Two-ball drills, transfer and inspiration

Originally published in Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletter 6.4. Now available in Kindle and paperback. Subscribe to the weekly newsletter here.

After their practice on Monday, two teenagers from our women’s team worked along the baseline on a two-ball drill that I had introduced the previous week. This is my primary purpose for introducing challenging dribbling drills: To inspire players to practice on their own. We do not spend much time on dribbling. My men’s team generally practices dribbling on Thursdays when we have fewer players. With our skill workouts, we usually work on general dribbling in one of the two workouts per week. In the 11-12 hours of practice and workouts each week, we spend roughly 20 minutes on dribbling (of course, other drills, games, and scrimmages incorporate dribbling).  […]

Avoid choking in unrehearsed situations

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, September 2015.

When Dustin Johnson hit the green in two strokes on the 18th hole, he had a putt for an eagle and the 2015 U.S. Open championship. Instead, three putts later, he settled for second. The putt for eagle was a tricky 12-foot putt, but the putt for birdie to force a playoff with Jordan Spieth was a 4-foot putt. According to PGATour.com stats, Johnson had made 96% of his putts inside 5 feet this season prior to the U.S. Open. The popular narrative was that Johnson choked.  […]

Learning tricks or improving game performance

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, July/August 2014.

My 18-year-old back-up point guard approached me after a workout and asked about a Youtube video that he had seen. He said that he watched a basketball trainer do a drill where he combined different ball-handling moves like a crossover dribble or a spin move with picking up and setting down cones. He asked if I could show him how to do the drill, and if I thought the drill would help him. […]

Mistakes in motor learning: The fallacy of the expert shooting coach

On another site, I saw a prominent shooting coach admonishing other coaches for failing to teach the perfect shooting technique. The expert justified his opinion by giving one example of a player who he trained who the expert wrote had gone from making 82/100 to 92/100 in one day. The expert called this measured improvement. […]

There is no mystery in the decline of post play in basketball

The Atlantic had an article about the mystery of the disappearing post player that is filled with excuses and problems, but few answers. If one wants to explain the disappearance of back-to-the-backet post play simply, the answer is a lack of patience. The lack of patience is exhibited in coaches, tall players, and ball handlers. […]

Motor learning theory, basketball skill trainers, and skill development

Originally published in Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletters, Volume 5, available as a paperback or Kindle. To subscribe to the newsletter, go here

Whenever I write about trainers, trainers respond. Trainers tend to be defensive because the industry is not established fully. Many do not understand the reason or need for basketball trainers. As a basketball trainer, I see both sides of the issue. […]