Why Am I Not Getting Playing Time?

Get More Basketball Playing Time

Get the Truth About Playing Time

“Why am I not playing?” We hear this question asked indirectly from youth basketball players all the time. Players say “I don’t know why I’m not playing more.” Or they might say “The coach doesn’t like me”. They might talk about their lack of playing time like they’re being wronged in some way. The reality is that these players want to know why they’re not playing more, or at all, on their basketball teams. And whereas every situation is different, some general principles hold true in the game of basketball. Here are some good questions youth basketball players can ask themselves if they’re not satisfied with their current amount of playing time.

“Am I playing to win?”

Coaches like to put players on the floor who help them win games. So ask yourself if you’re playing to win. Are you hustling in transition offense and transition defense? Are you playing good help defense and contributing in the rebounding department? Are you doing anything to help your team win besides looking for the next time you can get your hands on the ball to score? A lot of times players look at their skills and natural talent as the reasons they should get playing time, but they disregard what they’re actually contributing to the game once they are in. Your skills don’t help win games unless you are also playing to win and putting your imprint on the game. 

“How am I performing in practice?”

A lot of coaches feel like playing time is earned, not given. And you’ve got to earn it in practice. My college coach was this way. Even if you believe you are a “gamer”, meaning when the lights come on you really perform, how are you performing in practice?  Are you hustling, scoring and defending in practice? A coach may know that you’re good enough to help him in games but still may deny you playing time because you’re not matching the effort of your less-talented teammates in practice. You’ve got to practice hard to give yourself a shot at that precious game playing time.

“Am I listening and executing?”

Listening and executing means that when your coach is giving instructions not only are you attentive to him, but you follow that up with executing what was told to you. This goes for practice drills, defensive assignments and offensive plays. If you are not showing good listening and executing skills, how can your coach trust you to run the proper press or zone defense in the games? How can he trust you to be in the right spot on the press break or execute the right offensive play? Know that listening and executing is very important to your coach, even if it is less so to you. If you are deficient in this area, you could rightfully be occupying a spot on your team’s bench.

“Am I doing my job?”

This goes back to coaching perspective versus player perspective. If you identify yourself as a “scorer”, or a “shooter” or a “rebounder”, are you doing what you do in games? If you are supposed to be a scorer but are only delivering 6 points per game, that may be the problem. If you’re a shooter, are you shooting and making shots in games? Are you doing your job on the glass, Mr. Rebounder? Coaches favor production over talent, so you’ve got to make sure you’re contributing in games. Whatever your role is, you’ve got to do it with the lights on if you want to get the playing time.

These are some of the main questions youth basketball players should be asking themselves in regards to playing time. There could be another reason you are not playing not listed here. A good way to get a real feel of why you may not be playing is to contact your local basketball trainer. Your trainer can give you a good third person view of your game and the overall situation, and also help you develop into the player your coach will love.


Denver Basketball Lessons – What Your Kids Learn

Denver Youth Basketball Lessons

Parents, you have plenty of choices these days on what to enroll your young child in for an extracurricular activity.  Even if you decide on your child playing sports, you still have a lot of options.  If you’re having a tough time deciding, let me suggest the game of Denver youth basketball as an option.  Here are some ways that basketball provides real-world benefit to your young child.

Dynamic Thinking and Motion

Basketball is one of the most dynamic team sports there is.  Basketball being the dynamic game that it is offers the chance to develop quick and critical thinking skills.  Each player is responsible for competing across the entire playing surface, playing both offense and defense, and making split-second decisions.  Soccer is also a dynamic game, but the position you play determines what part of the field you are responsible for.  Baseball and football are great sports, but they have rigid positions that don’t allow each player to experience each part of the game.  For instance only the pitcher gets to pitch in baseball and in football the quarterback is the only one who gets to make passes.  In basketball, at any given time your team may need you to score, pass, dribble, or rebound.  As a player you have to be ready for anything.  Also, the change from offense to defense is instantaneous, unlike in some other sports, so you always have to stay on your toes and react to ever-changing circumstances quickly.

