Today’s post is a guest post courtesy of Jared Shand. Jared recently took an assistant coaching position at Edmonds Community College in Washington and has worked with many athletes in his area with basketball specific training. In today’s day and age of athletics, sport specific training has become extremely important, particularly in a sport like basketball where typical weight lifting and running just don’t translate as well into the game. Here’s what Jared has to say about the topic.
My name is Jared Shand and I was asked by Coach Pintar to talk about some basketball specific training and skill development breakdowns for his site. I am an assistant college basketball coach and I also work with a number of kids on the side as a skill development coach. When I first started, I used a lot of drills I found on YouTube. I probably spent over 500 hours searching YouTube for the best basketball specific training coaches in the country and learning from them, so I am more qualified to talk about this than most.
For me, any talk about basketball skill development coaches has to start with Micah Lancaster. He is considered by many to be the best skill development coach in the world. His drills are innovative and very creative. They also cover a wide array of skill development including ball handling, footwork, hand speed and strength and shooting.
One of the first concepts I found of his is called a “medicine basketball.” The video below does a really good job of explaining why it is a such a good skills concept, but I’ll give you a quick recap. He specifically engineered hand held med balls that can withstand the rigors of a good skills session. I have a 4 pound and a 6 pound ball and I have used them on every surface you can put a hoop on. I’ve had them both for a year and they are still going strong. The med balls add a ton to skill development. They are the best tool out there for increasing hand and forearm strength. They are great for finishing drills and help the players develop off hand strength to hold off defenders. The smaller one can be used in place of any tennis ball dribbling drills. These are great for hand-eye coordination and hand speed development. I try to work them into my skills development drills as much as possible and I recommend everyone have them for their own at home training. Soon Micah is coming out with a DVD series in which he breaks down a whole system of drills using these.
That is it for the first breakdown. I will be coming out with more breakdowns of other skill development trainers that I respect and learned a ton from. If you have any questions, you can follow me on twitter (@ValleyEliteST) or go to my website http://www.ValleyEliteST.com. Take care till next time.
Basketball Specific Training with Micah Lancaster
I think Tyler Relph “may” be a step or two behind Micah as the best overall skills trainer, but he’s right up there. They are both on the Mr. Rushmore of great skill trainers in this country, in my humble opinion. Tyler has great two ball drills. He uses heavy balls a lot and his creativity in using cones in his drills sets him apart from many involved in basketball specific training.
The first series of drills he does with the tennis ball is great for a couple reasons. This allows you to process something besides the basketball while making a move which is great for simulating “game-type” brain processing. Many kids practice with just a basketball and then when they get into real game and have to process all the things going on, they can’t seem to dribble anymore. Swiping at the tennis ball also fine tunes hand-eye coordination and increases hand speed. I teach kids to swipe down on the tennis ball because that is the same motion they use to bat away a defenders reaching hand.
The second drill series is the two ball moves with the slam down at the end. I use a lot of two ball dribbling which helps with multiple hand skill increase and forces the student to focus on more than just one ball. The slam down at the end enhances dribbling specific strength a ton. The ability to hold that ball in place as it is slammed down takes a good amount of strength and coordination. Physiologically, it is like hooking your arm up to an electrical current and sending a shock wave all up the arm. Using heavy weighted balls can lead to greater muscle memory and strength increases. As he slams the ball down, he gets his legs into a perfect “drop position.” This position is the most athletic position for an explosion by a defender. From a body movement sense, the best explosion comes from a simultaneous extension of the hip, knee and ankle joints. This can only happen if these joints are contracted at the right amount and the feet are lined up to where the player wants to explode. I find that it takes students some time to understand this concept. They either split to far and their back leg does not have enough contraction to create an explosive extension or they don’t have their feet aimed in an efficient line.
The last series is the cone stacking operation. I have had many coaches tell me that cone stacking is “gimmicky” and doesn’t help players in actual games. I disagree with this opinion. This drill is great for developing a good lateral slide. The cones force the player to stay low on the slide and give them something else to process as they are sliding. It also develops the players off hand which can be used for an active defense as this move is made. I explain this drill to my players as a move on a defender and then a lateral slide to gain a better position for another move or a pass. Once the new position is gained by stacking the first three cones, another move is made on the defender to a shot or finish at the rim. Another plus to any cone stacking drill I find is that most every player loves doing them because they are fun and challenging way of using a basketball specific training drill.
That’s it for this post. Hope it helps the coaches out there. If anyone has any questions, you can follow me on twitter (@ValleyEliteST) or go to my website http://www.ValleyEliteST.com for contact information. Take care.
- Jared Shand