Metuchen Basketball Training

Metuchen Basketball Trainer

Metuchen Basketball Training For Results!

As the former head boys basketball coach at Metuchen High School we experienced a ton of success winning over 100 games in seven years with two state finals appearances and one county finals appearance.  In that time one of my teams went 22-3 and had the highest winning percentage of any team in Metuchen High School history and I went on to compile the second highest win total and highest winning percentage of any boys basketball coach in Metuchen School History.  While there, our teams were consistently ranked as one of the highest scoring teams in the county and group one.  I attribute most of this offensive success to our focus on skill development each and every practice.  Having an philosophy that centered around every player being a threat on the court and having the ability to dribble, pass, and shoot made our teams versatile, dangerous, and very difficult to defend.  It posed matchup problems for other teams whose bigs had difficulty coming out to the perimeter or in some cases the full court to defend our multi-skilled players. Now retired from high school coaching and working full time as a Metuchen basketball trainer, this philosophy has carried over into my company, Elite Basketball Training.  Elite Basketball Training ensures that Metuchen basketball players are getting the most thorough basketball training experience in New Jersey.  Just like those who train with us that have developed into well rounded basketball players, Elite Basketball Training is a multifaceted company that provides basketball skill development, basketball specific sports performance training, nutrition and supplement advice, and college planning services to all the Metuchen basketball players in our training family.


What to Expect From Your Metuchen Basketball Training

Your Metuchen basketball trainer, Rich Stoner, strives to provide the most complete solution for players to elevate their game.  These are far more than Metuchen basketball lessons offered as a sideline business.  As mentioned above, this solution includes basketball skill development, basketball specific sports performance training, nutrition and supplement advice, and college planning services.  Each workout whether group or personal is designed with personal care and strict attention is paid to the nature of the group or the specific skills that the individual needs to work on.  Furthermore, players will become students of the game throughout their Metuchen basketball training workout, consistently developing their basketball IQ while learning how each skill and drill applies to the actual game.  For example, a typical Metuchen Basketball Training workout may look something like the following:

  1. Warmup
  2. Double Move Stationary
    1. Lefty Between the Legs – Righty Between the Legs
    2. 6. Righty Between the Legs – Lefty Between the Legs
    3. 7. Lefty Behind the Back – Righty Behind the Back
    4. 8. Righty Behind the Back – Lefty Behind the Back
  3. Change of Direction
    1. Between the legs phase 3
    2. Stutter Crossover
    3. Behind the back
  4. 2 Foot Finishing Series Phase 1
    1. jump stop
    2. Pro hop
  5. Single Change Finishing
    1. Stutter Crossover w/jump stop
    2. Between legs w/pro hop
    3. Behind back w/choice
  6. Form shooting
    1. Side Backboard x 5
    2. Front Rims x 5
    3. Chair Setups x 5
    4. 10-2 Drill x 5
    5. Hurdle Hop Drill x 5 each direction (1 hop)
  7. Triangle Shooting
    1. Catch and shoot
    2. 1 Dribble Pull up
    3. 2 Dribble Pull up
  8. Front Pivot Series 2
    1. Front Pivot Jab Crossover step w/2 dribble pullup
    2. Front Pivot Jab Crossover step rip back with 1 dribble bank shot

Sports Performance Training and Nutrition Advice for Metuchen Basketball Players

Great basketball players know that basketball skill development is only a small piece of the basketball training puzzle.  To be the best, Metuchen basketball players must also develop their bodies athletically with basketball specific sports performance training and sound nutrition and supplementation.  Doing so will serve the athlete exponentially by making them quicker, stronger, and more powerful on the basketball court.   A well designed strength training program for Metuchen basketball players will also help prevent injury while proper nutrition and supplementation will add energy, improve recovery, and prevent fatigue and illness.  At Elite Basketball Training, we use only supplements from Advocare because they are NCAA approved and banned substance free.  A sample basketball sports performance workout may look something like this:


Dynamic Warmup

Foam Roll: Upper back, lats, hip flexors

Banded mobility: Shoulders and hips

A1. Back Squat work up to 5 RM

A2. 3 x max effort strict pull ups


B1. 3 x 15 weighted hip thrusts

B2. 3 x 8 dips


  1. Emom 12

Complete 1 prowler push down and back on all odd minutes and 12 ball slams on all even minutes.