Collaboration and Teamwork

Because offense and defense is played by all players and each player is eligible to fill any role on the court, you get a chance for great collaboration and teamwork in the game of basketball.  Learning to work with others for a common goal is a skill that can be forged through the fires of basketball competition.  In basketball, it is up to the coach and the players on the floor who will shoot or pass the ball each possession.  These decisions can be made on the fly by the players in reaction to what the opposing team is doing, or drawn up by the coach in a play that the players must execute.  On defense, teammates must communicate on-the-spot and help each other to keep the other team from scoring.  Since offense and defense are both played in a 5-on-5 free-flowing environment, it takes the collaboration of all 5 players’ skills and talents on both ends of the floor to achieve team success.

 Creativity and Excitement

As a basketball player, your son or daughter will learn to be creative and develop their unique strengths to affect the game in a positive way.  As a spectator watching basketball you will stay engaged and have a fun fan experience.  The game will be fun and allow for creativity because basketball has rules, but the rules are not as rigid as instructions for building a TV stand.  The rules are there as outer limits and allow a lot of fun and creativity inside of them, like the law of gravity.  We know gravity is there, but we also know it doesn’t stop us from flying in planes, skydiving, doing back flips and somersaults, and more.  Each player in basketball has a unique “game” they bring to the table, which gives players value outside of the traditional athletic measurables.  Just because your son or daughter is not the tallest, fastest or strongest doesn’t mean they can’t be great at the game of basketball.  Maybe your son or daughter will figure out how to become a creative, flashy passer or an exciting ball handler.  You really get to see your son or daughter’s personality come to life within the game, and that makes it an exciting game to watch.  Also, because basketball is a relatively higher scoring game than other organized sports like baseball, football and soccer, there is always the chance you might see a big comeback and an exciting finish.  You will be treated to acrobatic and creative passes and shot attempts on offense, and also exciting blocks and steals on the defensive end.

Aligning Strengths and Goals

Generally in basketball, players are good to great at a handful of things, and less good or great in other areas.  If your son is not a great shooter, that’s okay because he might be a great rebounder.  Kids who play basketball can get practice being dependable citizens by delivering their skills and talents for their team’s success on a game-to-game basis.  This can build self-esteem (it did for me) and teach them responsibility, albeit in a small way.  On the other hand, players can learn to depend on others in their weak areas.  For instance a player may be a great scorer but a poor defender.  His teammates can help cover for his shortcomings on defense while he helps deliver success on the offensive end.  Learning how to recognize and accept weaknesses and depend on others for help is a life skill that basketball can help develop.  Remember that in basketball, rare is the player who can do it all and rare is the player who can’t do anything right.  So your son or daughter will get the chance to be great and also look to teammates for help.

I could talk all day on the benefits of basketball for young kids.  I encourage you to try it out for your young child looking for a sport to play.  Contact your Denver basketball trainer or youth sports organization to learn more about the game overall, and about signing your child up for their first basketball league.  We can’t wait to see you and your child out there enjoying the game.

Have Game, Will Travel

Travel Basketball

Take Your Basketball Show On The Road

You may be the man (or woman) in your driveway.  You may also be the man with your buddies.  You may even be the man at your school… but will your game travel?  Can you step into any gym in Denver or America and hold your own?  Do you possess the skills to be an effective player on any court?

There are only a handful of players that can do “whatever they want” on the basketball court regardless of who they’re playing with.  Most of these guys are NBA All Stars.  For the rest of us, we have to adjust our games according to the size, skills and athleticism of the players we’re playing with and against.  For most of us, not everything we’re able do at the park will work against the toughest levels of competition.  And we also may find teammates who deserve (based on skills and talent) to be in the offensive driver’s seat as a scorer or playmaker on our team.  Regardless of where we find ourselves, we all need a game that will travel if we want to continue to be successful in the game of basketball.  Here are some skills you can implement into your game that are sure to travel and aid in success wherever and with whomever you are playing.

Off Ball Movement

On offense, you may not always be the player your team gives the ball to score or create plays.  You also may have a tough, athletic defender on you that you are not sure how to deal with.  But off-ball movement can help you to get yourself open, as well as free up teammates.  Post players off the ball situation can find someone to screen.  Screening is like a cheat code on offense.  Screening for a teammate away from the ball forces the defense to react and can help your teammate get open for a shot or driving opprtunity.  What screening also does (and this is what I love) is create confusion for the defense, even for a split second, on how to defend the screener.  The screener can get free for a cut to the basket or an open flash to the ball, wherever it may be.  Guards having a tough time getting open can walk their defender down to the block and call for a down screen.  Curl cuts and fade cuts off of down screens work wonders for getting guards open on the perimeter.  Also, guards who master the skill of sliding down to the corner or up to the wing when a teammate is driving can put themselves in position to receive catch-and-shoot opportunities.

