Basketball Baller

Information and news regarding the great game of basketball.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mike Krzyzewski: Duke Basketball - Breaking the Press

with Mike Krzyzewski,
Duke University Head Men's Basketball Coach;
NABC "Coach of the Decade," 12X NABC "Coach of the Year," Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2001), 3X NCAA National Championships ('91, '92,'01)

More and more teams are using half-court, three-quarter court and full-court zone presses to disrupt their opponents' continuity and produce turnovers. With this in mind, Coach K takes the court at Cameron Indoor Stadium to share his effective press break drills and his revered coaching philosophy. (Examples: . "players need to acquire the basic skill of catching the ball by meeting the pass" . "most teams need to cut down on the dribbling . use passing to advance the ball quicker!"). Coach Krzyzewski guides you through a series of effective drills used to break the 2-1-2 half-court press, 1-3-1 half-court press, 2-2-1 three-quarter court press and the 1-2-1-1 full-court press. These drills are designed to allow your team to enter its offense or create quick scoring opportunities without generating turnovers. Krzyzewski provides numerous tips and insights for breaking presses, including: how to inbound the ball against a full-court press, how to keep it away from the sideline, how to move the ball past half-court and how to create easy scoring opportunities. These offensive drills have played a role in Coach Krzyzewski-coached teams at Duke averaging 25 wins a season. Using Coach K's press breaking system, you will prepare your team to take advantage of any press and expose your opponents' weaknesses!

44 minutes. 2005.
Basketball Basquetbol 篮球, 篮球运动

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Mike Fratello: Man-to-Man Defensive Philosophy with Drills and Utilizing the Three Point Shot

with Mike Fratello,
former Memphis Grizzlies (NBA) Head Coach

Coach Fratello believes that every coach must have a coaching philosophy and be totally committed to that philosophy. Along with your belief system, a coach must adapt and adjust to situations that arise. Fratello believes a coach must develop three systems: offensive, defensive and communication. Also very important, in Fratello's opinion, is a system of communication that players and coaches understand. In addition, a coach must develop drills to match his focus. Good drills are created based on a desired result. Building a defensive system relies on teaching stance and footwork. Using players on the floor, Fratello demonstrates drills that make up his defensive game. Individual defensive slides are the cornerstone of defensive play. To enhance the fundamental footwork and slide skills Fratello demonstrates the defensive stance drill, full court slide drill and the full court one-on-one defensive slide drill. The charge drill, touch drill, close out drill and the 4-spot touch drill are staples for defensive toughness. Fronting the post and double downs are demonstrated live. An added bonus is strategy for guarding the popular pick and roll. This DVD is packed with great NBA defensive drills that can be used in any setting. The fundamentals of playing great defense are the same at all levels.

In Part II, Coach Fratello's focus is defending on ball screens and the system of post trapping and rotation. With the increased popularity of the pick and roll, coaches must decide exactly how to defend them. Fratello presents several options and scenarios for successfully beating this offensive weapon. The first drill demonstrated is a combination of the pick and roll and the penetration and dish action. The double high post drill shown came from Chuck Daly. Another drill is created with a skip pass, baseline drive and rotation. Having a set rotation given different situations is mandatory for clarity. Coach Fratello shifts gears to the offensive end and discusses 3-point shooting. His teams have used and believed in the value of shooting the 3-pointer. Competitive shooting is incorporated to improve shooting accuracy. Three-point plays are shown from the tip, the sidelines and the baseline. Set plays are demonstrated to score 3's in the half and full court. The diamond and box out of bounds plays provide additional scoring opportunities.

127 minutes. 2006.
Basketball Basquetbol 篮球, 篮球运动

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Tips to Improve as a Basketball Player

Many basketball players from the Internation basketball leagues to church basketball leagues are only 30-70% as effective as they could as offensive basketball players (basketball ballhandling, basketball dribbling, basketball moves, etc.) for one simple reason: they're one handed basketball players. They have a pretty good strong hand (most of the time the right hand), but have a very weak off-hand (can't dribbble the ball going to their left).

Basketball Coaching Tips - Basketball Practice & Individual Basketball Workouts

Now think for a moment: if a basketball coach (youth basketball coach, ymca basketball coach, rec basketball coach, AAU basketball coach, etc.) told you that you could only play the next few basketball games (or basketball practices) with your off-hand, what would your basketball skills level be? Would it be a complete disaster, or would you still be a pretty good hoops baller? The great basketball coaching legend, UCLA's coach John Wooden, would be quick to tell you that your basketball playing skills are very weak. He would most likely recommend that you need to set some basketball goals, maybe invest in some basketball training aids, start a basketball training schedule, or maybe that you need to buy the latest basketball instructional video to learn how to play basketball.

