If you want to be successful at anything in life, it is important that you have a certain level of confidence. You must have confidence in yourself, in your ability, and in your preparation. The best performers across the world have a confident swagger.
The most confident players on the basketball court are the ones with the best handle. Some of the most flashy, confident players the game has ever seen have been the ones who have the “ball on a string”. Allen Iverson (Click link, it’s our favorite crossover of all time) , CP3, Derrick Rose, just to name a couple, could get anywhere on the court due there amazing dribbling skills. In a prime example of how electrifying a great ball handler can be, we look no further than this past All-Star weekend where Kyrie Irving crossed Brandon Knight to the floor, just hours after proclaiming he gained his ball handling confidence from dribbling a basketball with a plastic bag covering it.
If ball handling is the foundation of a player’s individual basketball game and the better you handle the basketball the more you will excel in game situations, then you must work dribbling everyday. There are numerous drills and games we can use to develop you ball handling ability but today we here at The Locker Room want to highlight some unorthodox ways of practicing your dribbling skills.
Below are four different ways to spice up your ball handling workouts and challenge your ball control in ways you never imagined. A word of warning; do not get discouraged when it doesn’t go smoothly at first. These are all advanced methods and you may never master any of them. But if you add in some dribbling under these overloaded conditions as a change of pace during your workouts, it will make dribbling through a double team seem like nothing.
Dribbling with Plastic Bags over the Ball
This crazy method, now made famous by Kyrie Irving, is the ultimate in creating an unpredictable feel for the ball during dribbling. What are the exact benefits of putting a plastic bag on the outside of the ball? The bag on the outside of the ball takes the bounce out of the ball and makes you dribble harder. The smooth, plastic surface also reduces the feel you have for the ball, so that you have to focus more on the controlling the ball using your fingertips and finger pads. Once the bag comes off, the ball now feels more sticky in your hands and you can trust in the new sense of touch you have developed with your basketball.
It would be complete basketball blasphemy for The Locker Room to not wish the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, a happy 50th birthday with a post on what made him so great and how modern day players can add his scoring abilities to their skill set.
The Michael Jordan Scoring Skills Workout is built on how “His Airness” became third all-time in total points scored in NBA history. Jordan was a spectacular player whose unbelievable moments and highlights were all created from his mastery of the fundamentals. Nobody has been able to mesh elite athleticism and unlimited skill level like Jordan did.
His 40+ inch vertical allowed him to hang, double clutch, jump over defenders all in an effort to get his perfect jumpshot off anytime he wanted. His mobility, flexibility and body control not only helped him contort his body in mid-air and get low to the ground, but gave him the ability to play in his 40s. His soft touch and ball control (stemming from unusually large hands) combined with his explosive and powerful pivoting let him fake defenders out of their shoes. He decelerated, then accelerated, then decelerated again all with perfect foot placement every time, leaving the defender one step behind and on their heels the entire time. He had a laser like focus on the rim no matter how many hands, how many bodies he encountered on his way to the rim exhibited in his ability to finish with the utmost creativity. When you look behind the jaw dropping finishes, you realize that Jordan mastered every combination of one dribble, two dribble scoring moves, owning the midrange.
Being able to finish around the basket in various ways is one of the most important skills to have as a basketball player. The Eurostep, made popular by Manu Ginobli and Dwayne Wade, is a new and rather unorthodox way of finishing a drive in the paint. During Game 3 of the NBA Finals, LeBron James executed the Eurostep perfectly, finishing a key fast break with an AND 1 layup. The reason why LeBron James’ Eurostep worked so well was the way he preceded the move with a quick and decisive in and out dribble.
He has long limbs, quick feet, broad shoulders, the strength to bang with any size player, the intelligence to recognize offensive tendencies and is extremely active. No, we are not talking about Scottie Pippen (widely regarded as the best perimeter defender of all time). We are talking about Thabo Sefolosha, the starting shooting guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Sefolosha, an unsung hero of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, is finally getting some of the attention he deserves.
One year ago, four young entrepeneurs with a passion for basketball set out to create the first ever basketball training mobile application. The only goal: bring basketball into the 21st century by making a clear, structured skill development program that is easy to use for all basketball players and coaches. Finally, in early 2012 OneBasketball app was launched on the Apple App Store.
