Thursday, July 30, 2009


In his book “Teamwork Makes The Dream Work,” John Maxwell said the following:

Look at hundreds of winning teams, and you will find that their players have four things in common:

1. They play to win: The difference between playing to win and playing not to lose is often the difference between success and mediocrity.

2. They have a winning attitude: Team members believe in themselves, their teammates, and their dream. And they don’t allow negative thinking to derail them.

3. They keep improving: The highest reward for their efforts isn’t what they get from it, but who they become because of it. Team members know intuitively that if they’re through improving, they’re through.

4. They make their teammates more successful: Winners are empowerers. As Charlie Brower says, “Few people are successful unless a lot of other people want them to be.”

Maxwell also lists the 10 C’s of Successful Teamwork:

1. Commitment that inspires results
2. Contributions that make a difference
3. Competency that raises the standard
4. Communication that increases effectiveness
5. Cooperation that creates harmony
6. Chemistry that enhances personal connection
7. Creativity that enlarges the team’s potential
8. Conflict management that reduces tension rapidly
9. Cohesiveness that allows change to be rapid
10. Community that makes the journey fun

Sunday, July 26, 2009


How does Derrick Rose respond to winning the NBA Rookie of the Year Award? With more hard work!

"I’ve been shooting every day, trying to get better
so I can have a consistent jump shot.
I’m shooting 700, 800 shots a day."

-Derrick Rose-

Friday, July 24, 2009


"It's just trying to keep everybody prepared to contribute. Sometimes you can only play a guy a couple of minutes. They just have to understand that whatever they have to do, to go in there and play is an important part of it. A coach can always read disappointment on a player's body language. But this is a team that wants to win and they know to do so they have to be willing to put 'me' second to team. That's an important aspect of it."

Phil Jackson
Hall of Fame Coach

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Came across a great article by Paul Meyer. I love reading Paul Meyer -- he is always motivational and inspirational. As a writer for the New York Times and the founder of the Success Motivation Instistute, he is someone who has altered the way a lot of people think -- and therfore live. Learn more at:


Right out of the gate I'm always looking for THREE signs that indicate whether I'm dealing with someone who has a winner mentality. It doesn't mean they've accomplished all their desires or goals but I can tell rather quickly if they are on their way.

1. Winners are willing to accept responsibility for their life and behavior: Winners admit their mistakes and are willing to learn from them. Losers blame other people or circumstances for whatever happens to them.

2. Winners are willing to pay the price to get the job done: Winners get on with whatever needs to be done to accomplish the job at hand or to reach the goals they've set for themselves. Losers talk a great deal about what they are going to do but never get around to doing it.

3. Winners make a personal commitment to themselves and others: Winners mean it when they say, "You can count on me." They do what they say they'll do when they say they'll do it. Losers make idle promises and offer excuses for failing to deliver.

What separates a winner from a loser?

I have often said, "When you run into a problem, you're going to have to find who is in charge of your life and get them to help you change." My tongue in cheek point is this:

The one in charge of your life is YOU!

The two things that control your life are your ATTITUDES and your BEHAVIORS and YOU get to choose both of them. While you may have some negative attitudes and behaviors at the moment, it is YOU who decides whether to keep them or to start the process of change.

When you master both your attitudes and your behaviors, you can pretty much control the destiny of your life. Winners choose to take the necessary steps to re-program themselves to have a positive mindset and to do whatever it takes to accomplish their goals. Winners are willing to PAY THE PRICE!

Losers are lazy and choose to keep their negative attitudes and behaviors, accepting anything that happens as fate rather than the result of their own choices while using all their energy to complain about being victimized by other people and circumstances.Why you may not be winning.

If you believe your attitudes and behaviors are generally positive but you are not winning in life, you might want to consider the following:

· You may have not set high enough goals. When people are not challenging themselves to be the best they can be, they become bored, disappointed, and negative. Winners have a written plan that is broken down into daily goal-setting activities that can be measured and monitored, words that losers hate.

· You may be allowing obstacles on the way to your goals to derail and defeat you. There will always be obstacles no matter what you are trying to accomplish! I've learned to view obstacles as opportunities for growth and learning; as part of the process of honing my strengths and minimizing my weaknesses; as stepping stones to the next level.

· You may be concentrating on your problems and not your power. Winners know they have weaknesses, but they appreciate their abilities far more. They keep doing whatever is necessary to learn, grow, and improve their skills. Remember the old adage based on physics: "A body in motion tends to stay in motion."

· You may be selling out your principles and values in order to win. If so, STOP! Never, ever do this. Whatever you "win" in the short haul will be useless. You'll pay a high price for abdicating your principles. Winners never sacrifice their values! Any time I've ever "lost" in life because I refused to compromise my principles, I found that God rewarded me with a much greater blessing down the road.

