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Basketball Training for Big-Time Immediate Results

"Basketball players need immediate results in order to compete at a high level. Since the players in todays game are so athletic, physical training becomes the grand separator. In designing an effective training program, a player needs to understand two major focal points:

* Individual skill practice must take place on a daily basis

* Conditioning/Training does not replace individual skill practice

Once the above two factors are understood, immediate progress has been made. If you are a smart player, you will make your skill work, conditioning because of how hard you work. But, as stated previously, it does not replace conditioning. Think of it as a double benefit. The daily skill work requirement of a big-time player is ball handling, passing, defending, rebounding, and movement training. The fundamental skills of basketball must be mastered and are considered imperative for a players success.

* Ball Handling : A player needs to master handling a basketball in a stationary style first. This is a prerequisite to moving with a basketball. Anyone who does not have absolute mastery over a basketball needs to focus on the Maravich Drills for their stationary movement. Most of my athletes start their individual workouts with five minutes of this nonstop at a very high intensity level.

Once mastery is attained, basic movements are used for traveling ball handling. Moves that are used in the game are emphasized. These game-time moves include change of direction, hesitation, in and out, crossover, in and out into crossover and pull back into crossover. These moves are critical for big-time results and are used in the game.

* Passing : If you have a wall to pass to, you have all you need. Make a mark on a brick wall and hit it one hundred times with your bounce, chest, overhead, one hand underhand, one hand overhand, and lob passes. Concentrate on starting every pass in the triple threat, strong with the ball position. Keep the basketball to yourself and do not give it away.

Once you have mastered the stationary passing, you can progress to moving. You can use that same wall, just take a strong dribble to the left or right and then go through the same series of passes. Once you master once dribble, proceed to two dribbles.

* Rebounding : Rebounding is timing, the ability to read the ball off the rim, and positioning. Like all the other skills, proper repetition will give way to serious results. When you perform your shooting drills, follow all of your shot, and finish them. Take the ball strong to the rim with authority. Shooting drills are the keys to rebounding and this is due to your repetitions of reading the ball off the rim.

* Defense and Movement Training : Since my retirement from professional basketball, I have realized there is a serious void in this area. There are tremendous individual skill coaches out there who do a great job but there is a lack of movement training coaches. To give you another example, why would a player who has not mastered his own bodily movement try to add weight to it? A body is only as efficient as his levers allow him to be. Remember, it is not always the skills or a weightlifting program as much as it is the players ability to move randomly."

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