OGBR: Beware the Epidemic, Players need to develop the basics early

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Tom Jenkins’ Ohio Girls Basketball Report

All players beware. There’s a nasty epidemic sweeping through the
driveways, playgrounds and gyms across the country. Disorders in shooting mechanics, passing and dribbling skills, and poor
attitudes are just a few of the signs of the growing epidemic. The symptoms are easy to see but hard to cure.


“As we are days before Tip-Off for this year’s Classic in the Country VI, my good friend and business associate, Jimmy Clayton, has written his  2nd article on my behalf for Eric and Matt at Ohio High / JJ Huddle. Jimmy is a former NBA shooting instructor and is currently a Nike Clinician. We hope to see everyone at this year’s Classic in the Country. We hope you will visit the CITC website at www.classicinthecountry.org and enter the “Beat the Weatherman” Contest. Enjoy Jimmy’s thoughts…”
Tom Jenkins, Executive Director
Ohio Girls Basketball Report

All players beware. There’s a nasty epidemic sweeping through the driveways, playgrounds and gyms across the country. It brainwashes players to think that activity in basketball can be understood as achievement. Players at all levels are showing symptoms of this epidemic. The symptoms are easy to see but hard to cure.

Disorders in shooting mechanics, passing and dribbling skills, and poor attitudes are just a few of the signs of the growing epidemic. It is evident that the lack of skills is usually not diagnosed until it is too late for recovery. This epidemic is usually blamed on many factors, including: the lack of quality gym time, proper skill preparation, or the coach. But who is really to blame? No matter what or who you blame it all comes back to the individual. YOU. Every player simply has to make the decision to either get help and make a commitment to recovery, or slowly let her basketball skills diminish and become the captain of the Coulda-Woulda-Shoulda team.

As players encounter these problems, most don’t recognize their weaknesses until they reach the critical phase, which will determine if they make it to the next level.  This is where real skills will prevail. When an athlete admits to lack of genuine skills, it is usually after they have been sent to the bench as a spectator, rather than a contributing player on the team. At this point many of these players are devastated and ask themselves, “Why did this happen to me?”

After they examine excuse number one through a thousand, it all comes back to one thing: skills. Players ask, “Can I still continue my career, if I go back to the drawing board and get professional training to learn and develop the real skills and become a solid player?” The answer to that question is yes!

Players should be able to execute the advanced skills long before they have reached this state in their careers. These skills include: proper hand placement on the basketball, body positioning to the goal, footwork on the approach to the basket, lateral movement across the court, off the pass-screen and dribble. These are not acquired overnight. These are just a few of the technical basics that no one seems to recognize or understand until it’s too late. Every player must develop this simple, but demanding, foundation to increase the odds for basketball success.

Real skills should be the foundation of every player’s game. A solid foundation will stand up to intense pressure, while a poor foundation will crumble under the assault.  Players must start building this foundation at a young age. This process is never complete, but is reinforced by commitment, desire and determination to increase one’s skill arsenal. Most players want to skip the foundation and begin at the top and work their way down. They are looking for each street, but little do they know this street leads to defeat. We must face the fact that basketball requires commitment, skill and discipline to be at your best.

Players should be aware of this epidemic. Athletes at all levels can improve their shooting mechanics, passing and dribbling skills, and ultimately their attitudes. This is easier said than done, but when the ball is tossed up and the game begins will your foundation support you for four quarters at the next level?

The formula to success is as follows: recognize weaknesses, develop new skills, and maintain a level of higher play. Remember, excellence doesn’t just happen, it is a decision you make every day!
   
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Jim Clayton is a basketball performance specialist, founder of Sports City U Basketball Academy and is under a personal services contract with Nike, Inc. He has traveled the world helping players with their game.

Feel free to contact Jim at jcscuhoops@aol.com and visit his website at www.scuhoops.com.

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