Now, even a basketball player with a great off-hand isn't going to be shooting a basketball (free throws, jump shots, three point shots, jump shots off the dribble, etc.) with their weak hand. That’s not the point of this basketball training tip. The basketball coaching point is that a good basketball player (espeacially point guards) can dribble to the side of their weak hand as good or better than their strong hand.

* Explode and dribble drive by a defender in either direction to create space to pass the basketball or shoot the open basketball shot.

* In the low post players must be able to execute power shots (drop step baseline, power lay-up, drop step middle, jump hook, turnaround jump shot, reverse layup, bank shots, etc.) going right or left.

* Makes smooth basketball passes (chest pass, bounce pass, draw and kick pass, draw and kick out pass, feed the post pass, etc.) in either direction.

Now if you do not have a strong off-hand, you really are limiting your basketball playing expectations. So what can you do to improve as a basketball player - basketball practice drills, individual basketball workouts, and other youth basketball and even NBA basketball training methods?

First, why is this so important to improving as a basketball player? Let’s put it this way: if you are a right-handed player, and you can only dribble a basketball, drive to the basket, shoot jumpshots inside, or execute a bounce pass with only your right hand, then guess what? If I take away those basketball offensive moves to the right, I've pretty much shut you down your basketball game. And once I realize you've got no left hand, my life as a basketball defensive player is a whole lot easier... It's like I just got a new pair of Chuck Taylor All-star Converse basketball shoes.

In fact, if you only have one hand, I'd argue that you're not 60% effective. I'd argue that you're less effective than that. If you are able to use both hands to pass nearly equally well, then you keep the opposinf defensive player guessing which way you might go (espeacially true when the other team is playing presure man to man defense). Now you have the ability to dribble a basketball, drive to the hoop, shoot the 3-point shot, and chest pass in either direction, but you've also added uncertainty in the defender's mind. He does'nt know which way you might go. You keep the basketball defense off-balance, and guessing which what you might go. If you only had one good hand, you have less than 60% effectiveness because the defense can pretty easily take your best basketball offensive move away from you.

So, how effective are you dribbling and passing with your weak hand? Can you speed dribble the length of the floor at going full speed with either hand? Can you dribble crossover and drive by your defender to the left and right? Can you shoot and score inside (with a power move, turnaround jump shot off the backboard, or jump hook) with either hand? Only you know the answer to this question.

Now regardless of what your answer is now, this is a “problem” with a pretty simple and easy solution: practice, practice and practice and work at it. No, I did not say go out and buy the latest Michael Jordan basketball shoes or a new NBA basketball jersey or NCAA basketball jersey - to make you look more like a streetball basketball player... Don't you know that if you dedicated 60 minutes a week to basketball practice with nothing but your off hand that you would improve a great deal? You bet you would. Or how about kicking it up a notch? What about practicing for 15 minutes a day on your off-hand? In just a month or two you'll notice amazing changes in your basketball game.

So, It is all a matter of how much time and practice you are willing to put into your game getting your off-hand up to a higher basketball skill level. It’s all a matter of how great a ball player you want to be. The more you increase your basketball skill-level with your off-hand, the more effective you'll be at becoming a complete basketball player. You'll be tougher to guard. You will be more confident in your game. So what is the downside? Nothing. Why don't all players practice and develop their weak-hand? Simple put: it takes alot of hard work, and most basketball players (NBA, NCAA, Division II, Division III, WNBA, AAU, YBOA, high school) aren't willing to put in the time and hard work at practice to make it happen.

Now, the choice is yours: are you going to be one of those youth basketball players who does not want to put in the time and energy (basketball practice, individual basketball workouts, etc.), and is therefore about 20% or 40% less effective on the offensive end of the basketball court? Or are you going to be the type of kid who works (basketball workouts, basketball training, basketball shooting workout, increasing your vertical jump, basketball weight training, etc.)?

Is this a no-brainer? As Nike basketball shoes logo says it - "Just do it." Get it done. There is no reason for not being a great player at your level - pro basketball player, college basketball player, high school basketball player, AAU basketball player, Biddy basketball player, middle school basketball player, etc. Use these basketball player tips and you will improve your basketball game. Also, tell your basketball coach that you need help developing a basketball training schedule that includes individual basketball workouts. Let your basketball coach help you to design a complete basketball training program. by following these basketball playing tips, you can and will improve your basketball skills as a player, espeacially dribbling and passing with your weak hand... Good luck, and remember this basketball coaching quote - "You only miss the shots that you don't take. Shoot the ball!"

