Trying to remember four things when there are only three enters the realm of “thinking too much”. Can you think too much on the basketball court? After all, you hear players say, “I’m thinking too much. I just gotta go out and play!” Which is, of course, just an excuse for playing poorly. If “just playing” means playing relaxed and playing confidently, then, yes, just play. But, not think? Of course you have to think and you have to think a lot and you have to think fast; THAT’S the fourth thing to remember: think! We want smart players and smart players think or, perhaps more accurately, they see and they react and decide accordingly. How do you know how to react? Understand the essence of the game (balance, spacing, movement) see it unfold it, then play it. Like everything else, it takes practice and the more you practice, the less you’ll have to remember.
Archive for April, 2006
Posted by Steve Bzomowski on April 26, 2006
Posted by Steve Bzomowski on April 18, 2006
Always see the ball. I don’t mean stare at the ball or even look at it all the time. I also don’t merely mean know where it is. Instead, have the ball in your field of vision, so if it does something, you know what that is. You know when a pass is made so that you can adjust your defensive position or step in to steal it. You know when a shot is taken so you can box out, go get it or sprint out on the break. And this does not just apply to defense. Always have the ball in your field of vision when your team has it. Always be ready to catch, even, and this is tricky, when your back is turned when you are screening because if there is a defensive breakdown and the ballhandler sees it, you have got to be ready for the play. The ball needs you to know where it is. Don’t let it (and the game) down.
Posted by Steve Bzomowski on April 11, 2006
Passing is more important than shooting. When you play a game, and it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been playing it, you are trying to get better. You learn things; you develop. In basketball, take care to develop your passing game. Most importantly, and I cannot overstate this, when you have the ball, see what’s going on at your hoop and see what movement is unfolding toward the hoop. Seeing what’s going on there means, in its simplest terms, “squaring up”. Seeing what movement is unfolding means, see where and when defense is out of position and vulnerable to: a basket cut, backdoor cut or any other move by your teammate that takes advantage of a defensive positioning lapse.
Posted by Steve Bzomowski on April 4, 2006
Basketball is a running game. I mean, I didn’t personally know James Naismith, but I have to believe that at some point he said to himself, “this game here, this thing I invented is, at its core, a running game.” I don’t mean to suggest that it has to be fast break basketball all the time – though I’d tend to lean that way – nor do I mean to suggest there isn’t a time and place for arresting momentum – change of speed, after all, is crucial in hoops. What I mean is: get up the court. In transition from defense to offense, sprint, run, hurry up from foul line to foul line. If you do it and the defense doesn’t, it’s giving your team a big advantage. If you do it and the people you are playing with don’t, explain to them how the game is meant to be played and if they don’t run, go find someone to play with who will. And I’m not talking just to kids here: if you can run a step, run a lot of them and run them fast. It is so good for you and so good for the game! And if you’re in a wheelchair or something, get those wheels cranking! We’ll be looking for the skid marks!
Posted by Steve Bzomowski on April 2, 2006
You might have heard it at an AA meeting, you might have thrown the phrase about during your stint with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But, here when we say “Help and Recover” we are talking about defending the ball in a basketball game. The important stuff. Okay, the ball is on the right wing defended appropriately and ferociously by your teammate; you are defending someone at the top of the key. See the ball while seeing the opponent you are matched up with. (Vision) This means playing a step or two back from the passing lane (the imaginary line that the ball would take if it were thrown to the guy you are guarding). Next, position yourself close enough to the ball (while maintaining vision) that if your teammate is beat off the dribble to your side (possible, yes? because he or she is in the ballhandler’s face), you can stop the penetration of the ballhandler thereby forcing a pass. (Help) A pass to whom? Likely the person you left unguarded when you helped. What do you have to do? Recover to the person you are matched up with. (Recover) That means you need to be quick (alert, knees bent, full of desire). Close out ready to contest the shot, not bite on a shot fake, and take away the drive. No one said defense was easy.
Posted by Steve Bzomowski on April 1, 2006
Get your palm off the ball. When either dribbling or shooting or even passing the ball, your palm shouldn’t be touching it. You want to handle it with finesse and feel and care, don’t you? I mean, when you pick up a sandwich, you don’t have your sweaty palms all over that pastrami-on-rye, do you? How about when someone hands you a baby to hold, you’re not sticking your mitts all over the little thing, are you? At the end of a practice or at the end of a game, the meaty parts of your hands should be nearly as clean as when you walked in the gym. The tips, the meaty parts of the ends of your fingers, however, should show that you’ve been handling the ball. But, remember! Wash your hands before you eat!