Two Man Game

The toughest defender I’ve faced was a certain NBA small forward from my college alma mater.  We were playing pickup basketball in the summer and I realized, “Man, this guy is tough to score on”.  And my team was looking for me to score, so that was a problem.  What was my solution?  I got into the two-man game, aka the pick and roll.  The pick and roll aids guards and wings in getting to the basket when their defender chases over the top of screens, and it helps them get an open shot at the 3 point line when the defender goes under the screen.  If you’re having trouble getting to the rim or getting a shot off as a ball handler, learn to master the art of the two man game from the wing and from the top of key.  If you don’t use it to get yourself a shot, you can still set up the screener or an opposite wing teammate for a shot.  As a wing, forward or post player having trouble off the ball, you can also utilize the two man game.  Setting a quality screen for your teammate ball handler can help you get an open shot on the “pop” part of the pick and pop, or allow you to use your foot speed to roll to the basket against a bigger, stronger (but slower) opponent.

Catch and Shoot w/One Dribble Pull Up

Players who can catch and shoot are valuable on every court in America.  If you’re in a gym with bigger, stronger, faster athletes than you’re used to playing against, you may be wary of trying to get to the rim or even handling the ball on the perimeter.  But there is no size or strength requirement for shooting the ball.  A good catch-and shoot player is ready on the catch (meaning he’s also ready before the catch) and is able to catch and release the ball quickly.  Once defenders realize they’re defending a good catch-and-shoot player, a pump fake with a one dribble pull up jumpshot can still win against great closeouts and blocked shot attempts.  I’ve played with guys who’ve converted catch-and-shoot ability to college scholarships and NBA contracts.  This skill definitely travels for players who are willing to master it.

If you master these three skills, you will be on your way to building a game that travels.  You will also be opening doors for yourself that your other skills may not open for you.  In reality, the arts of off ball movement, the two man game, and catching and shooting are harder to master than they sound, so contact your local basketball trainer for help.  We can’t wait to see you building a game that travels.

Denver Basketball Player Types

Denver Youth Basketball Player Types

What Type of Denver Youth Basketball Player are you?

When you typically think about positions in basketball you think point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center. It is easy to label athletes that are at the college level or professional level because they fit the descriptions associated with each position. At the high school and youth level it isn’t so easy to define positions due to many factors like lack of size, lack of skill, or just a small talent pool to select from. Coaches at these levels tend to play players that are their best players regardless of size or athleticism. Usually high school coaches will sacrifice size for athletes that have high basketball IQ, have key skills (like shooting), and play hard. When I coached at the high school basketball we designated players as four different types of offensive players: spots, driver, shooter, and player. In this article we are going to describe these types of players so you can decide where you are now and where you want to get.

Spot: A spot is a player who typically possesses limited basketball skills, limited athleticism, limited basketball IQ, and a limited offensive role with their team. This player is not a threat to shoot from the outside, attack he basket, or create for others on their team other than set a few screens. Defenses typically want this player to shoot and will either pressure due to their lack of ball skills or play off and help against other player on their team. This type of player may be good defensively but they hurt their team on offense and make it easier for other teams on defense.

Driver: This type of player is typically very good off the dribble and an above average athlete. Drivers typically score by attacking the rim and making free throws due to the contact they create by driving to hole. These type of players also create for their teammates by penetrating against defenses and drawing defenders to help off their man, creating open shots for the guy they are guarding. The one down fall of these type of players is they don’t usually shoot well. This allows defenses to sag off of them and take away their driving ability. If a game is fast paced with poor defensive positioning these types of players are very effective. They also do well using a pick and roll style offense.

Shooter: Shooters are exactly what they sound like they are. They make shots from any range from any spot on the floor. Typically they are very good shooters from the outside. Some are good from midrange or shooting pull up jumpers. This type of player is usually who the coach wants shooting free throws at the end of the game because they shoot over 80%. Shooters typically aren’t the best athlete and don’t want to mix it up by attacking the rim or posting up. Shooters are hard to guard because if they are given even a little space they will get a shot off. So defenders want to not allow them to catch the ball and force them to put the ball on the floor and drive.

