Friday, June 29, 2007

The Secrets Behind A Quick release

We hear it all the time, that player has a quick release, or man that baller shoots the ball fast. But, is it really as it may seem, do some players shoot the ball faster then others? From what I have seen and studied, no!

The difference between someone having a quick release and someone that takes more time to shoot is what they do before they catch the ball that makes the difference. The quickness of your release is not what you do when you catch the ball; it is what you do before you catch the ball. You see, if you do the things that you are suppose to before you catch the ball then you will be one step ahead of the game. Then, when you catch the ball, all you will have to do is simply shoot it.

In the NBA they call this the 2 second shoot drill. Meaning that you have to get you shoot off in 2 seconds or less from the time you receive the ball.

They also call this ready on the catch.

Let's look at the keys to the 2 second shoot drill.

1. Have your knees bent.

2. All ten fingers facing towards the ceiling

3. shooting foot back

If you look at the picture above you will see all three aspects of the being ready on the catch being performed.

He has his knees bent which allow him to go straight up with his shoot as oppose to catching the ball then bending his knees then shooting. Basketball is a game that should be played low to high, not high to low.

The next component to being ready on the catch is to have your shooting foot back. This enables for you to get into rhythm of your shoot. It is very hard to have any rhythm when both of your feet are parallel with each other. When your shooting foot is back you can then step into your shoot when the ball is on its way, giving you rhythm and momentum to your shoot.

And the last component to the ready on the catch drill is to have all ten fingers pointing towards the ceiling. This enables to you catch the ball in the proper position without having to change your hand placements.

Most players have their fingers or hands down, which require for you to move them before you catch the ball in order to catch the ball.

When you have all fingers pointing towards the sky, the ball will just land right in your hands ready for you to shoot.

In the picture you will also see how everything is lined up with each other. His head is straight under his shoulders, his shooting foot is not to far back. His elbow is lined up with his knee, and his feet are pointing to the direction of the hoop.

These crucial aspects are the difference between the quick shooters and the slow ones. If you prepare yourself before you get the ball you will be that far ahead of the competition. You should always be thinking about the next play, and how you can better yourself to be more prepared.

Work on the two second shoot drill in practice or by yourself and watch as you turn into a fast, effective shooter.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Should Youth Football Teams Run the High School Offense? Heck No

High Schools that Want You to Run "Their System" at the Youth Level.

A small number of Youth Football coaches get pressure from the local High School to run the High Schools offense. The High School coach in these situations often think that by teaching 8 year old kids to run his system, by the time the players are 18 years old, they should be very proficient at running said system.

I am 100% opposed to the High School coach imposing his will on the Youth Program.

For many reasons I am 100% opposed to the High Schools imposing this will upon the youth coach and kids. My first reason has to do with basic control and effort. The often handsomely paid for his time, High School coach is telling a non-paid volunteer of a program not run or paid for by the High School, to run his High School system. Part of the "benefit" of spending money out of your own pocket to coach youth football, is you get to choose what you are going to run and how you are going to run it. If I fail as a coach, I'm going to fail running something I did the research on and believe in, not something shoved down my throat by someone not even involved in my youth football program or by someone that probably never coached a down of Youth Football.

Who is to say this High School coach will even be at the High School 10 years from now, or better yet that he will be running the same offense? One of the local High Schools we feed into has run 3 different Offenses in the last 5 years and had 2 different Head Coaches. So which of the 3 offenses should my teams be running now? Yes lets train 70+ youth coaches a very difficult High School offense every year or two, when almost half of them have no football coaching experience. Most of these offenses had we decided to run them, had zero youth materials or support system available for our coaches. I'm sure we would have failed miserably and lost lots of players had we adopted these systems.

I've even seen on some coaching forums where some High School coaches say it doesn't matter at all if any team wins or loses below the varsity level. The "varsity" is all that matters, even their Junior High, Freshman and JV teams don't matter. Well, it matters to the kids and parents playing on these teams and isn't that why we are supposed to be coaching football in the first place? I wonder how that High School coach would feel if a college coach came up to him and said that it didn't matter if the High School won or lost, all that matters is what happens at the college level and that the High School should run the Colleges offense? Never mind the fact that few of the High School kids will ever play College ball, just as just 25% of youth players will play High School ball. Sound enough reasoning for you? Let's take it a step further, shouldn't the pro coaches be telling the College coaches their wins and losses mean nothing, all that matters is that the College kids are running the Pro Offense? This "next level" baloney is just that, baloney. Any coach with even fair coaching skills can develop players for whatever system he choses to run.
Such arrogance is disappointing to see from anyone involved in coaching youth football.