How to get started with your Metuchen Basketball Training

 It is possible for you to experience Elite Basketball Training’s thorough and systematic approach to Metuchen basketball training.  Former Metuchen High School head boys basketball coach, Rich Stoner, is ready and waiting in nearby Edison, NJ to provide you with the tools to elevate your game and become elite.  Find out more about all the Elite Basketball Training programs that are offered for Metuchen basketball players at and contact your Metuchen basketball trainer, Rich Stoner today at or 732-239-0338 so that you too can experience first hand the most thorough basketball training solution around.

Accelerate Your Game With Metuchen Basketball Training!


Basketball Movies: Our Top Ten

Basketball Movies top ten list

What Are Your Favorite Basketball Movies?

Here is a list of our favorite movies for basketball junkies.  Keep in mind that this list comprises both adult and child friendly movies.  You should check ratings and a web site like to get an idea about appropriateness for your family.

1.  He Got Game

Spike Lee’s basketball story about Coney Island Brooklyn’s favorite hoops prodigy, Jesus Shuttlesworth, played by real life NBA Star Ray Allen. Jesus Shuttlesworth is the number one high school prospect in the country and he can go to any college in the country. But his dad, played by Denzel Washington, gets released from prison temporarily to recruit him to a certain college in order for him to get released early from prison. The movie offers a good luck at how seriously Coney Island takes basketball. Spike Lee once again puts his touch on the film with awesome cinematography (check out the opening credits) and a diverse soundtrack featuring the likes of Aaron Copeland and Public Enemy. And his cameo list, which shows his celebrity status as an NBA fan, is really impressive.

2.  White Men Can’t Jump

The story of two streetball hustlers, one white and one black. These two con men travel the streets of Los Angeles playing 2 on 2 for money. The movie follows the relationship of the two players and the struggle of trying to make a living off playground basketball. The trash talking that goes on during the basketball scenes is hilarious. “Let’s just collect all these bricks and build a homeless shelter so your mom can have somewhere to live.” Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson make up the duo and create some memorable characters, culminating in a climactic and memorable scene where Woody Harrelson tries to prove whether white men can truly jump or not. Plus, Rosie Perez is enjoyable to watch as the intelligent and supportive girlfriend of Woody.

3.  Hoosiers

The classic basketball movie. This is the inspiring true story of a small high school in Indiana who takes down the favorites to win the state championship. A real David vs. Goliath narrative. The community rallies around the underdog and their chase for the state title and it creates a connection with the characters that puts a smile on your face when they finally make history. Gene Hackman creates a memorable performance as the witty coach who takes his small team to the top.

4.  Blue Chips

This is a movie about big time recruiting at the Division 1 level. This story follows a one-time great coach who will do anything to make it back to the top, whether it’s legal or not. Finally though, the coach is faced with some ethical decisions as to whether he is winning the right way. Some nice performances are put in from NBA superstars Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway who play the blue chip recruits. Shaq plays an unknown gem of a recruit from the Bayou and Penny plays a 5 star phenom from Chicago, what a coincidence right? Nick Nolte is a great fit as the coach.

5.  Love and Basketball

A beautiful movie about two young hoopers, Quincy and Monica, who grow up together playing ball and end up falling in love. The story follows the couple through high school and college as they each experience their ups and down through their basketball careers and their love life. The soundtrack is awesome featuring everyone from Chaka Khan to Kool Moe Dee to Maxwell. Omar Epps plays Quincy and portrays a pretty believable basketball player. Great date night movie for all the basketball couples in the house

6.  Sunset Park

The story of an all-black New York City high school basketball team who has the talent and not the discipline, but when an old frumpy white teacher at the school, who knows nothing about basketball, takes over the team she turns them into a winning program. This is a pretty unbelievable plot but entertaining because who doesn’t enjoy urban street culture rubbing off on elderly white people?

7.  Semi Pro

Will Ferrell’s omage to the ABA. This comedic riot has a great cast including Ferrell, Andre 3000 and our friend Woody Harrellson. The movie follows the tumultuous and wacky times of the Flint Tropics as they try and make a dollar in the floundering yet flashy ABA of the 1970’s. Favorite quote from the movie goes something along the lines of “We should’ve kept that washing machine instead of trading it for you.”