Player: This is the player that everyone should strive to be. Players are typically very skilled ball handlers, shooters, good finishers, and an important part of their. They also are good athletes with high offensive basketball IQ’s. This player can draw attention from all defenders and by doing so create for their teammate. If there are 2 or more players on a team then the team is almost impossible to guard and will win lots of games. This type of basketball player is also the toughest to become so if you want it to be you put the time and get the training!

Denver Offseason Basketball Training: Focus On You

Denver Offseason Basketball Training

Focus Your Offseason Basketball Training on You

During a team basketball training session last week the head coach of a top 10 Colorado team called all of his players in and went over what the team’s mission for the off season was going to be.  What came out of his mouth was surprising to me. He said, “Be selfish!” Typically coaches are preaching unselfishness and to buy in to the “team” mentality. Obviously this team hasn’t had all of its success because it has selfish players year in and year out. What the coach meant was focus on you and your individual skills all summer. They will work on team offenses and defenses during the summer but they strongly believe in individual skill development throughout the summer will make a better team once the season starts. I thought this is a powerful mindset that could be elaborated further.

The summer is probably the most important time of year for basketball players. You have extra time to get to the gym, get into the weight room, or work with a trainer.  Time is on your side for at least 3 months. During this time players should focus on 3 main areas of personal development.

First improve your athleticism and work to reduce injuries that hold you back once the season starts. Look to improve basketball specific muscle strength to help you play against stronger opponents and reduce common injuries like rolled ankles, torn ACL’s, and should injuries. Also look to improve footwork, agility, and vertical jumping ability. Working with a professional strength and conditioning coach that is certified with National Strength and Conditioning Association and has successful experience with other athletes, this will ensure you are receiving professional training from highly educated trainer.

Second focus on your basketball IQ and coachability during this time. Study film of last year, players that you want to emulate with your skill development, and drills you think will improve your skill development. When your are working with a skill development coach listen closely and try to make changes every time the coach makes a teaching point. This will help you make quick changes during the season in practice and games. This is an ability that coaches love to see player have during the season.

Finally focus on individual skills training and using those skills in competition. The bottom line individual skill development is the best thing you can spend your time on in the summer. Minimum 6 hours a week should be focused on skill development of some form whether it be by yourself, with teammates, or with professional skill development coach. Something I always see athletes do is lack the confidence in the skills they are working on to use them in competition. If you are trying to develop a skill and have put the time into developing it then consciously look to use it every opportunity you have in completion. This will give you confidence in the skill and you will be adding new skills to you muscle memory that will carry over to the season.

The bottom line is focus on you during the summer no coach will be mad with a player that comes back and contributes to the team with their newly developed skills once the season starts.  Start your training today.

Denver Youth Basketball Defense DOs and DONT’s

Basketball Defense Tips

Dos and Don’ts of Defense for Denver Youth Basketball

We’ve all heard the expression “defense wins championships”.  And for the individual basketball player it’s important to know that defense keeps you on the floor.  If defense is not naturally important to you, you should learn to love because it IS important to your coach… and he’s the one who makes playing time decisions.  Here are some quick dos and don’t of defense.

DO do your defensive work early…

An underrated and very valuable part of defense is doing your work early.  This means playing what I like to call pre-defense.  Some players are so offensively gifted that once they receive the ball in certain spots, they can score on just about anyone.  Pre-defense is about stopping your man from even getting the ball.  If you’re guarding a post player that may mean making body contact with him at the 3 point line on his way down the floor so that he has to work to even get into post position.  If he has to work too hard he may give up trying to get position, or his teammate may look elsewhere to go with the ball.  If you’re guarding a good perimeter slasher who can beat you off the dribble this may mean keeping a hand on him at all times while he’s away from the ball and cutting into the passing lane when he tries to cut to the ball.  He won’t be able to score as much if you can stop him from getting the ball in his hands.  Find a way to do your work early and you can greatly increase your defensive effectiveness.

DON’T let your man play comfortable…

Great scorers love to get into scoring rhythms.  Great 1-on-1 players love to get the ball in their hands and then determine how they’re going to score on you.  A lot of times, if you can disrupt the rhythm by speeding them up or making them catch out of position then you can make scorers less effective.  The best defenders in the NBA are not always the guys with the best feet, but the guys who are the most active, pesky and crafty.  If you let Carmelo Anthony catch the ball in the left mid post on 10 consecutive possessions while guarding him straight up giving him two feet of space, he may score on you 10 straight possessions… because he would be controlling the matchup. What do you think would happen if on one possession you fronted him in the mid post, and then the next possession you crowded him on the catch to force him to make a quick move?  What would happen if the next time you adjusted your stance to make him drive left, and then the next time goaded him into going right into the help defense of your teammates?  As a scorer I can attest that when I control the matchup, scoring is easy.  When I’m sped up and made to do things I don’t want to do, scoring gets a little bit harder.  The best way to give up 30 points to a good player is to let him get comfortable and control the playing field.

