is moving the ball through your legs in a figure eight pattern. These are things you can practice at home with a ball, and if you work at them you’ll see that they do help.

Springbak understands you want to be a better player, but the only path to real improvement is serious basketball training. There is so much that is important including conditioning, power, coordination, and basic skills. The most important thing to remember is to Move Forward With Positive Action.
In order to make improvements in your game, you know that the right basketball training regimen is critical. There are few sports where you need to maintain such intense levels of energy for so long. If you apply the following training techniques in our prior basketball training posts, your well on your way to the scholarship you all deserve.

We have prior blogs on shooting skills, jump shot off the dribble, and shooting the 3 – Be sure to check them out!

Have fun and Rule The Net!

Article by William Crow – Former Professional Basketball Player CEO/Chairman Springbak Inc.


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Jan
11

Basketball Tips from Springbak: Shooting The 3 – Rule The Net!

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Article by Bill Crow – Former Professional Basketball Player – CEO/ Chairman Springbak, Inc.

Outside Basketball Shot - Go for 3!THREE POINT SHOOTING TIPS:
* A three can be taken jump shot style or jump set style.
* If moving or dribbling toward the basket, by all means take a jump shot where the basketball is released at the second best balance point, the top of the jump.
* A jump set, this is where the basketball is released as the shooter is just leaving the floor, provides the greatest balance to the shooter, as just leaving the floor is the greatest balance point.

There are many other advantages besides balance to shooting a jump set as opposed to a jump shot, they include the following:
* Greater shooting range because power is transferred into the shot from the legs.
* The release is much quicker, less chance of your shot getting blocked.
* Your balance is much better because the jump set is stationary versus a moving jump shot.
* As just stated, the maximum balance point to a shooter is when the athlete is just coming off the floor.
*The jump set can be taken right off the floor position with the shooting hand and leg forward. This driving position means the defender will have backed off some, to respect the possibility of a drive to the hoop. Thus making a quick release jump set nearly impossible to pressure.
* The jump set can easily be taken off a jab step where the shooter jabs with his pivot foot, then steps back and shoots.

FUNDAMENTALS OF THE JUMP SET
* The basketball should be high enough for the jump set to be a one upward arm motion shot, this is usually chest to chin high.
* Set the feet in a driving stance with one foot slightly forward.
* When jumping to begin the shot, jump with a bounce. A bounce is a one motion jump where the knees are bent at the same time the calves flex and pull the foot off the floor.
* A quick bounce will get the greatest ‘spring’ return from your Springbak Springsoles, as this will give them the greatest compression and thus the greatest spring.
* This spring effect coupled with your bodies increased strength(because of the Springbak’s – remember the strength, balance and stability patent Springbak has been issued)should add two to three feet to your shooting range.
* As the shooter does a quick bounce, the one arm stroke begins at the same time (see prior shooting blog for proper shooting fundamentals. When both are done at the same time, maximum power is achieved, and the defender is given no advanced warning as the shot is off before the defender can react.
* Timing on a three point shot can be practiced by holding the basketball at chest or chin level, take three bounces, and release the ball on your third bounce. The spring action on your fingers should be happening at the maximum explosion point of the legs. If this timing is achieved your legs will be providing most of your shooting range.
* Please review my prior blog post on how to get elastic whip and your fingers spring action into your shooting release. This is very important information used when I coach college and professional level athletes! Remember, Rule the Net!
* The last step is to (through constant practice) time the elasticity in your wrist and fingers with the explosive bounce in your legs. When this extremely important timing becomes coordinated, achieving your 3 point shooting range will become much easier.
** Remember, our Springbak Springsoles will help greatly in achieving that 3 point shooting range you are looking for, and your coaches are watching, believe me!
* Also, remember your arm stroke should be explosive and at at least a 60 degree angle. This 60 degree angle will maximize power transfer from the legs. This 60 degree angle of the arm will give greater arch, which helps in two ways. First, it’s harder to pressure, and you are shooting in a circle rather than an oval when the ball comes down.