8.  The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh

With the help of an astrologer, this lowly team slowly but surely starts winning some ball games. This movie is ridiculously flashing. Tons of disco music, flashy play and it even stars Dr. J Julius Erving. It perfectly encapsulates what the ABA must have been like, or at least wanted to be like. Pretty far-fetched that a team would depend on the aid of a psychic astrologer with a crystal ball, but hey, it was the 70’s.

9.  Coach Carter

The amazing true story of Coach Ken Carter who takes over his alma mater, Richmond High School, and coaches a group of troubled youth to success not only on the court, but also in life. This movie hits home for me because I went to junior college right down the street from Richmond High School in Richmond, California and spent a lot of time in the impoverished community that surrounds the school. If a young athlete can take away anything from this movie it is that academics are just as important if not more important than your success on the hardwood.

10.  Space Jam

This was probably my favorite movie when I was a little boy. Michael Jordan teams up with Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes to face off against the Monstars who stole the talent from some of the NBA’s brightest stars. This movie is kind of fun to look back on as it takes place during MJ’s baseball stint. (Yikes) The live action and cartoon combination was done pretty well and the cameos by Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Bill Murray among others are pretty comical.

Honorable Mentions: Glory Road, Above the Rim, Eddie, Juwanna Mann

***This list excludes documentaries… stay tuned for that Basketball Movies List soon.

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Basketball Speed and Agility Drills and Skills

Basketball Agility Training Videos



Basketball Speed and Agility Training

Basketball Speed and Agility Guide

Basketball Speed & Agility

Kills Defenders

As a I sat and watched the Washington Wizards play the Chicago Bulls one thing became glaringly obvious to me…speed kills, and John Wall and Derrick Rose both have it.  There were periods throughout the game that both players put their speed on display by blowing by their defenders for easy finishes at the rim and watching this, you just knew that both Wall and Rose each had an extra gear they could turn to in order to create space for themselves.  More importantly than the fact that they were both really quick, they each had basketball speed and agility that was more noticeable due to their ability to change speeds and directions effortlessly and efficiently with and without the basketball.  Having these skills only made them appear quicker than they already were and much harder to guard.  It is one thing to be fast when it comes to sprinting in a straight line but yet quite another to have the footwork, balance, and agility required to be quick in the starting and stopping, change of direction, game of angles that is basketball.


Speed May Not Translate To Basketball Effectiveness

As a long time basketball coach and trainer, one issue that I have consistently found with basketball players is that they may be a great athlete with good overall speed but they struggle translating that speed to the basketball court because of poor footwork, a lack of balance and stability, and poor skills at game speeds.  This problem persists not only for the aforementioned reasons but also because they struggle to find the time in their training to work on speed, agility, and skills due to their busy schedule.  Consequently, they ditch the speed and agility work in favor of skill development which may leave them more skilled but no quicker on the basketball court and it is the combination of both that will elevate your game to the next level.  Having one or the other does not have to be the case, and with a little bit of know how, players and coaches can solve this “lack of basketball speed” problem by developing basketball skill specific speed and agility in an efficient and timely manner in their workouts.


Three Components Of Basketball Speed And Agility

Speed and agility is a very important part of a player’s basketball training.   Speed training for basketball can be broken down into three components: starting speed, speed endurance, and agility.  Basketball is a game of constant stop and go movements.  For this reason, basketball players need to be able to start, stop, and restart quickly and effectively.  All of the stop and go movements not only require players to be quick off the start but also to be able to accelerate quickly into a full sprint.  Players must be able to maintain this speed during the latter stages of the game, which can be referred to as speed endurance.  Absolute speed is not a necessity.  Rarely do basketball players ever have to sprint at full speed over long distances.

Basketball is also a game of angles that requires players to stop and go and also change directions quickly.  This ability to rapidly change directions without the loss of speed, balance, or body control is known as agility.  Agility is vital to basketball because of the constant change of direction but also because of the regular change of movements that accompany these changes of direction.  Basketball players need to go from sprint, to slide, to sprint, to backpedal and any combination thereof. These movements are all done while changing directions thereby making agility equally as important as speed.


