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Playing Basketball at the Next Level

Have you ever wondered why certain basketball players don’t measure up to their potential? Players that have incredible skills and abilities but then can’t make it beyond organized high school basketball are a dime a dozen. There are many possible theories out there why this is so but we feel that the reasons are few and simple. Our purpose for this article is to explain those reasons and give players the awareness they need to stand out from their peers and to make it to the level of competition they desire.

basketball, skills, development

Have you ever wondered why certain basketball players don’t measure up to their potential? Players that have incredible skills and abilities but then can’t make it beyond organized high school basketball are a dime a dozen. There are many possible theories out there why this is so but we feel that the reasons are few and simple. Our purpose for this article is to explain those reasons and give players the awareness they need to stand out from their peers and to make it to the level of competition they desire.

<b>Lack of Focus</b>
For most players it is very easy to get bored with details when it comes to fundamentals and technique. Let’s admit, it’s a lot more fun to play pick up games than to work on things like proper foot movement, shooting technique, ball control and etc. Because of this most players neglect to focus on small details of their game. All great players have spent countless hours in the gym working on the fine details of their game and have made the commitment necessary to learn the p
roper drills and fundamentals that will enhance their skills. At the High School level of competition a good player can still stand out and dominate their competition without focusing on the little things. However once they get to the next level, if they haven’t developed the proper fundamentals and techniques of every facet of the game they will almost always under-perform and have serious regrets. So when you have spare time during the week, instead of organizing a pick up game start focusing on the small detailed fundamentals of your game and work on perfecting them.

<b>Lack of Drive</b>
Playing big time basketball requires a lot of your commitment and time. Many players think they have the passion it requires to excel at the next level when in reality they aren’t even close. Liking to play lots of basketball and pick up games doesn’t qualify you for having the necessary drive. Those that really have the drive give up many meaningful things in their life just to dedicate more time to sharpening their basketball skills. It’s a tough thing to do because when you’re young there are so many things that you want to get involved in. You want to spend time with your friends, you want to go to parties, you want to spend every waking hour with your girlfriend/boyfriend and that’s just to name a few. The reality is, the game of basketball has become so competitive that if you don’t make it your #1 focus and then back that up by setting your priorities around it, you’ll be left in the dust. Certainly we don’t feel that it’s necessarily wrong to have other interests than basketball, we just want to make it clear that those players that really have the drive make basketball their top priority. Once again a player can actually do very well during high school with a lack of drive but once they get to the next level they will face the consequences.

<b>Lack of Intensity</b>
This is sometimes what people are referring to when they say that a player has the “it” factor. Basketball players that are intense almost always succeed because they absolutely hate to lose or perform poorly. A lot of players are extremely gifted and have tremendous skills but because they lack intensity they can never win the big games and will not be able to make it beyond High School Basketball. Some argue that intensity is something that cannot be taught or learned. They claim that it’s something you are just born with. We adamantly disagree with that. A player can learn and acquire intensity if they make an effort to do so. Nobody can do it for them though and that’s what is so frustrating for most coaches. You have to make the decision that you are an intense player and then you must perform with aggression and passion over and over again until it becomes a habit. Once you truly develop intensity you will play with a very aggressive attitude and you will not tolerate poor performances by yourself or your teammates. If it doesn’t bother you very much when you lose or under-perform you have a lot of work ahead of you.

<b>Lack of Confidence</b>
If you don’t think you are going to make every shot you put up you don’t have much of a reason to be on the court. Great basketball players have enough confidence in their abilities and skills to take the shot when it’s there. When players suffer from poor shooting or poor performance it often times has nothing to do with their mechanics or abilities and everything to do with their head. Do whatever you have to do to develop confidence in your abilities. If it requires you to spend hours and hours in the gym so be it. Also work on your mental preparation. Thinking about your shots and imaging you making them is just as important of a pre-game activity as stretching and warming up. Don’t ever go into a game where you haven’t spent a good ten minutes meditating about your performance. Go through scenarios in your head and imagine yourself handling them with confidence. Make yourself aware of the fact that you will miss some shots from time to time but that it won’t hinder your concentration and confidence one bit. It seems silly to a lot of people and that’s one reason why it doesn’t get done very often but it’s something all great players do.

<b>Lack of Humility</b>
It’s one thing to be confident about your abilities but if you’re so confident that you deny the weaknesses in your game you’ve hit a wall that will block your progression as a basketball player. Nobody is perfect. The minute you think you are so good that you don’t need to practice is when you start setting yourself up for failure. If you’ve become better than most players in your school and in your area, rest assured that there are players all over the world that have twice the skills as you and are competing to play at the same level you are.

<b>Summary</b>
Good skilled basketball players exist all over the world. With the game of basketball becoming so popular and so competitive only the best of the best have what it takes to play at the next level. Although it can be very difficult players can turn themselves into stars if they have the focus, drive, intensity, confidence and humility that is required to stand out.