Enjoy these 3 point shooting tips, as you are learning the same things I teach at the University level and to professional athletes – See you on the floor!

Bill Crow – President & CEO Springbak, Inc.


For more news, tips and information from Springbak:

Visit the Official Springbak® Website at www.springbak.net – Peak Performance Springsoles / Insoles – Run Faster, Jump Higher, Lessen Fatigue

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Dec
07

Springbak Basketball Shooting Tips: Proper Shooting Fundamentals

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Submitted by Professional Basketball Player & CEO Springbak, Inc. – Bill Crow

Jump Shot - BasketballAs I have mentioned in my prior blog on shooting, the key to becoming an outstanding jump shooter is to develop a tight, quick and short shooting stroke. This is the key to balance on a jump shot, as the balance point is at the apex or top of the jump. As soon as the top of the jump is reached, gravity pulls the shooter back to the floor. If you have the opportunity to watch shooting strokes of the greatest shooting scorers in basketball history (Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robinson or Michael Jordan) on You-Tube, what you will observe is a shooting stroke no more than four inches long. The question remains, how does one develop enough power to get the ball to the basket in such a short motion? The answer, elastic reaction of the tendons in the wrist and fingers.

Next question, how does one bring an elastic whipping action of the wrist and fingers into the shooting release if one does not have it to begin with?

This is the starting point. Anyone can whip off a one handed pass directly from his or her waist or chest area to someone fifteen feet away with a short, quick, explosive pushing motion coming from the shoulder. If the wrist is back and relaxed and the fingers are consciously stretched, then the basketball will come off the fingers with an elastic whipping action, back spin, speed and power will be directed to the basketball with a very short pushing stroke. Try it, anyone can do this. The Challenge mentally is to raise this short, quick passing motion 60 degrees to where this short, quick passing motion becomes a shooting stroke with the same whipping action that is accomplished so easily when passing the basketball.

I have worked with scores of high school, college and professional level shooters in my lifetime and have discovered that this transition is entirely mental. In other words, physically easy to do but psychologically hard because of a shooting release developed from youth with only limited elasticity being used in the fingers and wrist because a much longer arm stroke(which almost everyone has)will not generate maximum elasticity in the wrist and fingers. This only happens with a short, quick, explosive push from the arm and shoulders, if accompanied by a stretching of the fingers during the entire passing or shooting motion.

To help break this psychological barrier, I instructed players first to whip their passes against the backboard of the basket after whipping a pass to someone standing under the basket. After whipping a number of passes on about a 30 degree angle off the backboard, I tell the athlete all he or she has to do(psychologically)is raise that same passing motion to 60 degree angle (90 degrees being straight vertical) and maintain that same whipping action of the wrist and fingers while passing the basketball on that same 60 degree angle from now the shoulder and not the chest.

I then instruct athletes that if they can psychologically maintain the same whipping action of the wrist and fingers that they were able to do so easily when passing the basketball with a one hand pushing motion, that they now have the start of a short, quick shooting stroke that can be accomplished with the elastic whipping action of the wrist and fingers incorporated into their shooting release.

This is step one. However also the hardest to mentally overcome, work on this one first! If you feel this spring action of the fingers whipping through the basketball at release, you are beginning to experience the KEY to controlling your shooting release on the basketball. After this critical step, shooting practice becomes a matter of focus and coordination of the spring action of the fingers in the shooting release to make your release shorter, tighter and quicker.

Step two is to coordinate a bouncing action of the legs with the short arm stroke of the shooting motion. When you time the upward bouncing action of the legs with the short upward shooting motion of the arm, you are well on your way to becoming an accomplished 3 point shooter.

Good luck with your practice sessions and have fun!

Bill Crow – President & CEO Springbak, Inc.


For more news, tips and information from Springbak:

Visit the Official Springbak® Website at www.springbak.net – Peak Performance Springsoles / Insoles – Run Faster, Jump Higher, Lessen Fatigue

Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/springbak
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/springbak
Friend us on MySpace: www.myspace.com/springbak
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