Friday, August 04, 2006

Five Shooting Myths

Shooting gets more complicated every year; not the actual shooting, but the over-analysis and information saturating the marketplace. Through working with dozens of players and listening to the instruction they have received, I have compiled my five biggest myths in shooting a basketball.

Bend your knees. Sure, a shooter must start in an athletic position; however, anytime a shooter misses short, the coach screams “bend your knees.” More often than not, the degree of knee bend is not the problem. Most of the time, the way the athlete bends or the explosiveness of the extension in the shot is the problem. I work with a player who used to bend his knees more and more as his coach told him, but he did not bend correctly, so every time he bent further down, he was more and more off-balanced and thus missed the shot short. Shooters do not need to bend their knees so their thigh is parallel to the ground; instead, they need to bend back and down, creating better balance, and then explode up as part of their shot. It is the balance and rapid extension many players lack, not the knee bend.

Finish with your “hand in the cookie jar.” When I was young, coaches always said to finish your shot with your hand in the cookie jar. However, this is unnecessary; when players visualize the “hand in the cookie jar,” they close their hand with fingers together, as though grabbing a cookie. Instead, players should keep their hand open and relaxed through the whole shot, which imparts more force on the ball and keeps the ball directed at the target better.

Let the ball roll off the fingers. When the ball “rolls off the fingers,” it exits the hand weakly. Instead, shoot your hand all the way through the ball. When the ball leaves the hand, the hand should be pushing up and through the ball do exert more force on the ball.

Shoot at the top of the jump. When athletes shoot at the top of the jump, they actually waste the energy created by the jump. Rather than imparting the energy and force into the shot, they shoot with the upper body and push the ball. A shot taken at the top of the jump is like stepping onto a step and shooting without bending your legs or jumping. Shooting at the top of the jump simply means shooting from a higher release point; however, it also means shooting entirely with the upper body. When close to the basket, this is advantageous, as the height of the release is more important tan the force. However, when shooting an outside jump shot, the power is more important than the height of the release; therefore, shoot “early in the jump” or “on the way up” to maximize the force generated and imparted onto the flight of the ball.

Put your middle finger in the center of the ball. It seems logical to out your middle finger in the middle of the ball. However, centering your index finger helps with the alignment of the ball, hand and elbow. The proper alignment increases the ease of shooting straight through the ball as opposed to shooting with some unnecessary movement.

These are five quick myths that undermine athletes shooting. Instead, start in a balanced position and explode with the lower body, shooting early in the jump; also, center the index finger on the ball and shoot all the way through the ball, keeping fingers relaxed and open throughout the shot. These simple changes will increase a player’s accuracy.

McCormick is an author and trainer in Sacramento. Buy Pure: The Biomechanics and Mental Approach to Shooting at or Cross Over: The New Model of Youth Basketball Development at

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Vertical Jump - How to Jump Higher

By Bill Foran
Strength and Conditioning Coach, Miami Heat

The definition of vertical jump is the jump reach minus the standing reach. The "standing reach" is how high you can extend one arm above your head while keeping both feet together and flat on the floor. The jump reach, for a true vertical jump test, is to jump straight up without taking a step and touch the highest point possible. I hear people talking about vertical jumps above 40 inches, but those are not true vertical jumps. Most NBA players have vertical jumps in the 28 - 34 inch range. The highest I have ever tested is 36 1/2 inches. Ironically, it was not a basketball player, but an Olympic triple jumper from Greece. Since the vertical jump is an explosive movement, both strength and power need to be developed.


Strength exercises are slow, controlled movements. The best strength exercises for increasing the vertical jump are squats, lunges and step ups. These are the best because they are compound movements, which work the knee joint and the hip joint at the same time. Let's take a look at each of these exercises. It is very important that you understand how each is performed, as described below.


Squats are the best exercise an athlete can do for strength if it is performed correctly. If not, it can be the most dangerous exercise. When working with young athletes, I see that 9 out of 10 squat incorrectly. This will lead to injuries, not improved athletic performance. Before attempting squats, have a high school basketball coach analyze your technique to make sure it is fundamentally sound. Concentrate on technique, not how much weight you can lift.


Step ups are performed with dumbbells and a step-up box or bench (usually 16 inches - 18 inches high). Standing in an upright position holding the dumbbells, you step up on to the box or bench at the height that would put your knee at a 90-degree angle. Do 10 repetitions with one leg and repeat with the other.


Lunges can be done holding dumbbells or with the bar across your upper back. Standing in an upright position, step as far forward as possible with no forward lean of the upper body until your front knee is at 90 degree angle. Then step back to the original position in one step. Do this 10 times with one leg, then 10 with the other. Steps and lunges complement squats because they work each leg independently.