Basketball Speed And Agility Under Game Like Conditions

Adding speed and agility training to your basketball training program requires a number of variables that require a coach, trainer, and/or player to include covering multiple distances, direction changes, movement changes, and skills at game speed and in game situations in the majority of the drills used in their daily programming.  Doing so will ensure that players are developing basketball skills along with basketball specific speed and agility.  As eluded to earlier, basketball players rarely cover long distances during a game but rather differing distances at varying times (ie. short, long, medium, long, short).


Basketball Starting, Stopping and Turning

Furthermore, these distances that players cover are often covered in different movement patterns.  For example, it is very likely that a player will have to sprint 10 feet in a line, stop, pivot, and slide on varying angles, then sprint again in order to guard a player handling the ball in a full court situation.  Furthermore, a player with the basketball could also experience a similar situation where they may have to zig zag a defender for a portion of the court, sprint to beat them, stop to set up the offense and repeat.  Doing so effectively will require similar speed and agility skills to the person mentioned above moving without the ball but now they must include dribbling skills along with direction and speed changes.


Effective Basketball Speed Combined With Agility

I am sure that you have seen this problem present itself rather frequently where a player who is very fast and often wins the sprints in practice but then loses the basketball when asked to dribble it in multiple directions at game speed.  Or the player that shoots the ball really well when they are sitting in a catch and shoot position waiting for the ball to come to them but cannot seem to buy a shot when they are asked to make specific cuts, or come off screens at an angle and have to catch and shoot.  To combat these problems, it is important to include varying movement patterns at varying distances trained simultaneously with basketball skills in your basketball drills.  Fixing this requires a little creativity and thought when creating drills or in your drill selection.  More importantly, it requires the use of multiple skill drills that incorporate not only shooting and/or dribbling but also cutting, footwork, sprinting, sliding, passing, etc.  Incorporating multiple skills and movements, including speed and agility work, into your drills is the only way to improve your basketball skills along with your basketball specific speed and agility.  This makes the drills game-like, interesting, and fun for the player and will ensure improvement in all areas trained.  A great example of a multiple skill drill and one of our favorites at Elite Basketball Training is the T-Drill With Finishes.

As you can see in this drill, the players are working on multiple skills including their first step, dribbling, passing, defensive sliding, change of directions, change of movements, footwork, and finishing. That’s eight skills in one drill! Furthermore, the T-Drill is versatile enough that you can incorporate dribble moves, different footwork, different finishes, a pull up jumper, etc.  These are exactly the type of drills and the type of training that all basketball players need to increase their skills along with their basketball specific speed and agility.


Basketball Speed and Agility Focus Points

When training for basketball it is important to consider  a few important features that include starting speed, speed endurance, agility, and skill development.  Therefore basketball players need to train at distances that are game appropriate and at work to rest ratio that resembles the short breaks often taken in basketball.  During basketball games, players do not sprint for long distances nor do they have long periods of time to rest compared to their work capacity.  Breaks on dead ball situations, free throws, or time outs rarely last more than a minute.  The next item to consider when developing a basketball speed program is the specific changes of direction and movements that occur while playing the game.  It is imperative that you integrate sprints, slides, and backpedals at different angles and distances in order to model the game of basketball.  Finally, and arguably most importantly, skills need to be trained at the same time as speed and agility.  This requires some thought and creativity when it comes to drill development or selection.  However, doing so will make for a  much more efficient basketball training workout that will not only elevate your basketball skills, speed, and agility but also be fun, creative, and competitive and have you training like the pros.

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Basketball Speed and Agility Drills and Skills

Basketball Agility Training Videos



Basketball Shooting Coach: How To Find A Good One


Basketball Shooting Coach How To Find A Great One

Basketball Shooting Coach – Do You Need One?

Many players and families call or email us asking about their need for a basketball shooting coach. Sometimes it is a knowledgeable family and other times they are desperately seeking assistance on a problem without understanding the process and expertise that a basketball shooting coach can provide.

