Beat the Pro

For today’s installment, I thought I would share a way to add some pressure and competition to your shooting practice this summer.


Have you ever imagined that you are playing for your favorite NBA or college basketball team? When I was younger I would go out on a low rim and dunk all day with my tongue out pretending I was Michael Jordan. The following drill is about playing a game against your favorite (or least favorite player).

Beat the Pro:

These are the rules of the game. Every time you take and make a shot, you get +1 point. Whenever you take and miss a shot, you imaginary opponent gets +1 point. Whoever gets a lead of +5 first wins!


You can try from different spots and different distances in order to challenge yourself. You can also change the scoring rules to where you get +1 point if your shot is a swish, no points if you make the shot but it touches the rim, and +1 for your imaginary opponent when you miss.


Marlins Varsity Boys 2014-2015


Basketball-A Running Sport

It has been said, “You don’t play basketball to get into shape, you get into shape to play basketball.”

Basketball is a beast of a sport to be “in shape” to play. Both football and baseball rely on short bursts of power followed by longer periods of rest. There are also specialized positions that dictate what type of athlete plays in each. Soccer is a sport with a lot of running, but can be geared more toward 50% effort for 60% of the game, with all out sprints for about 20% of the 90 minute game. Basketball can be much different depending on your teams style of play. But to be the best, you must be able to sprint the floor, be quick side to side on defense, jump high, and be strong enough to play through contact.

In this post I want to talk about off season running. As a player, this is the part of basketball conditioning that I hated more than anything else. But the longer I play and stay around the game, the more I realize that running is so important! While you can reach a certain level of fitness through playing and working on your own, it is very hard to do this in the off season. Playing a high quality, intense 5 on 5 game during the summer is pretty hard to do. Think about it. When was the last time you were at your local rec center and guys were playing all out defense all over the court the entire game? I would say this never happens. Getting out and shooting on your own and working out also will get your heart rate up, but it is easy to settle into a “comfort zone” when building skills.

Adding some interval training three times a week to your summer routine will give you a head start on the season, build speed, strength, prevent injury, and will make the rest of your game easier. Being able to run the court when others are tired will get you layups and good looks at the basket.

Getting Faster

Working up to doing multiple short bursts of 100% will challenge your body to get faster. This type of training as opposed to long runs of 60% effort, think a 5K, will recruit your fast twitch muscle fibers. Research has shown that each person has a set amount of fast and slow twitch fibers as well as some that seem to be able to go back and forth. By working at high intensity for shorter time periods, you will get these transition fibers to act as fast twitch, thereby maximizing your explosiveness!

Injury Prevention

If you work your way up and establish a base of conditioning through the summer, you will be less likely to come down with things like shin splints and tendonitis in your knees. These two injuries are a case of doing too much too fast! Once these conditions manifest themselves, they can be very hard to get rid off without complete rest.

Sample Workout

In running, it is very important to work your way up slowly in intensity in order prevent injury. Before getting to the main part of any workout, do a proper warm up. Dynamic stretching a foam rolling are both great options.

If you haven’t been doing much or any running, you should start slow! Here is a way to build yourself up, staying on each step for at least three workouts.Do these workouts three days a week with at least a day of rest in between each workout.

Step One-30 second sprints at 90%, 4 sets with 30 second rest in between each sprint.

Step Two– add four sets of 15 second sprints at  80% before doing the 30 second sprints. Rest for 15 seconds after each 15 second sprint.

Step Three-add one 45 second sprint after the set of 30 second sprints.

Step Four-add one 60 second sprint after the one 45 second sprint.

Step Five– The Ladder- 10 sec sprint-10 sec rest-20 sec sprint-20 sec rest-30 sec sprint-30 sec rest-45 sec sprint-45 sec rest-60 sec sprint-60 sec rest.

Once you can go up the ladder, turn around and go back down the ladder, starting with the longer sprints and finishing with the 10 second sprint.



Basketball is a game of stopping, starting, long sprints and short sprints with limited recovery. Interval training will prepare your body and mind for the challenges that the game will through at you.





Becoming a Defensive Stopper

Offense wins games, defense wins championships. This has been said countless times by countless coaches. Do you know why? Because it is true and has proven to be true over and over. You might have an off game as a team or individually on offense, but if you bring it on the defensive end you still have a chance to win as a team and make an impact as an individual. Take pride in your defense! Become a lock down defender! Below is a video from Point Guard College detailing some keys to becoming a good team defender. I have written down some of the main points so you have a reference with which to follow along.


Five Habits of Good Defenders:

1.Close Outs on the Ball–Hands up, under control, Stop the Drive

2. Jump to the Ball–Stop Basket Cut, Get into Help Side

3. See the Ball and Your Man–Stop the Drive, Head on a Swivel

4. Talk to the Ball

5. Threaten Penetration–Jab, Fake, at the drive to discourage the drive


Weightlifting is a skill

This is from the blog of Shawn Windle, the strength and conditioning coach for your Indiana Pacers. If you want to get stronger on the court, you must lift and lift in the right way.


The more you practice a skill, the more efficient the motor pattern associated with that skill becomes.

Powerlifting is no different, except that a loaded barbell is heavier than other sporting implements. Who wants to make 90% of their free throws, or practices by shooting basketballs once per week until they’re unable to lift their arms? Yet that’s exactly what people do when they want to improve their squat.

The more you practice, the more you improve muscle recruitment, firing rate, and inter and intra-muscular coordination. It makes you approach powerlifting as a mechanic trying to fine-tune an engine, trying to get every last bit of horsepower out of the machine he’s working with.

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