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Motivation - Change your Game

BASKETBALL TRAINING AND ADVICE by Fred Crowell: NBC Camps President and Founder

Do you know what UW coach Lorenzo Romar emphasizes as crucial to success?

I just had the privilege of working with former National Championship coach, Jim Harrick and UW coach Lorenzo Romar at our clinic in Maui, Hawaii in November. Here are four skills Coach Romar emphasizes to his players.

1. Work on quickness and balance.

Coaches want quick players: quick feet on defense, quick mind identifying ways to create, and quick moves able to break down the defense and score. Balance is critical for top athletes. Learning to land well and finish strong using your body well in traffic helps elevate you to become a stand-out player.

Coaches notice how you land.

If you land off balance, they take note and consider it a weakness. Learn to land in two foot stop every time. It's not flashy or exciting. It just needs to happen-- every single time. Coach Romar and Coach Harrick believe landing on balance in a two foot stop is critical to eliminating costly turnovers.

2. Take care of the ball.

So many inexperienced athletes dribble the ball too high and too much in traffic. When in traffic it is critical to dribble the ball below the knee. Become a master of handling the ball.

3. Become a great Shooter.

Bottom line, coaches want players who can shoot. NBC Camper Brett Kingma became a disciplined student of shooting and now is in the top 50 Washington athletes heading to play at the University of Oregon-- why? Because he became dedicated to becoming a pure shooter.

4. Attitude is king.

Coach Romar wants athletes who great attitudes on and off the court. If you don't want to work or play with a great attitude, you will have a hard road and turn many coaches away. Coaches want great players and athletes with great attitudes.

Take these messages from top coaches and pick one way you can improve in each of these areas. Write them down and have your mentor hold you accountable.

NBC Camps: Dreams come true when you wake up and go to work.

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Developing a Pure Shooting System

Shooting is basketball's most important and most difficult skill to master

The dunk is basketball's most exciting shot. The swish from three point land is basketball's most beautiful shot. Dunks move screaming fans to their feet. Three point swishes move fans to awe.

When Gutzon Borglum designed and crafted Mr. Rushmore he said if he wanted to reach the human intellect he would have put the five presidents on the head of a pin, but to reach man's emotions he built them on the side of a mountain. The pure jump shot inspires the intellect, the dunk impacts the emotions.

Pure shooting impacts the intellect because it is the product of the brain. Shooters are not born. They do not come from genes, raw talent, or muscle. Pure shooters are the product of hours of intentional skill and development.

Many programs will not take the time necessary to help athletes become pure shooters because it takes hours and hours of specific repetition and many times the shot must get worse before it can get better. Athletes who learn to shoot incorrectly have a huge disadvantage because of the tremendous amount of time it takes to correct bad shooting habits.

At camp, we have developed a shooting program which covers alignment, power source, accuracy, softness, arch, and back spin. If you don't have answers for the questions below, seek them out or get to camp.

9 KEYS TO DEVELOPING A SHOOTING PROGRAM

You need:

1. A clear example for pure shooting technique

(don't be deceived, many pro players have hands so huge they make shooting a basketball seem like shooting a nerf ball. Their technique based on their hand size, height and so forth may look very different than what you need for your height and size.) Can you identify the keys to a great shooting technique? Who is your role model? What do you use as a visual to help you with your shooting form?

2. Repeatability.

Can you repeat exactly what you do over and over again? Where are your eyes every time, where are your hands on the ball?

3. Understand Physics.

Do you know the physics of how the ball is designed to rotate? What is the optimum arch angle?

4. Correction.

There are four ways to miss a shot. Do you know why you missed and how to correct what is going wrong? You must be able to know why you missed and what to do.

5. Schedule.

Shooting is a skill requiring daily work. Have a program that includes time without a ball, time without a hoop, specific shooting reps from spots on the floor.

6. Pressure.

Shooting requires the ability to be calm and accurate under even the most intense pressure. Design your workout to include pressure. Put up consequences if you miss, play at game speed and put something on the line.

7. Game break.

During the summer, get away from 5 on 5 for a little while and work solely on improving your shooting and offensive skills.