The Current State Of Basketball Shooting and Coaching

It is hard to say when it happened or even why it has happened but for some reason, we as a basketball culture have forgotten how important jump shooting is to the game of basketball.  Maybe forgotten is not the right word, maybe overlooked is more appropriate.  It would appear that in the AAU, Basketball Showcase driven world that American basketball has become there is more of a precedent placed on a player’s athleticism and their ability to drive to the basket.  Perhaps this is a direct result of the watered down AAU, travel team market where with virtually non-existent defenses, there is no need to shoot the basketball from the perimeter.  Or could it be that having “sick handles” and being able to break peoples’ ankles while going no where with the ball is much cooler than having the ability to shoot the ball with range?  Either way, we are disillusioned as a basketball culture and a quick glance at any youtube video showing Michael Jordan’s greatest game winners will reveal that they were all jumpers.  Why?  Because at the higher levels, basketball players play defense and they help off the ball making those once Red Sea-like driving lanes disappear in an instant, no matter how nasty your handles are.  With that in mind, it is imperative that if you have aspirations of becoming a good basketball player, it is in your best interest to add a good jump shot to your full compliment of basketball skills.

Becoming a great jump shooter will take personal work and a ton of repetitions and a good shooting instructor, all of which are hard to come by in the current basketball practice environment.  There is a gym time shortage in New Jersey (and I would guess in other parts of the country) that is limiting the amount of time a team can be in the gym on a weekly basis.  With too many teams vying for limited gym time spots, practice times are often between an hour and an hour and a half.  Consequently, team offense and team defense becomes the focal point of this shortened practice and little, if any, time is devoted to skill development, more particularly, jump shooting.  Furthermore, there seems to be a prevailing theory that jump shooting cannot be taught and that, “if they don’t have it by now, they never will.”  Unfortunately, this defeatist attitude shows a lack of expertise and laziness.  Last time I checked, the team with the most points at the end of the game wins and shooting the ball really well is a great way to be that team.  Fact is, any player can become a good jump shooter with a willingness to learn, a motivation to work, and solid instruction.  When I coached high school boys’ basketball for a decade shooting was an integral part of our daily practice plan.  Each day we spent a large portion of our practice time in offensive breakdown drills that got my players game shots at game spots at game speed.  This type of practice plan is a major reason why we, as a team, were consistently one of the highest scoring teams in our county.  I have now transferred this mentality over to the basketball training world where we spend a substantial time in each workout developing our players jump shots.  We do this by breaking down their jump shot and teaching them solid jump shooting mechanics including, but not limited to how to properly release the ball, how to shoot with arch, and how to shoot in rhythm.  These techniques and more have enabled some of the players who train with us at Elite Basketball Training to go on to play at high level institutions like Rider, Villanova, Bentley, and UPenn where they continue to contact me regularly with jump shooting questions and to seek help fixing their shots when in a slump.


What Basketball Shooting Coaches Can Provide

Lack of gym time and a team oriented practice combined with inexperience on the part of the coaches, who in many cases are well meaning volunteers, make for a bad situation when it comes to being a great jump shooter.  However, the good thing is that there is plenty of other time in your week to work on your jump shot and there are some really amazing shooting instructors out there that are ready and willing to help you become the knock-down jump shooter you have always wanted to be.  Becoming a great jump shooter requires a number of components that include the desire to become a good shooter, a willingness to work at it, and an inordinate amount of good repetitions.  However, none of these aspects are worth anything if you do not know how to shoot properly therefore making the most important aspect to becoming a good shooter is having a great shooting instructor.

Jump shooting is a skill, it is not something you are born with and a shooting instructor can provide you with the expertise to learn how to shoot the basketball properly.  One of the many problems with our society when it comes to jump shooting is that players are not taught the correct way to shoot the basketball, mainly because coaches don’t know how to or because they feel jump shooting cannot be taught.  This type of negligence has destroyed the jump shot of American players.  At Elite Basketball Training, we utilize the Pro Shot System, created by renowned shooting instructor, Paul Hoover as the basis for our shooting philosophy.  When I first met Paul over three years ago it was during the NBA playoffs and he encouraged me to read his book and I did.  The interesting part about it is that as I was reading the book I had the chance to witness first hand the techniques he describes in his book by watching the NBA playoffs and I could not believe my eyes.  Almost all of the information that I had learned in my 25 years of playing and coaching basketball was wrong.  I could not believe this but it was true.  How could over two decades of knowledge be wrong?  The game of basketball has evolved, so has the jump shot and unfortunately we as coaches and trainers failed to evolve along with it.  I was guilty of this up until that point three years ago when I read Coach Hoover’s book.  After that, I personally got in the gym and changed my jump shot to fit the techniques of the Pro Shot System.  Furthermore, we began using our own spin on this system with all of our basketball players that train at Elite Basketball Training which has produced tremendous results with many of the players who train with us leading their teams in three point shots made or being ranked in the state for most three pointers made in a season.