Today though, we came across a review for the OneBasketball app that not only encapsulates the reason the app was developed in the first place but it also paints a picture of all the realistic benefits the app can and already has delivered. The review comes from a German youth basketball coach. We will let his words tell the rest of the story:
Basketball App …. Finally
by RitzBBall on Thursday, February 16 2012 version 1.0
“I’ve been a player and a coach for more years than I’d like to admit. I’ve played and coached at almost every level. .. and I’ve coached hundreds of players in the USA and in Europe. Yet I am I am constantly looking for ways to improve my players and my coaching abilities. I have designed many of my own drills and my own practice planners. I have made my own practice videos…. but…. that is “Old-School” …. This App is “Now” …. The Drills are good and well executed… It covers many skill areas as well as basketball-specific conditioning. Many of Drills are similar to those I already use, but it gives me the opportunity to actually show players what I want from them … and that is great … for me because sometimes the mind is willing but the legs are gone… Lastly, I can’t count the number of times a player has asked… Hey Coach can you give me some stuff to work on over the break…?” For that, this App is right on time. I recommend it for any Coach or Player…. Ritz Ingram”
In an article in Men’s Health this week called “Squat for Speed”, a new study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests that performing the squat in the weight room can drastically improve your sprint speed. In the sport of basketball especially, a player will rarely ever reach top end speed like a 100-meter sprinter would on a track. So, top priority for basketball players becomes the ability to accelerate, decelerate, and change direction between distances of 2 and 20 yards. The ability to produce the force needed to accelerate in those small spaces comes from improving total body strength in the weight room. The squat is a great and fundamental movement that is essential for creating maximum strength that transfers to on-court performance. Bottom line is, if you aren’t doing a variation of the squat in the weight room then you aren’t really working out to improve your performance on the court. And if you are not working out to improve your performance on the court then what are you working out for?
Be sure to check out the Men’s Health article as well as the links below for more information on techniques and variations of the squat.
Thanks for reading.
Ray Allen’s stat line from his game against the Miami Heat on April 10th, 2012 will always say he scored 9 points, dished out 3 assists, and grabbed 1 rebound. A “solid” game some would say. But, if you watch the game and watch Allen and the Celtics, you will see the blueprint on how to dominate a game as a great shooter.
Ray Allen is the all-time leader in NBA history for 3PT Field Goals made. He has one of the quickest releases and purest jumpshots the sport of basketball has ever seen. The Miami Heat as well as every other team in the NBA know of this resume and constantly put him at the top of their scouting reports. So how does Ray Allen continue to produce and be a very valuable player for the Celtics? And more importantly how can all those players out there who are classified as “just a shooter” expand their games and be more effective on the court without having handles like Jamaal Crawford?
This weekend and throughout the lead up to the NFL Draft, ESPN has been showing a show called Jon Gruden’s Quarterback Camp. For those who have never seen the show (YouTube clips attached below), Former NFL Head Coach and current broadcaster Jon Gruden basically interviews, critiques, works out, and tests upcoming NFL Draft QB prospects in person. If you are a regular follower of The Locker Room, you will know that we are very fond of finding tidbits that transfer from sports like football to basketball. And after watching Jon Gruden’s QB Camp, we are left wondering a few things.First off, why isn’t there a show like this leading up to the NBA Draft with a person like Jeff Van Gundy, just passing years of basketball wisdom onto upcoming rookies? Secondly, what can we all learn from watching Gruden and the QB prospects that can help develop basketball players and coaches?
The first thing any player should do before embarking on their offseason basketball skill development is to identify the goals/objectives that they would like to achieve. A player’s goal needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and have a time frame. Too many times players say they want to “improve” or “get in better shape.” These are not goals simply because they are too general. Improve at what? Get in shape how? Great players and expert performers have a specific focus everytime they step into the gym. Below are some examples of some specific goals that a common high school player might/should have:
Start YOUR road to the Final Four now! Today OneBasketball, 140 Basketball Drills App, is available for purchase at $2.99 for a Limited Time Only. The app features 16 progressive basketball workouts, giving each player a structured and focused plan to improve their basketball skills. Click to read a full description of our basketball skill development app. Watch our promo video for the app below.
For more information on the OneBasketball App:
Get the first basketball workout of the app here for FREE. Follow OneBasketball on Twitter. Like OneBasketball on Facebook.