Friday, November 10, 2017

Fast Ten: Basketball "Cheats" for Young Players

Coaches love smart players. I don't mean "book smart" but "court smart." What makes a 'smart' player? Smart players take what you give them. 

1) Teams that play tight man-to-man often get exposed by back cuts and screens

2) Players are taught to 'see both' the ball and your defensive assignment. Many don't. Burn "head turners"; you can cut to an open spot for a basket cut or an open shot.

3) Take what they give you AND use what they are taught against them (above, right). 

4) Chasing players who constantly move, set up cuts, cut hard, and run you into screens (or even officials) is tough (and annoying). 

5) Smart players know the value of layups and free throws. Learn to finish with both hands on both sides of the rim. 

One of Kyrie Irving's 'trademarks' is finishing with either hand on either side of the rim. 

6. Smart players take better shots. UNC Coach Dean Smith occasionally had scrimmages with scoring based on shot quality. Layups and open shots were positive; forced shots and turnovers counted negative. UNC invariably led the ACC in shooting percentage. 

7. Smart players don't foul jump shooters, bad shots (e.g. runners from the corner), or three-point shots. 

8. Value the ball. The surest way to "lose" an offensive possession is a turnover. 

9. Be here now. The game isn't about quarters or halves but having quality possessions, one at a time. 

10.Keys to rebounding. On defense, position and toughness; on offense, anticipation and quickness to the ball...

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