When Kyrie Irving does a crossover dribble, it often happens in a flash. When he dribbles through his legs, behind his back, spins, or puts together a flurry of several dribble moves, it all happens so quick it’s a blur. Barry Sanders was the same way as a running back in football. He would dart in and out, hesitate, then explode and change directions so quick, he would leave defenders flatfooted and grasping for the air.
A highly skilled basketball player with a great shot will tell you that he knows whether or not the ball is going in the basket, the second the ball leaves his or her hand. This is because the player has shot enough good shots and bad shots to easily feel the difference between the two.
Learning to Stop Quickly
One of the very first skills that I taught to kindergarteners and first graders when I taught physical education was the skill of stopping. I’m sure that a lot of people believe that the ability to stop doesn’t really need to be taught because anyone can stop. I would agree that nearly anyone can stop, but I would also be quick to point out that not everyone can stop quickly and maintain perfect balance. This is especially true when having to stop from a full out sprint. Continue reading Stop
One of the linemen on the Carolina Panthers who are headed to the Super Bowl this year, is a player by the name of Michael Oher who plays left tackle. A movie was actually made that focused on Michael Oher called the Blind Side. One reason the movie was called the Blind Side was because left tackles often have the biggest role in fending off defensive rushers from attacking the quarterback’s left side, which due to the way a right handed quarterback sets up to pass, is usually his blindside. When the left tackle does his job really well, the best thing a quarterback can do is to trust his blockers and focus on finding receivers. If he doesn’t trust his left side pass protection, he will keep looking back over his shoulder for fear that defensive rushers are attacking from behind. Of course a quarterback will lose focus on finding open receivers and find it much more difficult to pass effectively under these conditions. Continue reading Trust, Don’t Worry
In Major League baseball, it is not unusual for a coach to assign players to positions and have a relatively small amount of change in relationship to who plays those positions throughout a season. Of course there is an exception to this when it comes to the pitcher. A team may have the same short stop all season long. This is true of just about any position, except pitchers. Pitchers are constantly changed in order not to wear down their throwing arm. They are also changed when the opposing team is bombarding them with hits and runs. Continue reading Strategic Change
He Didn’t Look Athletic
I knew five Jeff’s from middle school and high school. All of them were good athletes, and one was a super athlete. He looked athletic, and he was athletic. He dominated middle school sports competition and rewrote records in cross country and track and field. But there was another Jeff that I want to focus on. This Jeff had kind of a pudgy appearance. He was on the short side and had stubby legs. He really didn’t look athletic but he was. Jeff played football, basketball, and baseball for the school teams, plus he played in a city hockey league. He didn’t just play, he excelled. Continue reading Don’t Let Your Look Stop You
A Laser-Like Blur
It is not uncommon for professional tennis players to hit a tennis ball well over 100 miles per hour. The best players make it look as though it’s easy to return blistering serves and powerful forehand and backhand shots, but if you’ve ever been on a tennis court with a player who can hit with the speed of a professional, it’s a whole different perspective. Those shots seem like a laser-like blur that’s suddenly gone almost before you ever have time to see it. Continue reading A Gentle Answer
In the 1960 summer Olympics, New Zealand suddenly came into the spotlight due to three runners who made it to the medal stand. Peter Snell won a gold medal in the 1,500 meter run, Murray Halberg won a gold medal in the 5,000 meter run, and Barry Magee won a bronze medal in the Marathon. Each runner had one thing in common, they were all coached by Arthur Lydiard. Continue reading Champions
Within the arena of sports, coaches are always in search for great talent. Some people believe that great talent is a guarantee to a winning team, but there are coaches who have gone after extreme talent, only to be bitten by the prize winning catch that they reeled in. Continue reading Great Talent or Great Influence?
In the 1980’s and 90’s, the Bulgarian weight lifters dominated the rest of the world in the highest levels of competition. Many people within weight lifting circles wondered what it was that led to their incredible strength. Eventually, some American coaches were invited to Bulgaria to take a peak at how the Bulgarian weight lifters trained. They were shocked. Continue reading It’s ok to be Wrong if You’re Right