DO be responsible and helpful…

Good defense is not only about you personally stopping your man from scoring, but also helping to make sure that the other team does not score at all.  That means playing help defense in the half-court and picking up whoever needs to be guarded while defending the fast break.  If you are so focused on stopping your man from getting the ball instead of helping your teammate’s man who is driving towards the basket for instance, you could have your head turned and miss an opportunity to re-direct a shot at the rim.  And then you would actually be hurting your team defensively by the lack of help you are providing teammates.  You really want to do your part to stop your man from scoring AND to help your teammates when they needed.  A complete defender one does both is the type of defenders that coaches love.

DON’T be selfish…

The last thing a Denver Youth Basketball coach wants to hear on the basketball court when somebody scores is “that’s not my man”.  Because you know what, it IS your man.  A common misconception with youth bball players is the notion that a defender is only responsible for the person he is assigned to guard.  This is not true.  In transition defense, if you are back on defense, it’s your responsibility to guard whoever is a threat to score, whoever is attacking the basket or getting ready to shoot.  If you are guarding a man who is lagging behind the rest of his teammates in getting up the court, that doesn’t mean you can lag back with him.  That just means you have a little more time to help your teammates on defense before your man gets up the court.  Players who don’t acknowledge that and instead reflect their assigned player’s laziness exhibit selfishness and hurt their team.  Coaches recognize this, and allow these players the luxury of watching the game next to them on the bench.

There are a lot of dos and don’t of defense, and we’ve just gone over a couple here.  If you keep these few pointers in mind, you can greatly enhance your defensive performance and help give your team the best chance to win.  Do your work early, don’t let your man get cozy, be responsible for your own person and also helpful towards your teammates.  Happy guarding!

Denver Basketball Camp – Find the Right One

Denver Basketball Camp

Find The Right Denver Basketball Camp For You

Basketball camps can be a great way to learn new skills, increase your basketball IQ, and put your skills up against other basketball players. In this article we are going to try and give you a few pointers on choosing the best camp for you so you aren’t wasting your money or time.

What To Look For In A Denver Basketball Camp

First of all we want to open your eyes to what to look out for when choosing a camp. Many camps around the country follow the same format of appealing to the masses so they can make the most money possible through their camp.

What you probably want to stay away from:

Factory Camps- these camps usually have no limit on how many athletes can attend and instruct athletes using cookie cutter drills with little individual attention. The bad thing about having 200-300 kids in a gym is usually there is one coach for every 15-20 kids and there are long lines you have to wait in for drills. Also you may only get coaching every 15-20 minutes depending on how attentive each coach is. The final problem with these styles of camps is many coaches work them to make some extra money and probably have experience playing but don’t have much experience actually teaching the game and catering to each individual athlete’s needs.

Gear/Celebrity Camps- these camps also offer a generic brand of basketball instruction but they also give out camp t-shirts, camp basketballs, or you get a picture take/autograph with an NBA player. If this is all your looking for you can save a lot of time and money by asking the same player for an autograph or picture during one of their many meet the team events. A general rule of thumb is if that professional player isn’t at the camp from start to finish and helping with instruction the camp won’t be very good quality.

Fundraiser Camps- this type of camp is usually put on by local high schools or universities to help raise money for their program and to promote the school. These camps usually have a high camper to coach ratio and the coaches are usually currently playing at that school. This can be fun to meat and learn from college athletes but many of them aren’t that qualified to coach yet. There are many camps put on by colleges and universities that are of very high quality and help the school. Ask around about these camps and look for past success. The head coach at the school is typically a good instructor and brings in a good camp staff to run the camp. We don’t want to bad mouth fundraisers that promote the great sport of basketball all we are saying is do your research about the camp beforehand.

If these are what you are looking for out of a camp then by all means go ahead and attend them. Don’t be disappointed in the quality of instruction or the amount of reps you get during the camp though.