 

Playing basketball with tenacious defense

During a basketball game, people commonly shout the word "DEFENSE!". Come to think of it, do people in the stadium really know the meaning of the word? Does the basketball team, players and coaches, understand the meaning of the word? Is the value and importance of the word defense recognized? Sometimes basketball players themselves take it for granted. Everyone should remember that it is as important

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During a basketball game, people commonly shout the word "DEFENSE!". Come to think of it, do people in the stadium really know the meaning of the word? Does the basketball team, players and coaches, understand the meaning of the word? Is the value and importance of the word defense recognized? Sometimes basketball players themselves take it for granted. Everyone should remember that it is as important as scoring. A closer look at playing basketball defense is done in this article to clearly stress the meaning and importance of the word DEFENSE.

Defense is the team which doesn't have the ball. Defense is also the act of protecting the basket and making it impossible for the offense, which is the team who has ball, to score. It can be considered as a state of mind which dictates the body to do measures to keep the other team from scoring. It is the "get the ball" attitude that fuels the defensive team along with the desire to win. Defensive skills can be taught and learned as long as the player puts his heart in it and realizes its importance in every basketball game.

Transition Play

Moving from offensive to defensive play should be done quickly. Defensive assignments should be set as soon as the basketball gets out of the team's hands so the offensive team can't get ahead. The mentality of the players at this point should be to get the ball back immediately.

Purpose

Put the offensive team under a lot of pressure. Don't let the other team peak through an open shot or an open man. Guard every player and every corner and be aware of the moves and observe the play of the offensive team. Distract the ball handler through noises and movements so the communication between the offensive players will be disturbed. Put those arms up and use the body to block the ball handler's view. Decrease the chances of giving them opportunities to establish their team play. Keep your eyes open for rebounding and ball stealing opportunities and get the ball back! Stay between the basket and the offensive player.

Be Ready

Keep the lead hand close to the ball and wave the other hand to prevent a pass from taking place. The defense player's opposite foot of the offense player's dominant hand should always be kept forward with the same hand extended out with the palms up. This will allow an easy steal if an opportunity comes.

There are three types of defense: the man on man defense, the zone defense and the combination of the two, which is the Box 1 defense. Man to man defense is the simplest and most common among the defenses. One player is assigned to guard a specific player of the offensive team at all times. For example the point guard of the defense team guards the point guard of the offensive team. Match-ups are determined based from the player's height, speed and athletic ability.

Man to man defense is an aggressive style that allows forced steals and puts every offensive player under a lot of pressure. The danger of this style of defense is that when the offense player outsmarts the defense player, there will be no defense player to help continue to screen the ball because everybody else is preoccupied with guarding their own man. These results in the outnumbering of offense players versus the defense players which can help make the offense score.

In zone defense, each player is assigned to cover a specific area or zone instead of one player. There are many kinds of zone defenses. These are usually listed with numbers wherein the numbers correspond to the number of players in a particular zone. A 2-3 zone defense for example indicates that there should be two players manning the area near the three point line and three players manning the baseline. More often than not, a zone defense is limited to the key or the painted area.

There are some instances when a man to man defense and a zone defense is simultaneously put into effect. A box-1 defense for example generally is a type of zone defense where four of the players man their respective areas around the key. The fifth player, usually a guard, is assigned to guard a specific player on the opposing team, playing him in a man to man type of defense.

 

How to Play Basketball Defense Effectively

Some people just seem to have the talents and skills necessary for basketball. Some of us though have to toil our way through it and really maximize and take to heart all the trainings we have to endure.

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Some people just seem to have the talents and skills necessary for basketball. Some of us though have to toil our way through it and really maximize and take to heart all the trainings we have to endure.

One area that is vital in playing basketball is good defense. There are several fields in defense that you must focus on when starting to intensify your skills with basketball.

Body weight The key is to keep your head low. Most players want to stand erect rather than crouching but coaches want otherwise. So how low should you be crouching? Well, the good rule of thumb is to crouch lower than the person you are guarding. This will help you move more readily than the other player. Moreover, keeping your body low will help you balance your body weight effectively.

Position of the hands There are obviously several hand positions that you must keep in mind. Hands up would undoubtedly deflect a shot or pass.

You can also position your hands at your sides. This would be easier for players and could greatly help with defense against dribbling, passing, and faking the ball. Additionally, this would help retain your balance.

Get into the bubble There is this thing we call the bubble which basically pertains to the sphere of movement players have. To be able to play good defense, you have to enter into his bubble and make the most out of this space. The efficiency of movement lies in the skill of intimidation. For example, if you can make the other player worry that you would interfere his next move or you would steal the ball in his next dribble, he would be intimidated and therefore hesitate. Once this occurs, he is likely to decrease actions in the play which will limit his offensive moves. This will then create an effect of lower scores.

Basketball isn't merely a game of balls and moves, it is also affected by the mental battles that occur between the minds of the individuals playing.

Be a constant irritation because this will affect ball handling. You must also be mindful that you don't always have to be standing next to your opponent. Just be close enough so as to worry him all the time and distract him.

Determination to become a good defensive player Lastly, it all lies in the determination to win the game and make a good defense. Any trace of hesitation can work against you. As much as possible, refrain from making such moves.




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