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Archive for May, 2006

“The Almost Palm”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on May 15, 2006

When practicing dribbling, don’t just practice dribbling the ball with your hand on top of the ball. Also, practice the “almost palm”. Here is what we mean: imagine that the ball has a clock around it and imagine that you are dribbling right-handed. If you dribble with your hand on top of the ball, that is dribbling at 12 o’clock and it is difficult to maneuver the ball forward or backward or wherever you may want to move it other than straight down. Now imagine that your hand meets the ball at 5 o’clock (slightly behind, as well), now you can get under the ball (a little) and move it forward or by rotating your hand at that level, move the ball back or left or right. Be like the pros: stretch the limits of what the rules allow and feel the freedom and manipulation that comes with it. Practice by dribbling once for every step you take (hand at 12 o’clock) and then dribble every other step (hand at 5 o’clock).

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“The Crab Walk”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on May 9, 2006

To practice staying low and to gain greater dexterity with the basketball, do the crab walk drill. Here’s how it goes: start on the baseline with the ball in two hands in front of you. Step forward with your left foot (bent at the waist and knees, trying to stay low). Pass the ball under your left leg and then step forward with your right leg. Pass the ball under your right leg and continue to walk like a crab passing the ball underneath alternating legs. Keep practicing this until you can do it while running. If you get really good at it, try racing your neighbor’s dog across the local park while you do the crab walk. Oh yeah, keep your head up, too, because later on we might put in the crab walk plus frisbee catch variation.

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“Closing Out”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on May 7, 2006

In our recent Tips on defense, especially defense when you’re guarding someone who does not have the ball, we’ve tried to impress upon players the need to not just guard the person you are guarding, to not give all your attention there, but to split your attention to the ball (ballhandler) and the threat of the ball going to the basket as well. This means that if your teammate is beaten off the dribble (ballhandler goes by him/her), that someone else on defense, the player closest by, must step in. (Do I all of a sudden sound like Hubie Brown? “You MUST roll off the screen and dive to the rim.”) The idea of leaving the person you’re matched up with is scary, I know. Because aren’t you, like, leaving them open? The short answer: yes. The better answer: not for long. Stop the ballhandler by beating them to the spot they want to drive through to go to the hoop (beat them to the spot with your feet), make the ballhandler pick up the dribble and then you recover. But in recovering, – okay here’s my Hubie-ism – you must recover under control. If you don’t recover under control – Close Out – the player you are recovering to shot fakes and goes by you. Then what good are you in helping anyway? Zero. Close out by taking short steps at the end of the recover, keeping your feet close to the ground, knees bent, feet ready to change direction, head up, back fairly straight and hand up to contest a shot (or shot fake). As Rick Majerus says, “low, slow and under control”. They’re going nowhere.

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“Tricky Dribbling”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on May 7, 2006

tricky-dribbling.jpgPractice ball handling by doing “tricky” dribbling. Do things like: dribble through your legs while walking, every step is a dribble through your legs, do it from the front-side and the back, try to come as close as you can to your natural stride (this will take some practice); dribble using two basketballs at once, dribble them at the same time and dribble them alternately; using just your right hand, dribble around your right leg, from the front and from the back; do it left handed, too; dribble while you do sit-ups (this is not a joke); dribble while you do push-ups (this is a joke!).

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