This type of attitude is rarely found among successful coaches, it is most readily seen from excuse making High School coaches that are doing poorly and are looking to lay the blame of their poor performance at someone else's feet. I've actually seen High School coaches blame Jr High coaches for their varsity teams woes, that's someone desperate to keep a job he probably shouldn't have had to begin with.

At the big clinics I do for Glazier and Nike, I always sit in on a session or two. In addition to a Darrin Slack session, I like to see what the best High School coaches in the country are doing, teams like Southlake Carrol, Jenks, Union, Hoover, Colton, De LaSalle etc. The guys that coach these teams care little about whether the kid coming into their program can read a 3 technique and can run their offense. They just want a chance to coach the kid, that he goes out for football. They want the youth coach to teach safe basic blocking and tackling and NOT to run the kid off. The good High School coaches are hoping to get a player that has a love for the game and is coachable. These successful High School coaches tell me they are pretty confident they have the coaching ability to teach a player about anything over a 4 year time frame with nearly 4 months of 6 day a week contact along with year round, strength, agility and skills training. On the other hand we youth coaches get the kids for a few months of very abbreviated 2-3 day a week practices, a mere fraction of what the High Schools get and we are supposed to have the biggest technical impact on them?

As stated in other articles, we know that 75% of youth players will never play High School football to begin with. So we are supposed to run the High School system that only a tiny fraction of our players will be using? Remember my study of the main reasons most youth football players quit playing: #1) Poor Coaching #2) Playing on consistently losing teams. Running a system that is often not age appropriate (High School) and losing will often lead to the High School coach getting fewer players than he would otherwise. Most of the great High School coaches could CARE LESS what the youth player runs as long as he's having fun, playing safely and developing a passion for the game. Developing that passion is hard to do if his youth football team is getting blown out every week or not scoring many points.

What really gets to me are a few of the simply preposterous e-mails I get from a few youth football coaches. One youth coach went 10-1 in 2006 and 11-1 in 2005 and was retaining right at 95% of his players. In that very same time frame, the local High School went 0-9 and 1-8. The High School coach was demanding the youth football program run his offense in spite of the fact the High School offensive football plays never worked at the High School level. Maybe the High School coach should have run the Youth coaches offense, he couldn't have done any worse. I make it a habit to support the High School programs, by encouraging the kids to go to the High School games and to play High School football. But I have not coached High School ball, so I do not critique the High Schools practice methods or systems, no matter how often I'm asked to offer my opinion. I don't have the time or expertise to do an in-depth study of the situation and would hope they wouldn't do the same of my team.

Here are some other reasons the youth program should not run the High School offense:

Not age appropriate

Doesn't fit the talent level

Doesn't fit the size level

Does not work well with limited practice time

Does not work with small team sizes where you are not allowed to cut or send players to a JV squad

Does not accommodate minimum play players (I Formation, Spread)

Is beyond the physical abilities of youth players (Spread passing)

Is beyond the mental abilities of youth players (Triple or Midline Option or multiple read passing)

Most High Schools will not take the time to teach the youth coaching staff how to coach their system "correctly" anyway

High School Offenses Change

High School Coaches Change

Techniques Change

Very few youth coaching materials, books, DVDs available for most High School offenses

Many kids change positions as they go through puberty

Youth football players rightfully care about what's happening to them in the season they are playing in. They want to win and have fun, they are not concerned with developing the knowledge of football plays that 25% of them may or may not use 10 years into the future. They could care less about some technique he won't remember in the 9th grade or will be taught differently or changed by the time he gets to High School. If you can incorporate some of the High Schools numbering into your system without a big hassle, great, but resist the meddling of the High School into your program if your program is headed in the right direction.