Winners have an electric, enthusiastic vibration about them. They refuse negative mindsets, concentrate on their strengths; are committed to grow and improve, and never compromise their principles. You can count on them; they keep their word. They take personal responsibility for their choices. They are willing to pay the price. The bottom line is you just can't fake being a winner, because a winner is easy to spot!


Friday, July 17, 2009


Coach Tom Crean has three things he expects each day in practice.

#1 COME IN MENTALLY PREPARED -- come in absolutely ready to practice, lift weights, etc. No cell phone, not finishing meals, or any other last minute stuff.

#2 COME IN WITH ENERGY -- you either take or give energy...the only person who is allowed to bring negative energy is the coach. Your responsibility as players and coaches is to make the head coach better everyday. Assistants coaches should also be worried about what the coaches and players need for games, practice, etc.

#3 COME IN READY TO COMPETE -- It is not enough for your team to "think" they are competing and playing hard, you must actually make sure that they are. Playing hard is not enough -- you must compete.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Often you can find players that have an excuse for not succeeding. They can lay down a laundry list of reasons for why they have not reached their potential on the court. Here is a video on Kevin Laue to explain why we aren't buying it!


We got the following from a couple of coaches who love to share, Shane Dreiling and Creighton Burns. They sent me a nice mini-post workout from Coach Terry Battenberg. He has a web site -- Here is his post workout.

Like any other position in basketball, the post position requires an athlete be in peak condition to be successful. In this section, I will share some of the drills and training techniques that I have found to be successful with my post men over the years.

The Post Man's Fab Five
A great off-season and pre-season workout is what I call “The Post Man's Daily Four”. I Encourage my big men to do these drills as a warm up before attempting to work on any other parts of their game. If only a short amount of workout time is available, then these four drills are what should be done.

1. Rope Jumping:
A great warm up activity that helps with jumping, quickness, and coordination when done correctly is rope jumping. Start out at a slow pace and do around 50 jumps, then switch to 5 jumps on one leg at a time (right then left or vice-versa) for another 20 (4 X sets of 5). Next, move on to alternating jumps (right-left) for another set of 50, increasing the speed as you go along. Pattern jumping is a nice change of pace at this point. Jump in a box pattern and reverse it, or try an X pattern. This adds thinking to the timing involved in the work out. Finish with speed jumping, 100 as fast as possible. Avoid concrete surfaces and blacktop when possible. These surfaces are hard on joints (especially the knees), may cause shin splints and/or stress fractures in the lower legs and feet. Pick a more forgiving surface like the gym floor, a short, grassy area, or better yet, a rubberized surface that provides cushion.

2. Basic Four Post Moves:
Players can work on their moves by themselves or with a partner. Starting with the ball at the low post position, the player spins the ball out in front of him and pulls it under his chin area while looking to the baseline. From here, the post man will work on his four basic moves: 1) the drop step power lay-up, 2) the turn bank shot, 3) the jump hook over the top, or 4) a face-up favorite move. If a defender (partner) is used, he should not defend aggressively. He merely provides resistance by putting up his hands as a distraction and maybe bumps the shooter a little. Work both sides of the key area so as not to favor one over the other. Make 10 shots off each move before moving to the next.

3. Superman Drill:
This is a great conditioner and a fine way to improve scoring around the basket. The player starts on one side of the basket and goes up with the ball, scoring off the glass. He immediately crosses under the basket as he takes the ball out of the net and scores from the other side of the hoop. This is continued for 10 straight shots and the player challenges himself to make all 10 without a miss. At the completion of the sequence, he moves to the free throw line and shoots two free throws. If all 10 inside shots are made as well as both free throws, the player counts it as “one success point”. He then repeats the drill and tries for another “success point”. The goal is to get three points and a victory. This drill requires strict concentration and great effort or a miss is bound to happen. The post man must convert all 10 shots without a miss and then shoot two “pressure” free throws, or lose the point. This is a great motivator for all big men to become super inside scorers and super free throw shooters; thus the name- Superman Drill.

4. Mikan Drill
Regular and Reverse -- Go for a minute at a time. Then shoot 5 or 10 free throws to recover. Do this five times. Goal is 40 or more in a minute.

5. Free Throws:
Nothing finishes a good workout like a string of made free throws. If the Superman Drill has been a tough challenge for the post man, it is generally due to him missing free throws. Thus, more practice on this skill is required. Even if the player makes all of his free throws, six is not enough to keep him sharp. “Streakers” is the game I suggest for ending the workout. The big man shoots free throws, attempting to make a predetermined number in a row (a streak of successes). I suggest starting with 10 in a row as a beginning challenge and increasing the number by two after this goal becomes easy. Twenty to twenty-five is not an unusual number to set as a goal for an outstanding shooter. If the player runs out of time and does not reach his pre-determined goal, he would start with his highest score for that day, plus one, as his goal for the next day. Thus, if his best is nine today, he would aim for 10 in a row tomorrow. Never end a
“streak” while it is still going. See how many can be made in a row and keep track of a
personal best “streak”.

