Basketball Tips – Introduction to Defence

Continuing in our series on playing the game – more tips from Lindsay Gaze and Betterbasketball –

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The era when a team expected to win with offence alone has passed. The only way to win consistently is to play alert, restricting defence. Defence is the great equaliser, the instrument that enables the underdog to rise to the heights against athletically superior opponents. It is the chief characteristic of the champion and the trademark of the underdog. Defence wins championships.

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If a player is sound defensively he can contribute to the team effort by containing his man. He must work conscientiously all the time and put a maximum effort into the defensive drills, which must be practiced regularly.

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More coaches these days spend more time working on defence than ever before and a greater variety of defences are used to combat improving offensive skills and team tactics. Teams may vary tactics from passive and conservative to aggressive and pressing. Young junior teams often choose to retreat close to the basket with only modest pressure on the ball-handler, relying on opponents not to shoot a high percentage. Others may choose to extend their defence well over the centreline to force errors or to disrupt the opposition’s offence.

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Before any team can use complex tactics to upset their opponents they must remember that a good team defence will depend on two qualities: the mental and the physical. Players must have a firm desire to play defence, they must concentrate totally and believe that saving a basket is just as rewarding as scoring a basket. Each player must be convinced of his ability to contain his man, to pressure him into making mistakes and to harass him to the point of desperation throughout the entire game. Many games are won when a sound defence forces opponents into errors that lead to steals and morale-boosting easy baskets.

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There are two basic defensive tactics: man-to-man and zone. In man-to-man defence each player sticks to his man, aiming to prevent him receiving a pass or harassing him continually if he has the ball. It may be desirable in certain man-to-man situations to switch opponents, particularly when the offence sets a screen. This requires good stance and positioning as well as good communication between the players.

With a zone defence each player is responsible for defending a particular area of the court. A zone defence usually allows the taller players to defend the area close to the basket and quicker players to defend around the perimeter.

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My advice to coaches of young teams is to stick with man-to-man defence until their players are thoroughly familiar with the execution of the defensive fundamentals. Many young teams get away with using zone defences because their opposition lacks skill and the ability to create easy scoring opportunities. But when they progress to tougher competition they often find their lack of defensive fundamentals will prevent them from improving.

One-on-one defensive drills should be run from all positions on the court: the forward spots on the wings, the point at the top of the keyway, the low and high posts and full court. Defensive drills are very physically demanding, but there are big rewards for those who work at them.

Source: betterbasketball.com.au

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

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Basketball Tips – Hook Shot

Since the advent of the jump shot fewer players are spending more time on developing the hook shot. But the hook shot is still and effective shot when taken close to the basket. Whilst it is usually a favourite weapon of the taller players all players should work on the skill so they can take full advantage of opportunities which otherwise might be wasted. A smaller player will often succeed with a hook shot, whereas a jump shot is more easily blocked by a taller opponent.

Perhaps the most famous exponent of the hook shot was Kareem Abdul Jabbar who, at over 217cm tall dominated the sport through his long career playing with the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA after winning three NCAA championships with UCLA. Kareem exploited the NBA rule that prohibited the use of zone defenses and in one on one situations became almost unstoppable using what commonly became known as “the sky hook” No player has taken over the mantel of hook shot specialist since Kareem retired although there are many players at all levels of the sport still using the hook shot effectively.

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In cases where a team is lucky enough to have a tall player who is being covered by a smaller opponent, it is a worthwhile tactic to set up the tall player close to the basket and let him work on his hook shot. If he is able to convert a high percentage, which he should if defended one on one, then you have a valuable asset. However it is more likely that the opposing team will call for defensive help against the tall player using double teaming tactics. This should open up opportunities for passes to team-mates and uncontested perimeter shots.

When making the hook shot the object is to receive the ball as close as possible to the basket and then keep the body between the ball and the defender. If the shot is taken with the right hand the shooter jumps off his left foot and keeps the ball close to the body with his elbow bent as he is jumping. The balance hand is used to protect the ball but will be released from the ball before it gets to about head height. Although the shot is normally commenced with the player’s back to the basket you should be facing the ring at the completion of the shot and upon landing be ready to follow the shot for a possible rebound. The hook shot may also be used following an offensive rebound. After recovering the ball from a rebound the player makes a strong cross-over step turning his back to the defender and then pivoting toward the basket while protecting the ball for the hook shot.

Source: betterbasketball.com.au

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

Nellakir – Setting the Standard in Sprung Timber Flooring

At Nellakir, the team are becoming increasingly busy with new projects. The Victorian State Government has funded a number of new Multipurpose Sports Courts in both new and existing schools as well as areas designated for Performing Arts, Assembly and multi-purpose usage. The flooring selected is sprung timber and sprung timber sports flooring, with Nellakir selected to construct and provide finishing on these specialist floorings.