Power exercises involve explosive quick movements. They include power cleans, plyometrics and weight box jumps. Let's take a look at each of these exercises.


Power cleans are a very advanced weightlifting routine exercise. It is one portion of the Olympic lift, the clean and jerk. I highly recommend assistance from a certified strength and conditioning specialist (C.S.C.S) before attempting power cleans.


Basketball plyometrics drills are very explosive bounding, hopping and jumping drills. They bring together the strength and speed components for increased power. Plyometrics must have maximum effort for results. Practicing maximum vertical jump will increase vertical jump.


Weighted box jumps are a form of plyometrics. A quality box jump should be heavy duty with landing area of 2 feet by 2 feet. The box should be 16 inches to 32 inches in height based on one's ability. You hold light dumbbells in your hands (start with 5 - 10 pounds) with your arms straight throughout the exercise. Stand in front of the box and jump as high as possible landing softly as possible. Step down and repeat for 3 sets of 10 jumps. This should be done twice a week (great basketball conditioning drill). Never land with your hips lower than your knees and always concentrate on each jump. (Bruised shins hurt!)

With consistent, proper training, I have seen young athletes increase their vertical jump by 6 inches in one summer. Good luck with your training and may you fly as high as Mike!

Copyright (c) 2001, TTNL Reprinted with permission

Mike Krzyzewski: Duke Basketball - Developmental Drills for Post Players

Mike Krzyzewski: Duke Basketball - Developmental Drills for Post Players
with Mike Krzyzewski,

Duke University Head Men's Basketball Coach; NABC "Coach of the Decade," 12X NABC "Coach of the Year," Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2001), 3X NCAA National Championships ('91, '92,'01) and Steve Wojciechowski, Duke University Assistant Basketball Coach; National "Defensive Player of the Year" ('98), 2X "All ACC," holds Duke's 2nd highest single season steal total (82).

For the past 25 years, Duke has been known for some of the toughest post players in the country - they have all studied and practiced the developmental drills presented in this excellent production. The stronger the interior, the stronger your entire defense will be! Coach Krzyzewski provides the overview and background for each section and Duke assistant coach Steve Wojciechowski teaches the drills and techniques on the court. Wojciechowski begins the post player workout with an active warm-up - the warm-up is an opportunity to get loose while working on ball handling, passing, and short jumpers. Wojciechowski goes over a series of drills designed to develop post players abilities "to the max," including: half-court snap shots of interior defense, drop step, jump hooks, screens, and other shooting drills. Throughout the entire production, you will receive insight into how Duke develops ball denial in the post, developing "rebounding machines," low post moves, extended post moves, and screening (on the wing, high post, and baseline). Also clearly explained are the techniques and strategies to help pivot players grow in skill and ability, with special emphasis on foot skills. In order to have a great defensive team, you must have great interior defenders - this is the workout your team needs!

Simple Basketball Plays

Do you need an easy basketball play to add to your offensive playbook? Coaches need to have several offensive set plays in their arsenal that they can use during the course of the game to get their best players good looks at the basket, to help their team stay composed and organized, or to take advantage of a defensive tactic or weakness of the other team.

As a coach, you need to understand the right timing and strategy for using a specific basketball play. This knowledge and expertise will make you value-added as a bench coach on the sideline and increase your team's scoring opportunities during the game.

Knowing When and What Basketball Play to Call

To develop your basketball play calling skills and intuition, I believe you need to specialize in a limited number of proven basketball set plays. Offensive basketball plays that can be run from a variety of different offensive sets (1-4 set, 2-3 set, 1-2-2 set, 1-3-1 set, etc.) and used in a variety of different game situations (half-court offensive play, sideline out-of-bounds play, baseline under out-of-bounds play, etc.).

How will this knowledge and expertise in a core group of offensive plays help you and your team? From my experience, it made me a better teacher during basketball practice. It limited the amount of valuable practice time I had to spend daily with my team repeating over and over our team's offensive basketball plays and individual player assignments for each set play. During the game, it improved my team's execution of the basketball set play called because my player's had a complete knowledge and understanding of how to run the play properly and why the play called works.

But most of all, the knowledge and expertise in a core group of offensive plays gave me complete confidence in what I was doing as a youth basketball coach during the game. Intuitively, I felt like I knew the right play to call at the right time to give my team a fighting chance!

Offensive Set Plays Basketball Playbook

All of our team’s core offensive basketball plays are included in the Championship Basketball Playbook. These high school basketball plays are “proven winners” and they will work for your team. You can photocopy all of the diagramed plays in the Championship Basketball Playbook and handout to the members of your team. This makes a great coaching tool for teaching youth basketball plays.