This is a great workout for all players -- perimeter and post alike.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


“My driving belief is this: great teamwork is the only way to reach our ultimate moments, to create the breakthroughs that define our careers, to fulfill our lives with sense of lasting significance.”



“Regardless of circumstances that may seem out of control, you are in control of one very important thing – your ATTITUDE. It is your most priceless possession. Both personally and professionally, your attitude determines your altitude, or success. Remember, you can’t spell 'success’ without ‘u’ – that’s YOU.”

-Keith Harrell-

Thursday, July 9, 2009


"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career,
I've lost almost 300 games.
26 times I've been trusted to
take the game winning shot and misses.
I've failed over and over and over again in my life.


-Michael Jordan-

Saturday, July 4, 2009


After a Gold-Medal and MVP season in the NBA, LeBron James is feverishly back at work looking to improve his game. Read from Terry Pluto's article at

For LeBron James, the journey to repeat as the NBA's Most Valuable Player begins Monday morning.

That's when the Cavs star will meet assistant coach Chris Jent at the team's practice facility in Independence.

"LeBron is driven to win a championship," said Jent. "Most people have no idea how hard he works. He wanted to start last week, but I told him to rest his body. Let's start after July 4th."
James will begin his day by meeting assistant trainer Mike Mancias. Sometimes, they lift weights. Sometimes, it's yoga. It always involves some stretching.

"Six days a week, LeBron does some sort of workout, that's not counting his shooting drills," said Jent. "They do things to help his flexibility and balance. LeBron also has his own chef. He is extremely serious about being a better player."

They will then begin 90 minutes of shooting drills. Most of the shots will come from 14-to-19 feet. They begin with six different spots on the court, but also at different ranges.
Then they come back at night, for more shooting.

"From now on, he'll shoot at least once a day, probably six days a week," said Jent. "Sometimes, it will be twice a day."

Further in Pluto's article you find out that he took his shooting coach on the road to get better:

But James did agree to several suggestions from Jent, and that did help his free throw shooting and his jumper. Like most great athletes who were bigger, stronger and could leap higher than nearly everyone else when they were younger -- James could drive to the hoop at will.

"The drills we do are not natural to him," said Jent. "A great player practices the things that don't come easy."

Not only do James and Jent practice here -- James has taken Jent on the road to continue their sessions. They'll practice in Los Angeles after he tapes commercials. They'll practice in Portland, when James travels there for Nike business. They have found gyms in Washington, D.C., and New York when James had appearances in those cities.

"The last two summers, LeBron was involved with the Olympic team," said Jent. "He practice with them during the day, and we'd shoot at night."

Read the entire article at:


Hey Player! Want to know why coaches are asking you to give just a little is a video to help explain it!

Friday, July 3, 2009


Some years ago, Coach Don Meyer put out 30 page booklet out titled, "Becoming A Great Shooter." It is a simple fundamental book geared towards the player and not the coach. It talks about the mental approach to shooting, the fundamentals of shooting, and then breaks the shot down into free throws, lay-ups and three-pointers. It finishes talking about the progression of the shot and the methodology of practicing shooting. It is a great booklet for young players in the formative stages of their shooting. Here is just a little from the booklet.

Before you can begin working on the physical fundamentals of shooting, you must lay the proper mental foundation. You must remember the following in working to develop your shooting skills through mental preparation.

The first thing is, you have to be ready to learn. Good shooters can take constructive criticism...great shooters can take constructive criticism and learn.

Coaches will not be able to improve your shooting skills until you are willing to give 100% attention to learn instruction.

Listen, Watch, & Learn.

Picture yourself as a success and there is no way you will fail. It is essential that you know that your coach believes in your, but most importantly, you must believe in yourself...proper practice habits and mental toughness to do things well will help you develop the personal confidence that great shooters display.

Each player should determine his shooting range and take open shots with his shooting range. You need a guide regarding those shots which you should not attempt. These are called forces shots. Smart perimeter shooters realize they are open only when they do not have a hand in their face.

Many young players try to copy high scoring pro starts. This can be a problem if you take an incorrect fundamental from a pro's style and use it in your own shooting style. Complete adoption of someone else's style of shooting is not the answer to long term success. Solid fundamentals and development of sound shooting habits while you are young are the foundation of a great shooting style.