The best High School coaches in the Nation could care less what offense or football plays the youth teams run. You should care that whatever offense you choose fits your kids, scores points, and wins ballgames. Until the High School starts buying your equipment, paying your fees and paying your salary (yeah right), run what makes sense for your kids so they have fun now and make it to play High School football.

In the Single Wing our kids are better prepared to play "at the next level" than kids from nearly any other type of system. Our linemen know how to pull, trap, double team, fold, crab block, drive block, rule block, pass block and work as a team. Our "QB" knows how to ball handle,give handoffs, take shotgun snaps, roll out, drop back,throw, boot,lead a team and run with the ball. Our recievers and backs all know how to take handoffs, block,read holes, read blocks, catch the ball etc, everything any other back or reciever would learn in any other type of offense. Most importantly, the kids have fun and do well, which is what keeps them coming back to play.

Winning and losing are both habits. I've seen very average teams with a history of winning win games they have no business competing in. These kids just feel somehow, someway they are going to win the game, even when they are down by 2-3 TDs and time is running out. I've seen the most improbable of comebacks and bizzarre plays in the last moments of games where the team of destiny beats the better team. On the other side of the fence, I see teams that expect to lose. Even when these teams are ahead they expect to get snake bit and lose the game, these negative expectations are usually met. I would think the High School teams would want kids that have a winning attitude, it's contagious.
Another article brought to you by Copyright 2007 Cisar Management. Republishing allowed if links are kept intact.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Football Hooliganism

Football, used to be a good, entertaining and fun. Football has been changed a lot over the last decade because of the Hooligans in the football game. Hooligans of the football game are known as firms, this is a group of friends who go through thick and thin for the sake of their favorite team. They go to mental lengths this making the club in debt by fines and being banned from competitions.

The police are in a concurrent war with the thugs of the British game, this making a lot of problems in and out of the football arena. The police just can't crack down on the thugs because of the amount of fans all from different clubs fighting for honor and for their team. Many gangs/firms are very well known and have a very large Reputation.

The football clubs attempt to pass on messages to the fans warning them about the consequences they are bringing amongst themselves and among the football club.

There is no real 'Dangerous Firms' in the UK which is superb as in comparison with other countries it is good here, take the Italians for example against Manchester United Football Club Plc. They tore down their own club fences and ripped out chairs to enable a good position to attack innocent fans! Even the police didn't help at all in fact they were the real 'hooligans' in that game! Which took the world by surprise but, the Italians have a very bad reputation against the main amount of the world.

This hooliganism amongst Britain must stop! They are running riots through towns ruining the surroundings and putting innocent people in immediate danger!

Thanks for reading this article on the Hooliganism in the British Empire of football!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Jamison Set To Carry Wizards Alone With Butler And Arenas Injured

The entire load of upsetting the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs now rests solely on Antawn Jamison.

The reason behind is out of the Big Three in Washington Wizards, two are injured and these days Jamison is the key player for the team.

Forward Jarvis Hayes said that Jamison is the leading scorer for the Wizards now and he would have to be a lot more aggressive in the offense. The other players' main job to now is to make things as easy as possible for Jamison on the court. Hayes expects things to get difficult as teams would now be targeting Jamison more than before.

Every player on the Wizards' team has had his role changed ever since Gilbert Arenas injured his knee and Caron Butler his hand. However, it appears that Jamison has been affected the most by the injuries. He does not have the luxury to bide for time and find open spaces as defenders of opposing team are concentrating elsewhere. No longer can Jamison have a night off as his two team mates are not there to fill in for him.

Coach Eddie Jordan said with Butler and Arenas out with injuries, Jamison would have to take on added responsibility of being the passer, the setup player and also the scorer.

Jamison was in a similar situation for several season when he was with the Golden State Warriors. As a matter of fact, he managed to score 51 points in back to back games way back in 2000.

He joined the Wizards in 2004 and has primarily played the wise veteran to young Arenas' impulsiveness. This statistics have been quite consistent in the last few years. He usually scores 20 points and 8 rebounds in each game. In the regular season this year, Jamison has averaged 19.4 points and 8 rebounds.

Jamison knows that he cannot carry the Wizards alone. He said that it was too much pressure and a player could get into trouble trying to do it because it was impossible to the things that Arenas and Butler do all by himself.