8. Be able to miss.

Some of the worse shooters are those who are type A personalities who hate to miss. If they miss it is almost like poison to them. They stop shooting or they get down on themselves-- either way they have trouble. Shooting isn't like math. Getting 100% is not feasible. Focus instead on 100% accuracy of your form and having confidence. Make your 100% be for your courage, your shooting form accuracy, and quality decisions you make on when and where to shoot, not on whether it goes in.

9. Go to camp.

All the answers to the questions above you can find at camp. We have coaches ready to help you create your pure shooting program. Come get better as an athlete, a student, a person and a shooter this summer.

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The Art of Off-Season Improvement

off season improvementWhen do players go from good to great?

Does it happen in front of thousands of screaming fans at the biggest game of the year? Does greatness fall upon someone only after a game-winning jumper smacks the net? Does it take an acrobatic, Kobe-esque, gravity-defying dunk to put you on the hoop map as one of the "great" players?

These may be the milestones that elevate a player in the fan's eye, but the athletes who make it there, know it actually began long before those monumental moments took place. They can remember the countless days of giving up their free time in hopes of taking their game to the next level…the exhausting individual workouts where the idea of "greatness" became more than just a dream. The truth is, it's in the off-season where greatness is grasped.

Many young athletes say they want to be great, say they want to play college or even pro someday, but only a few really take advantage of the off-season to improve their ability.

Just look at the top players today. Kobe Bryant has sky-rocketed to the ranks of the NBA elite in a very short time. Though a veteran now, Kobe became the youngest player to reach the 10,000 point mark.

Between hoisting the championship trophy in 2002 and tipping off the season in '03, Kobe reportedly put in a gruelling off-season workout, six-day-a-week, six-hour-a-day off-season program! Yikes!

Keep in mind that Kobe is one of the most well conditioned athletes in the world, but his dedication to improvement is a great example of what it takes to be great.

Another one who knows what it takes is Jackie Stiles. She's the merciless and yet lovable 5-8 All American guard out of Southwest Missouri State who is the all-time leading scorer in the history of NCAA Division I women's basketball. Stiles was the fourth pick in the 2001 WNBA draft going to the Portland Fire and was voted rookie of the year. The story of her workouts became something of a gossip piece during her senior year of college. The program began in high school and included making, not shooting, making 1000 shots a day, on occasion keeping her in the gym until the middle of the night.

Oh, by the way, she's the all-time leading scorer in the history of NCAA Division I women's basketball. Was that already mentioned? She averaged a modest 31 points per game during a senior season in which she shot 57% from the field and just under 50% from three. A check midway through the 2003 season on the men's side showed the top scorer (per game) in the country was shooting under 41% from both the field and the three-point line. Stiles can play.

But for both Bryant and Stiles, success came with a price. For them, off-season is not about rest and relaxation, it's perhaps the most physically and mentally trying time of the year. The great ones have turned off-season improvement into art.

Tips for Off-season Improvement:

*Develop a personal workout

Assess your game and decide which areas you really want to get better at, then develop a workout that involves both skill training and fitness training. Do this with an accountability partner or keep a journal of your progress.

*Be a student of the game

When you watch games, pay attention to more than the score. Pick out the good players, and figure out what they do well. Work to recognize what's going on with the defensive and offensive strategies. Take notes.

*Come to an NBC Camp.

At camp you will experience several days of hard work, fun, motivation, and excellent skill training. Coming to camp will help you get better physically and mentally.

*Get out and play

You need a place to put your skills to work and have fun with the game of basketball. Find a place where you can get some good competition, play with and against good friends…and get out and play! Have fun.

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Act "as if"

An effective tool in improving performance is to "act as if" what you hope to achieve has already happened. Successful athletes have the ability to see in the mind's eye the final result before it actually happens.

When you play basketball with an "act as if" mentality, your performance will improve because you play with increased confidence, resolve and mental toughness.

How to make the "act as if" concept work for you. The following is an example:

Guarding a Player in Practice You Want to Beat Out

1. Form a mental blueprint of guarding this player with great intensity.
2. Visualize how you will stop this player using the following strategies:
A. Force dribble drives to the weak side.
B. Make them catch the ball where they can't score.
C. Make every dribble as difficult as possible.
D. Get a hand in the face so you don't give up a good shots.

Pretend you have a tiger and mouse in your heart, Be the tiger and make your opponent be the mouse.

It's all about attitude!

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