My daughter Charlotte and I have been trying to get her to shoot the basketball with more arc. If she shoots the ball higher, she increases the room the ball has to go through the hoop.
To shoot the ball higher, she needs to make sure her hand is under the ball, and she needs to lift her elbow. She needs to shoot the ball more up and to the hoop than, say, pushing it out and toward the hoop.
Charlotte needs to build some new habits (especially elbow lift), and so we have added a form shooting segment to our daily workouts to try and build a new habit. Research suggests that she needs to focus on the new habit she is trying to build for approximately thirty days. For the form shooting segment of her workouts, we are thinking pretty much only about arc and elbow lift. The downside of form shooting everyday is that it can get pretty boring.
Sometimes, I think players have to get over being bored when the are trying to create a new habit. However, one way to beat boredom is to create a competition. My kids and I came up with the following “game” for form shooting:
5 shots from short, medium, and long for a total of 15 shots
1 point if the ball has high arc (we look for over the top of the backboard or the roofline of our house)
1 point if the ball goes in
1 point if the ball swishes
As soon as we implemented this point system, the girls started making more shots and showing more enthusiasm for their work. As soon as form shooting became a game, the girls’ focus improved.
Greet the players enthusiastically as they enter the practice space.
Huddle up for (in non coronavirus times) high fives, fist bumps, and talk about what’s important for the day.
Encourage players to be positive vocally, physically, and with their body language.
Get loose by starting slow and facilitate or make space for small talk that builds relationships.
Handle the ball, pass, and catch. Practice these skills on the move.
Finish fast break layups, offensive rebounds, post moves, and pay extra attention to the weak hand.
Teach and practice shooting from a set position, on the move, and off the dribble.
Teach BBHS offensive tools while practicing defensive situations. BBHS stands for Basket cuts, ball screens, handoffs, and screens off the ball.
Use dummy (non-live) situations into live play. Drill a concept such as playing a switch in a ball screen until it looks like you want it and then call, “live.” Allow for at least one trip down and back of live play. Much of a basketball game is played by converting from one end to the other.
Offensive 5 on 5 play with restrictions. The offense must meet a restriction before shooting. An example of a restriction might be three good screens off the ball or a post touch before a shot. Players should always get layups when they can.
Defensive slides into live play. I’ll take one of our defenses such as man to man, a full court zone press, or a 1-3-1 zone and slide versus an offensive pattern until I call, “live.” Again, I try to convert at least one down and back.
Practice live out of bounds plays with conversions.
End the practice on a positive note such as a player scoring, a great pass, or a standout hustle play.
Huddle up for more fist bumps, slaps, and take time to look back on the practice and look ahead to whatever is next.
In doing this work, here are the books I’m going to look into reading:
Geno: In Pursuit of Perfection
Assisted by John Stockton
How Lucky Can You Be (Meyer) by Buster Olney
Bleed Orange about Boheim
Boys Among Men by Abrams
Seven Seconds or Less Jack MaCullum
Basketball on Paper Dean Oliver
A Coach’s Life by Dean Smith with John Kilgo and Sally Jenkins
Questions for Discussion:
Which of my favs overlaps with yours?
How did you rank these books?
What do we get out of reading these books?
What are these books about that we can talk about? Three point line. 21st Century Basketball. How would we describe our college basketball practices? How have we departed?
Which of these coaches have we met? How at all, have these books or the coaches influenced us?
I mostly left out technical X and O books like these:
Knight and Newell’s pair of books, Tex Winter’s Triangle Offense, Wooten’s Coaching Basketball Successfully, Dean Smith’s Multiple Offenses and Defenses, Tim Grover’s Jump Attack
I counted 42 books on Amazon written by John Feinstein:
The Back Roads to March, Where Nobody Knows Your Name (baseball), The First Major, A Good Walk Spoiled, The Legends Club, Season on the Brink, Quarterback, The Last Amateurs, A Season Inside, The Last Dance, The Punch (about the Rockets), Forever’s Team about Duke 78, A March to Madness about ACC
What are your favorites? Which ones are we wrong about? We hope you’ll join the conversation!
App State University Women’s Basketball Coach Angel Elderkin on the Torg Stories Podcast.
Appalachian State University Women’s Basketball Coach Angel Elderkin
Click the audio player below to listen to the podcast or download it via the podcast app on your iPhone.
Coach Elderkin’s Appalachian State women’s team is coming off a 22 win season during which they won the the WBI post season tournament. My conversation with Angel was in part guided by a project I do with my students in the writing across the curriculum courses I teach at App State. The students study discourse communities of their choice, and I ask them to interview prominent members of the discourse community. In this case, the discourse community is that of basketball coaches. One of the features of a discourse community is that there is a set of common goals. I started off by asking Angel about the short and long term goals of the women’s basketball program.
Coach Angel and I standing proud in front of the big “A” at the Holmes Center
I’ve been sharing some of what my daughters do for their basketball workouts with hopes to create a community of people who discuss ideas for youth basketball development. I’m sharing what my daughters ages nine and twelve do with hopes that some people will let me know what they are up to.
Currently, we have three on-court workouts we do. Afterwards, we go home for some strength and agility work. We work out three days in a row and then take a day off.