Basketball Shooting Coach Philosophy Here At Elite Basketball Training

At Elite we focus on four key components of the jump shot which include: the release; the dip;  the set up; and the sweep and sway.  Each of these components have their own purpose and are taught in the order they are listed above.  The release, which includes the index finger release and the off hand in to help keep the ball straight.  The dip adds rhythm and power.  The set up insures that you will be in the proper position on the catch or off the dribble so that your hips and shoulders can work together to release tension and create a smooth jumper.  Finally, the sweep and sway builds on the correct set up and will allow the player to shoot with arch and from a deeper range.  All of these components when combined create the perfect jump shot that has been modeled after the great jump shooters in the NBA and college.  These professional players have learned the proper way to shoot the ball and have become great through thousands of repetitions.  This is no different for any player who trains with us at Elite Basketball Training.  In order to become a great jump shooter, it takes an open mind and a willingness to change your jump shot based on the correct shooting form that we teach.  It is imperative that a player has proper form before they go any further.

Basketball Shooting and Coachability

More often than not,  players come to us with awkward shooting form that needs to be changed.  Being willing to change requires a player to be coachable.  They must listen to their instructor’s cues and make changes based on the coach’s instruction.  Doing so, is the only way to overcome the thousands of bad reps that have produced their current inconsistent jumper.  I currently work with a nine year old player who is arguably the most coachable player I train.  No matter what I tell him to do, he will consistently make the adjustment on the next repetition.  Because of this, he has one of the best jump shots not only for his age but just in general.  His father recently told me how he get complimented all the time, saying that his son’s jumper is so advanced.  Much of this has to do with the technique that he learns through our training but more of the credit is on him as a player for being so coachable.  This young player gets it.  He knows that being a good jump shooter takes time and effort.  Ultimately, players have to accept the fact that they will miss shots, in some cases a lot of them, but if they look past the misses, are coachable, and trust the process the result in the end will be a much more consistent jump shot. 

Jump shooting overall has taken a hit and our basketball society has produced more poor jump shooters than good ones.  This is a byproduct of a number of things that include a lack of gym time, which forces coaches to eliminate skill development from their practice and limited expertise on the key aspects of jump shooting and how to teach it. There is also a prevailing theme that if a player can’t shoot, then they never will be able to.  We at Elite Basketball Training do not subscribe to this philosophy, and know that all players can learn to become better jump shooters with a few key changes.

Basketball Shooting Keys To Improvement Thru Coaching

Primarily, you need a good basketball shooting instructor, a willingness to change and being coachable in order to break bad habits and learn proper technique.  Once you have the proper technique it then takes thousands of repetitions with good form in order to develop the muscle memory needed to shoot the ball correctly every time.  This, however, is not the end.  A player should continue to have a relationship with their shooting instructor throughout their career so that when and if you hit a shooting slump you can have them look at your jumper to make changes.  Despite all it has going against it, our poor jump shooting society can be changed.  Find the right instructor, get in the gym, and trust the process.  Doing so will eliminate those misses and start making swishes.

New Jersey Basketball Shooting Coach Rich Stoner has players from Holmdel, South Brunswick, Red Bank, Edison, Westfield, Clark, Middletown and beyond all come to Elite Basketball Training to hone their shot.  Call Rich today if you would like to learn more.



New Jersey AAU Basketball – Kobe Bryant’s Take

New Jersey AAU Basketball and Kobe

Looking For A New Jersey AAU Basketball Team?