The Beaumaris Secondary College is a new school in a well established area. It is a project currently funded to $26.8 million. Construction commenced in early 2017. The school will provide state of the art facilities for 650 year 7 to 12 students.

“The project will revitalise a rundown site to create facilities and an outdoor environment that can be enjoyed by everyone for generations to come.”

It will provide community facilities to be utilised by the broader community for both sporting and other pursuits. Listed among the facilities to be provided is an ‘Indoor Competitive Grade Netball/Basketball Court’. Nellakir have been selected to construct this court, ready for school commencement in Term 1, 2018. The Court will also be used for performing arts and gym activities. Work by Nellakir will commence at the end of September.

Phoenix P12 Community College in Ballarat is another Government School receiving an upgrade in facilities. A multi purpose area, for gym activities and a theatre for performing arts featuring a full stage will be constructed this year with the sprung timber flooring from Nellakir a major component.

Whitefriars College is an independent College for Boys located in Donvale in metropolitan Melbourne. Nellakir are providing sprung timber flooring for a Lecture Area and function space which doubles as a circulation classroom. Work will commence later in the year in December.

Viewbank College is another Victorian School currently undergoing a modernisation program sponsored by the Victorian School Building Authority. Part of this project involves the construction of a two storey performing arts centre incorporating a theatre as well as music and drama teaching facilities. Nellakir have been contracted to provide the flooring in the uniquely designed special purpose areas as part of this exciting project.

In Braybrook, at the Caroline Chisolm Catholic College, the new Madeline Centre for the Performing Arts is under construction. Nellakir have been selected to construct sprung timber flooring for the new facility.

And finally, the team will also be engaging in the demolition and renewal of the Sports Flooring at the Rowville Community Centre in the near future. A similar task is to be undertaken at Geelong East Primary School where a water damaged floor will be demolished and re-installed as soon as possible.

For the very best in Sprung Timber Flooring, whether Sports Flooring or for Performance Art, or simply for everyday educational purposes, Nellakir are the professional choice and as shown, the first choice by quality builders and architects alike. For your next project call Nellakir on (03) 9467 6126 to ensure you engage the best. Or contact us here through our website for a prompt response.

Nellakir – for Expert Construction and Programmed Maintenance of all Sports Flooring.

Basketball Tips – Set Shot

The first step in developing good shooting technique is to stand close to the basket about one metre from the back-board just slightly to one side of the ring. Set the ball in front of the face about level with the chin. For this basic shot the ball should rest in your right hand if you are right hand shooter and left hand if you are a left handed shooter.

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The other and is used merely to balance the ball and is placed at the side of the ball. The wrist of the shooting hand is flexed so the back of the hand is at a right angle to the forearm which should be in a vertical position, thus leaving the ball directly above the elbow. The knees should be slightly flexed with the right foot slightly in front of the other. The slight turn of the body will allow you to move the forearm, elbow and wrist in the same vertical plane and will help you keep your elbow close to your body.

Once you are in the set position the only movement prior to commencing the shot will be the knees bending slightly to establish a rhythm for the shot. The ball remains still and as the knees are straightened the elbow is raised with the wrist remaining flexed until the arm is fully extended toward the ring. At the top of the extension of the arm the wrist is snapped as the hand moves from its right angle position to the forearm to pointing downwards looking like what we call a “goose’s neck”. The ball should bounce softly off the backboard and fall to the bottom of the net. The “target” for the shooter in this position would normally be just inside the top right hand corner of the rectangle painted above the ring.

Source: betterbasketball.com.au

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

Basketball Committee Members and Officials! Get real value for money when building or restoring.

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There comes a time when organisations outgrow their facilities. The residential areas develop and there is now a need for 2, 4 or 6 extra courts to cope with new and expected demand. And the original court is tired. It no longer provides the bounce or traction required for high level competition. It’s time for an upgrade.

As an association, the officers and officials are responsible to the members. In the case of Basketball this means the various clubs that make up the local league or association. These clubs pay annual subscriptions and contribute weekly for the use of the association’s or league’s court facilities. This includes portable seating, sprung timber flooring, the change rooms, concession stands and all ongoing maintenance programs.

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New Courts, refurbishment of existing courts, annual maintenance and cyclical maintenance are significant costs. It is in fact the ‘members’ money that officials are spending. To get the best outcome, it’s imperative that Association or League bodies seek comparative quotations or Tenders. The process must be transparent and fiscally responsible. Without multiple quotations (at least 2 or 3) from reputable suppliers, builders and maintenance companies, there is no guarantee that the best option has been sought and found. Ultimately it exposes the Association or League to great risk if insufficient due diligence has been applied.

Look for a verifiable track record of performance with also companies under consideration. Establish financial parameters – insurance, capital base and signed off costings. Seek references on works completed or on the effectiveness of maintenance programs. Check on the viability and reputation of suppliers, their materials and then most importantly – the quality of the workmanship.