Assess Yourself, then Assess the Denver Basketball Camp

What you want to look for when finding a camp that fits your needs:

First of all what is your skill level? Be honest with yourself when answering this question. If you’re just beginning look for camps that are age appropriate and run by youth coaches. If you see yourself as above average or elite player look to attend camps that focus on specific skills (shooting & advanced scoring) or are advertised by a professional basketball skills instructor as emphasizing on advanced skills.

How big is the camp? As mentioned before if the camp has large numbers you will not get the proper amounts of reps to plant the seed for a new skill. Which is the main reason you attend a camp right? You want to attend a camp with a low amount of campers that has enough coaches to give good instruction and spend a lot of individual time with you.

The final thing you should do when looking for camps is ask around. Talk to your coach, teammates, and even contact the camp directors and ask them about some of the points we covered in this article on camps. Regardless of the type of camp or level of instruction you are looking for the head coach of the camp should extensive knowledge and experience teaching basketball skills.


Denver Basketball Training

Intro To Off Season Denver Basketball Training

Many Denver Youth Basketball Players are spending their basketball off season are looking for an extra edge. This can be accomplished by doing skills training on the court but work off the court can be almost as helpful. Basketball players need to be explosive, strong, flexible, agile, and have excellent cardiovascular conditioning. Combining all of those things is difficult and unlike most other sports. Strength and conditioning for basketball has come a long ways in the last 5 years. There are more and more basketball specific strength and conditioning coaches looking to help athletes reach new levels in their overall abilities. Below are key areas that basketball athletes need to focus on in order to elevate their athleticism and maximize the use of their skills.

Basketball Explosiveness:

Explosiveness is your ability to move in any direction quickly with strength while traveling the longest distance or highest height. Basketball athletes need to be able to explode off the dribble and explode vertically to finish at the rim. To become more explosive athletes need to increase hip and core explosiveness and improve the reaction time of the fast twitch muscles in those areas.  This can be accomplished by doing squat, power clean (seek professional instruction before attempting), and lunging strength exercises. Also plyometric exercises like box jumps and resistance band jumping will improve fast twitch muscle conditioning. Core exercises are critical to improving explosiveness. Exercises that athletes can do to improve upon this are plank holds and Russian medicine ball twists.

Basketball Strength Training:

Strength training for basketball players has followed football strength training for many years. Many trainers are finding that what works for football players isn’t optimal for basketball players. Muscle groups to strengthen should be representative of movements used in games and ones needed to reduce the risk of injuries. Muscle groups used most by basketball players are the legs, core, back, and shoulders. By improving strength in these muscle groups not only will you be able to absorb contact you will also be more explosive and carry more lean muscle weight.

Basketball Flexibility Training:

This is an area that is probably the most neglected in the athletic world. Doing a proper dynamic warm up before exercise is critical. Also static stretching after workouts will help with recovery and future flexibility. To increase flexibility many college and professional basketball players do yoga multiple times each week. Yoga helps keep muscles loose and flexible while at the same time improving strength. Increased flexibility will improve athleticism as well as reduce the risk of injury.

Basketball Agility Training:

Basketball players change speed on a dime as well as stop and start constantly. In order to separate themselves from defenders or keep themselves in front offensive players, basketball players need excellent agility. Agility is a combination of footwork, quickness, and balance. To build agility footwork drills in a ladder or over hurdles will help greatly. Plyometric exercises will also improve an athletes agility in combination with the footwork drills. Balance is improved by performing exercises in unnatural positions or on uneven surfaces like BOSU balls or foam mats.

Basketball Conditioning:

Basketball players aren’t endurance athletes like marathon runners and they don’t just perform short concentrated bursts of exercise like 100m sprinters either. Successful basketball players are both. They need to explode for short distances and jump with maximal effort over and over. They also need to be able to run the floor and play defense for at least 25 minutes a game. The easiest way to improve and then maintain cardiovascular conditioning is by doing skills training sessions at a game speed with rest periods resembling those you will get in games. Also having plyometric exercises and strength training sessions that have short bouts of rest in between sets will improve your overall conditioning. Making your practices and training sessions harder than games will give you a leg up on your competition and ensure you have the energy to finish in the fourth quarter.

Before you get started with any of these exercises you should consult a professional coach to teach how to do all of these exercises with proper form. These professionals should have extensive experience working in sport specific training and be certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association like Forge Player Development trainers are. It may seem like a lot but if you put the work in over the course of the off season basketball and do maintenance basketball training during the season you will see how these exercises take your game to the next level.


