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How Thorough is Your Basketball Training Program?

The Most Thorough Basketball Training Program The

As you know, at Elite Basketball Training, we strive to be the most thorough basketball training program in New Jersey. It is for this reason that I offer both basketball skill development, sports performance training, and nutrition and supplement advice to all of the basketball players that train with me. This approach will insure that the players that come out of my basketball training program will have the complete package on the basketball court. To break this down even further, each Elite Basketball Training workout is as thorough as they come and cover all facets of the game including ball-handling, attacking and finishing off the dribble, passing, shooting, cutting, reading the defense and reacting to your read. Sound like a lot? It is, but it is well worth it. In fact, last week I heard one of the parents tell his son, “You learn more in one session here than you do in your whole season with you team.”  I thought that was such an amazing compliment for my basketball training program and it got me thinking about how thorough a basketball training workout should be.

European Skill Development vs. American Game Play

When I sit down to design my basketball skill development workouts, I do so with the purpose of developing the most well rounded basketball players that I can. These multi-skilled players have proven to be the most successful players on the basketball court. Having played, coached and studied the game of basketball for over two decades I am off the opinion that they way Europeans develop their basketball players is a far better approach to skill development than our current AAU/Travel team model here in America. Instead of play, play, play like we do here in the states, the Europeans focus on skill development with drills and repetitions in order to learn the game of basketball. It is for this reason that foreign born players have more overall skill than the American players who often rely on their athleticism. It is also the reason that my workouts are so thorough and cover so many aspects of the game of basketball.

Progressive Approach to Skill Development

At Elite Basketball Training, we have a progressive approach to basketball skill development. That is to say that each skill that we learn builds upon previous skills. Not only that, each individual workout is progressive as well and each skill and drill covered in the workout builds on the previous one. For example, in a recent workout, we covered finishing off one leg. We began by teaching this skill and explaining its purpose. From there the players worked on form finishing off one leg striving to execute proper form at about 60% of their game speed in single leg layups, reverse layups, inside hand finishes, etc. From there, we incorporated these finishing moves into an attack drill that forced them to go at game speed. Finally, the players were asked to finish with contact in order to make the drill more game like. I refer to this method as the “form, speed, contact” method and it plays right into our progressive mentality. Furthermore, at the next workout, we will review these finishes and then add single leg counter move finishes which would be the next series in the progression. We have found that this progressive teaching philosophy works far better than throwing together a hodge podge of drills you happen to find on youtube.

Teach the Game and Build Basketball IQ

Aside from the most obvious skills like dribbling, passing, and shooting there are less obvious skills that also need to be developed that include reading the defense and building your basketball IQ. Both fall into the category of “teaching the game” and are always a part of our Elite Basketball Training workouts. For example, in the last two weeks of our Saturday Skills Training program we have been covering reads off of a narrow pin down. Following our progressive teaching philosophy, in week one we taught a stop and go cut with reads that you can make coming off a curl. This began with a tight curl because the defender was trailing and there was no help and advanced to two different wide curl reads. The following week we proceeded to flare cuts out of the same narrow pin down and how to make moves and countermoves out of that cut by reading the defense.  This, teaching of the game, builds players’ basketball IQ and is vital to their success on the court. A player’s knowledge of the game will serve to elevate their play by making them more open than just relying on sheer athletic ability. It’s part of the reason why all time greats like Chris Mullin and Larry Bird were so amazing. They were basketball savants along with having amazing individual skills.

Tips on How to be Thorough With Your Basketball Workouts

  • Let basketball skill development be the focus of your training and game play be the cherry on top.
  • Teach skills progressively. Build on each skill within the workout and then move forward when the players have mastered the skill.
  • Teach the game. Include basketball IQ building drills into each and every workout.


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