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It’s a major responsibility, legally binding, and one that should be taken seriously. All Government projects require the full compliment of the above information. There is a good reason for this. Think if it this way – it’s your responsibility as officials and office bearers to protect the game, its reputation and its future. Thousands of kids, their mums and dads, sisters and brothers will tread the courts you manage over this and future generations. Be diligent, be smart. Now Play Ball! – with confidence that you’ve done the right thing.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

The Jump Shot

When a player is a strong driver and can advance the ball quickly up the court defenders will tend to retreat away from the driver to prevent him from going all the way to the basket for an easy lay-up. The counter move for the offensive player is the jump shot. In recent years the jump shot has become the most potent weapon for the offense. Players have extended their effective range to well beyond the three point line making it even more difficult for the defense to counter the offensive strategies.

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When learning the jump shot remember to practice within comfortable range of the basket. And then gradually increase the range only after high percentage accuracy is achieved from the shorter distance. Once again it is very important that the correct footwork is used. It makes no difference if you are a left handed shooter or right handed the player must stop on the foot opposite to the dribbling hand. It is desirable to commence this shooting drill standing close to the basket as demonstrated for the set shot, but this time the pivot foot stays on the floor while the other steps into it to gather momentum for a jump. The player carries the ball up to the crown line of the head as he is jumping and then at the height of the jump releases the ball with one hand for the shot. The drill is repeated from both sides of the basket using the foot closest to the centre of the court as the pivot foot.

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After the player is able to make a high percentage of shots from close to the basket the drill is repeated from close to the free throw line except this time the player starts with a dribble. Regardless whether the player is right handed or left handed the footwork will be the same. Start close to the edge of the free throw line facing the basket with feet about shoulder width apart. The object is to take just one dribbler as the right foot hits the floor the ball hits the floor. Take possession of the ball as the left foot hits the floor then bring the right foot back to about shoulder width apart coming to a quick stop. The player should remain in a crouched position with the knees well bent and the back almost straight up. The eyes should be focused on the “target” all through the routine and after coming to a quick stop jump vertically releasing the ball with one hand at the height of the jump. In the same way as practiced close to the basket, the ball is raised to about the crown line of the head quickly during the jump. When making the dribble the player should be moving laterally to get used to squaring off to the basket with shoulders virtually parallel to the baseline at the point of release. Do not try to jump too high as this might unbalance the shot and when trying to jump too high the player is likely to raise the ball too high above his head and therefore reduce his effective shooting range.

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The drill is repeated from the other side of the keyway starting the dribble with the ball hitting the floor at the same time as the left foot hits the floor and this time stopping on the right foot for the quick jump shot. When the player is able to execute the shot after taking one dribble in either direction and stopping on the correct foot, it is then time to use more than one dribble. The emphasis is on always stopping on the inside foot, that is the foot closest to the center of the court, coming to a quick stop after squaring off to the basket, making a comfortable but aggressive vertical jump and releasing the ball with one hand at the height of the jump. Common mistakes are releasing the ball after the player has reached the height of his jump, leaving the non shooting hand on the ball for too long thus making the shot almost a two handed shot, releasing the ball too early and shooting off the wrong foot. The work spent on a young player getting the technique right in the early stages will pay good dividends for the rest of his basketball career.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

The Layup

More in our series on improving your game. We continue with Shooting and concentrate on  “The Layup”

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The lay-up shot is the easiest shot in the game to take and yet many players tend to make it more difficult than it should be. Beginning players will improve quickly if in the initial stages care is taken using correct footwork and shooting technique. The object of the lay-up shot is to get as close to the basket as possible before releasing the ball and then laying the ball softly off the backboard. The footwork and timing for the jump is important while the release of the ball is the same as explained for the set shot.

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Start at a point about 1m. outside the edge of the free throw line facing the basket with both feet about shoulder width apart. The object of the drill is to ensure the shot is taken using the correct footwork and timing.. The player should make just one bounce (dribble) of the ball while taking only three steps. As the player takes the first step with his left foot he bounces the ball so that the ball hits the floor at the same time as the left foot hits the floor. The player takes possession of the ball as the right foot hits the floor then jumps off the left foot to take the shot. The description is for a right handed shooter and the instructions are reversed for a left handed shooter. The main point of emphasis is the right handed shooter should jump of the left foot and a left handed shooter should jump off the right foot.

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Usually it helps if the young player is instructed to call out “left, right, left” as he works at the drill and exaggerates the way he “bangs” his feet into the floor while making his three steps. For some players it may seem a little embarrassing to exaggerate the steps and to call out the steps, but it helps the rapid learning process and it can be a bit of fun as well. The drill is repeated from both sides of the keyway, then after players are able to use the correct footwork the starting point can be beyond the three point line and more than one dribble is used. The emphasis remains that the players must shoot off the correct foot.

Source: betterbasketball.com.au

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.