Four Forgotten Ways To Score The Basketball

Denver Basketball SkillsTraining 540

Four Forgotten Ways to Score the Basketball

Don’t mistake the message of this article. Denver Youth Basketball players still need incorporate finishing at the rim, 3 point shooting, and mid-range jump shots to be a good scorer. What this article is intended to do is add less than traditional forms of scoring and more than likely increase your chances of more playing time. There are forgotten ways to score in basketball that many athletes forget about or are unwilling to commit to doing.

  1. Defense! If you can help create turnovers by applying pressure defense (without fouling) then you will get more possessions that can lead to you scoring. Learn how to play passing lanes without losing your man or gambling. This can lead to 1-2 extra layups/dunks a game for you.
  2. Hustle! There are 15-20 loose balls in a game that we call 50/50 balls. Meaning there is a 50% chance that either team can get the ball. By hustling and being the first to the ball and gain possession on every 50/50 ball you more than likely will win that battle and increase the number of scoring chances you can have by 3-5 a game. On top of hustling for loose balls you need to run the floor EVERY OFFENSIVE POSSESSION! By running the floor every possession you will increase your chance easy layups and allow you to attack defenses out of position.
  3. Offensive rebounding is our third method for upping your scoring average. This is dependent on what your coaches philosophy is and who is assigned to always get back on defense. Usually only one player has to be a safety so that leaves 4 others to crash the offensive glass. Remember on longer shots there are usually longer rebounds. Once you have focused on rebounding enough you can also learn to predict where the miss will likely bounce. Also try to develop a soft touch so you can get tip-ins when there is traffic around the rim.
  4. Get to the line and capitalize. If you attack the rim and learn to use ball fakes you increase the number of times you get to shoot free-throws. When you get to line you need to be able to shoot 80% or better to truly capitalize on the opportunity. If you shoot a high percentage you will also be asked by coaches to shoot technical foul shots and looked upon to have the ball in your hands when teams are fouling to try and extend the end of games.

By adding these 4 skills to your focus every practice and game you will increase your chances of adding 6-8 points per game to your average. That’s significant when you consider most high school varsity basketball players don’t average more than 10 points per game. These are more mentally tough skills than they are repetition skills. You will need to practice them but it will take you being relentless with your style play to capitalize on them and build them into habits.  Contact your Denver Basketball Trainer today to get started upping your scoring average.

Basketball Failure Breeds Success

 basketball failure

Basketball Failure Breeds Success

Failure is becoming a bad word in the ever increasing politically correct society. Parents, teachers, and community leaders constantly talk about success of young people but very few want to talk about the work that is needed to breed success in today’s youth. Many young athletes need to learn that failure is necessary to begin the process of success.

Three Keys For Denver Youth Basketball Players:

  1. When in practice, working with a skills development coach, or practicing a drill you learned off of an online video don’t shy away from the difficulty of the skill and keep an open mind of how it will improve your game. Many times athletes fail to grow their game because the skill is hard to learn or puts new demands on their body. These are obstacles that every successful athlete has faced and overcome. At first it will be difficult and you will not be successful at it but with practice and persistence the skill will come. You can guarantee Kyrie Erving wasn’t born doing a double cross over. He had to learn it and then practice it till he couldn’t get it wrong.
  2. The use of player development coaches and basketball athletes practicing their individual skills is on the rise. Many kids are getting good at doing drills in a clinic setting. The key to making the most of these training sessions is having carry over into competitive situations. After developing a skill young athletes need to be willing to try and use these skills in games or in 1 on 1/3 on 3 situations to truly hone any number of skills they have learned. When trying to use new skills in games you will probably will fail at it the first few times but, once you reflect on small details of the skill to improve it you will start to be successful with that skill in competition.
  3. Seek out better competition than you normally face. If you’re a middle school basketball player try to find somewhere you can play against high school players, if you’re a varsity starter try to find competition against college basketball players, if you’re a female basketball player play with and against male athletes. This will allow you to face more athletic athletes, the games will be more physical, and usually older more experienced athletes will dish out pointers to help you improve. It won’t be a walk in the park at first but most good basketball players consistently test their skills against tougher competition. 

I’ve missed over 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over in my life. That is why I succeed.

Michael Jordan