For the Game 1 against the Cavaliers, even though Jamison knows he cannot alone defeat them, his team will look up to him for more points, rebounds and on-court leadership.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Baseball Tryout Drills

Every coach needs a good selection of baseball tryout drills that allow each prospect to demonstrate their abilities both on the field and at bat. This will allow the coaches to fully evaluate each prospect's skill set to see if it indeed is strong enough for their team. It also allows coaches to build a team that will be able to work together, playing off each other's strengths and covering up for the weaknesses.

I like to start each of my baseball tryouts with arguable the most fun part of the game: hitting. Since hitting can make or break a team, I run a number of hitting drills at each of my tryouts. The first of the baseball tryout drills to see which are the Babe Ruths and which are merely mediocre is this one which rewards players with the ability to control their hitting.

Throw pitches at players one at a time. As the pitch sails towards the player call out what type of hit you'd like them to perform: line drive, pop fly, foul ball, grounder. Make sure to tailor the pitches to help players make the right hit. Try to remember which players have already hit what type of pitches so you can see every player attempt to perform every type of hit.

The In's and Out's of Fielding

To maximize productivity, while half the players hit, employ to other half to demonstrate their throwing and catching skills, using these baseball tryout. I like run a different set of drills for infielders and outfielders, since each position requires more finely tuned skills in different aspects of throwing and catching.

For my outfielders, a classic long toss drill helps determine which players will be able to make crucial long throws from deep center and which haven't quite built up the necessary arm strength to be protecting the far corners of the field. Another great outfielder drill has players partnered up and throwing each other a variety of pop-ups, grounders and line drives. This exercise will gauge players' interactions with others as well as their fielding skills in a medium-pressure situation.

For infielders, I like this drill that rewards quick thinking infielders. Stand at the place with a bat and a bucket of ball. Start batting towards the players one at a time, making sure to vary your hits and the players fielding the ball. While the ball is being batted, call out a situation for the players to follow. For example, hit a line drive towards shortstop while yelling "runner on 1st, two outs" to see how the player would react in that situation. Run this drill for at least 5 minutes, giving each player a variety of scenarios before switching the infielders and outfielders.

The Importance of Scrimmage

Baseball tryout drills can only go so far. To truly gage a player's performance on field, the coach must witness them in action during a game scenario. I always end each baseball tryout with a short scrimmage allowing each players at least once chance in infield, outfield and at bat.

For the batting team, always watch players both while they are at bat and how they act when they are idle. Think twice before selecting players who goof off constantly or intentionally distract their fellow prospects, since they may become a handful and difficult to control at practices and during games.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

How to Cut Your Warm Up Times in Half in Youth Footbball

Need more practice time? Think about areas of your football practice that you can shave time off of.

"Static stretching" are traditional stretching movements like toe touchers, windmills, hurdlers stretch etc. For the last 40+ years these type of movements have been used by youth football players to warm and loosen up.

Today most experts in the field actually believe these type of movements reduce power output. They suggest players should prepare for football practice or games by doing a "dynamic" warm up that moves from basic, low intensity movements to faster, more explosive movements as the muscles warm and loosen up. They suggest movements that simulate what the players will go through during football practice or games.
For most kids in the 8-12 age group, muscle development has not been extreme and most of the players have a good deal of natural flexibility. I've seen youth football teams age 6-8 using 15-20 minutes of valuable practice time to do various stretching movements, when players this age can usually bend their feet up around their heads, a waste of time.

We start with players in stances and doing very low intensity high-knees movements of 10 yards or so, we move to "butt kicks" and then angle form tackling, all at slow to medium level speeds. We accomplish some skill building, stance, cadence, starts, and form movement while getting blood flow to the muscles and getting our "warm up" accomplished in 5-10 minutes or less. Now the kids are warm enough to safely go into individual skill development or team work like running our football plays out 20 yards at full speed.

In 15 years of coaching youth football, my teams have NEVER had a player "pull a muscle" while practicing or playing a game. Coaching Youth Football well is all about priorities, don't waste valuable practice time on something most experts feel is wasted time. Use your time to teach blocking and tackling and getting great at your football plays.

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