Ouch, harsh criticism from five time champion and the third leading scorer in NBA history, Kobe Bryant, who lashed out recently against the juggernaut that is AAU basketball.  Kobe who, although being born in Philadelphia, was raised in Italy and trained in the European clubs with many of the same European players currently playing in the NBA.  Bryant, was trying to make the point that European basketball players were far more skilled than American players who grow up playing on the AAU circuit.  Bryant further states that AAU, “doesn’t teach our kids how to play the game at all so you wind up having players that are big and they bring it up and they do all this fancy crap and they don’t know how to post. They don’t know the fundamentals of the game. It’s stupid.” This is hard to disagree with, especially when you look at the defending NBA champion, San Antonio Spurs whose roster is filled with team first, fundamentally sound international basketball players.

AAU Basketball Is A Business

So why do we focus on AAU basketball in New Jersey and beyond?   It’s quite simple, America is the ultimate capitalist society and AAU is big business.  Unfortunately, big business doesn’t always translate into good basketball and many young American basketball players looking to get college exposure in the AAU scene end up getting exposed due too much game play and a lack of basketball skill and athletic development.

AAU Exposure vs. Getting Exposed by AAU

The above video always gets me to laugh.  Special thanks to Alan Stein for creating this video.  Remember, there is some truth in all jokes and this cartoon may have been made in jest but could not be more truthful.  Each weekend, players travel the country looking to play in big games at big time tournaments filled with an inordinate amount of basketball teams.  The majority of these teams are comprised of players  that are not skilled enough to play in these tournaments but have parents willing to pony up the big bucks necessary to join the team, travel, and stay in hotels every weekend.  Ultimately, people have unrealistic interpretations of their overall ability and consequently join AAU teams when they shouldn’t.  Because players may not be as good as they think they are and have joined the AAU circle, bad games are prevalent because teams with lesser skilled basketball players end up playing against top notch competition.

The results often prove to be the opposite of the original intention of exposure; players get exposed.  The AAU market is filled with too many teams created and filled with players that are not ready to play at that high of a level, but want to and do because everyone else is and God forbid you don’t play AAU basketball, your basketball life would cease to exist..  It’s okay to say that you are not a member of an AAU team, I promise, you’ll live especially if you turn your new found time into time in the gym developing your basketball skills, the real key to becoming a great basketball player.

Avoid Getting Exposed In AAU

So how do you avoid getting exposed on the basketball court?  “Teach players the game at an early age and stop treating them like cash cows… teach them the game. Give them instruction,” says Kobe Bryant.  European basketball players are more skilled than American basketball players because the focal point of their development as a basketball player is skill development, not game play.  It is impossible to develop your skills while playing games.  Skill development requires repetition and a lot of it.  Let me clarify, if you are looking to become a great jump shooter, then you need to take hundreds, yes hundreds, of jump shots a day. Ask yourself, how many shots you got off last game?  Five…maybe 10.  Either way, it is a far cry from the number you need to get up in order to improve, and that is exactly what Kobe Bryant is talking about.  Sure you are looking for exposure, but if you do not have the necessary skills, then AAU basketball is not your solution, basketball skill development is.  You would be more likely to receive a college scholarship if you can shoot the ball lights out while being able to handle and pass the basketball.  All of these skills cannot be achieved in the few menial reps that you get in your AAU basketball games.  They come with hard work, logging gym hours on your own while getting the necessary repetitions to turns weakened skills into a strength.

Chances are you are planning on looking for an AAU team to play on this spring or are already doing so right now.  If that is the case, step back for a minute and realistically evaluate yourself as a player.  Can you dribble, pass, and finish with both hands?  Can you go out on the court and make 70% of your jump shots from mid-range and beyond without a defender?  Do you have the speed, agility, strength and conditioning to elevate your play throughout the game, especially in crunch time? If you answers to these questions are, no then AAU basketball is not your solution, basketball training is.  Listen to Kobe Bryant, when he says how horrible AAU basketball is and how it is ruining your game.  Then get in the gym this winter, spring, summer, and fall and develop your basketball skills and athleticism.  You’ll be a much better player for it.  

Find this article interesting?  Learn what Charles Barkley thinks of New Jersey AAU Basketball and beyond.  Click on the picture below:

AAU Basketball in New Jersey Charles Barkley


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Basketball Agility Training Videos


Elite Basketball Training Offers An Alternative to New Jersey AAU Basketball “Development.”   Call us today to find share how we can help your game and let’s get started!