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East Jessamine Lady Jaguars Basketball
Coach Ralph Sallee
PO Box 447
Nicholasville, Kentucky
  Basketball Tips  

Being Overly Excited
Basketball Tip - April 24, 2002

If you are overly nervous, excited or aroused during a game, you are likely not to perform at your best. For example, you will likely miss shots you normally make at practice and turn the ball over with passes that go astray. First of all, you should understand that being overly excited or aroused is something that most players experience, particularly those who are just beginning to play competitive basketball.

Second, there are things that you can do to help:

Understand that experience will help you to become less nervous, that is, the more you play the less nervous you will become;

Do not worry or think about whether you will play well or badly. Just concentrate on playing, that is, know your job, and do your job. For example, when shooting a free throw, concentrate on the shot, not on whether or not you will make it;

Do not worry or think about what your teammates, coach, parents, or friends think about your play. Doing so is a distraction. Concentrate only on the game. Lose yourself in it and just play;

Do not hurry. When executing a play option, make sure that you execute each step of that play option in the proper sequence. For example, when ending a dribble, make sure that you stop in balance before you execute a pass or a shot.

This tip was contributed by Vic Pruden. Click here for more tips like this.

Improving Your Shooting Percentage
An Overview
Having a technically sound movement pattern is a very important component of shooting (see my tip the Basic Jump Shot). Just as important, however, are certain mental abilities. These are concentration, confidence, and relaxation.

Shooting requires single-mindedness, that is, the ability to shut everything out of your mind, except the immediate task at hand. That task is putting the ball into the basket.

To help you develop this ability, you must develop a narrow external focus. Once you decide to shoot, you must concentrate on only a specific target. If you are shooting a lay-up, focus on a spot on the backboard so that, when the ball hits that spot, it will fall down into the basket. If you are shooting directly at the basket, focus on a pinpoint spot on the back rim which is directly opposite to you. In either situation, focus on that spot until after the ball has left your shooting hand and is well on its way. Once you decide to shoot, do not let anyone or anything disrupt that focus. To develop this ability practise focusing each time you shoot.

You must believe that each time you shoot you will score. Knowing that you are doing the 'right things' will help you sustain and nurture this attitude. Doing the 'right things' is knowing that the execution of every shot is consistent with its technically sound movement pattern and taking the good shot. An example of taking a good shot is shooting one similar to ones that you consistently make in practice.

Accurate shooting requires a high degree of flow, that is, your shooting motion should be smooth, continuous and quick. Consequently, when shooting, your muscles should be relaxed and all the joints should be loose.

It is very difficult to relax when you are unsure or hesitant. Being unsure or concerned about whether or not you will make the shot also makes it very difficult to concentrate.

This ability to relax is closely related to being able to concentrate on your shot and to having a feeling of confidence.

Questions/Comments? email:

This tip was contributed by Vic Pruden. More tips like this one can be found at

Friday, February 15
Increasing Vertical Jump

A Basic Exercise
The simpliest way to increase your vertical jump is to jump. A basic exercise is squat jumping. To limit strain to the ankle and knee joints, avoid doing this exercise on a hard surface, such as concrete.

A Caution! Do not overdo it. Do not overwork your knee, ankle, and hip joints by either doing excessive repetitions or using too great a resistance. This caution applies particularly to players who are not yet in high school. As soon as possible, talk to a fitness expert who can design a program that is appropriate for your particular age, height, weight, and strength characteristics.

The Starting Position
Stand with your feet shoulder width, with your weight distributed evenly. Squat until your thighs are nearly parallel to the floor. Raise your arms sideways until the elbows are shoulder height. Bend your elbows so that your forearms and your upper arms form an angle slightly less than 90 degrees. Both forearms are inclined forward at about a 45 degree angle.

Squat Jumps
Explode upwards as high as you can, straightening your arms as you jump. Return to the starting position and repeat. Do this eight times in rapid succession. Rest and repeat the set, that is, do the same exercise, jumping eight times.

You can gradually increase the number of sets or the number of repetitions.

Jumping against a resistance - You can do squat jumps against a resistance. Fill a flexible container, like a rubber tube, with sand. Place it across your shoulders. Do the squat jump exercise (2 sets at 8 reps). Gradually increase the number of sets and the weight. The weight you use depends on your age and leg strength. Generally, the younger you are, the lighter the weight. Again, do not overdo it!

This tip was contributed by Vic Pruden. More tips like this one can be found at

Thursday, January 17
Fatigue Free Throws
Basketball Tip - January 15, 2002

As we all know, free throws are an important fundamental and must be practiced every day. This drill allows you to combine free throws with conditioning, thus maximizing your gym time. It also simulates game situation free throws as players are shooting them while winded. We do this drill every day.

3 players and 1 basketball per hoop. Players need to remember the rotation: Rebound-Run-Shoot. Player 1 goes to the line for 2 free throws. Player 2 rebounds for player 1. Player 3 SPRINTS 1 lap around the OUTSIDE of the court. Upon comletion of the lap, player 3, now fatigued, steps to the line for two free throws. Player 1 rebounds, player 2 sprints a lap. The rotation continues for 10 minutes. If you insist that players sprint hard and stay outside the court (no cutting corners), you'll find that the timing works out almost perfectly.

Also, after 10 minutes of this drill, the players should be sufficiently winded and will have gotten in about 25 free throws each.

This tip was contributed by Coach Jim Boliver . More tips like this one can be found at

Saturday, December 22
An Overview
To avoid having passes intercepted or deflected, you must read the defense
and release the ball at the appropriate time.

Reading the Defense
When passing to a teammate, you must learn to see the defense, that is, be
aware of the those opponents who are in a position to intercept the pass.
Whether or not you execute the pass depends on what your opponents do when
you initiate it. For example, if, as you initiate a pass, an opposing
player moves to block the passing lane, do not execute the pass. Check out
my tip in the Offense category, Initiating and Executing.

Knowing what your teammate, the intended receiver, is likely to do next,
that is, when and where he/she will likely call for the ball, will help
you to focus on what the defense is doing.

Passing at the Right Time
It is very important to pass so that the receiver and the ball arrive at
the same moment at the spot on the court where the pass is to be caught.
For example, the opposing team is pressing. You have the ball in the back
court. A teammate cuts into the middle lane, coming to a stop 15 to 20
feet ahead of you. The ball should arrive just as the cutter is stopping.
Passing it after the cutter stops provides an opponent with more time in
which to move into the passing lane.

The Tip in the Passing Category, Tips for Improving Passing, will also
give you some ideas about how to be an effective passer.

This tip was contributed by Vic Pruden. More tips like this one can be found at Basketball Tips

Basketball Tip of the Week for December 7, 2001

An Overview
To be an effective team player, you need to learn to see the entire court in front of you. No matter which position you play and no matter where you are on the court, this ability is essential. To develop the skill, you must constantly exercise your peripheral vision, that is, your ability to see what is not only directly in front, but also to each side of you. To test your peripheral vision, stand directly in front of the basket at mid-court. Raise both hands sideways to shoulder height. Can you see the basket and both hands at the same time?

Players who can see only what is directly in front of them are said to have tunnel vision.

Seeing the Court on Offense
No matter where you are on the court, you should at all times "see" your basket, that is, the one at which your team is shooting. Especially at the moment you get the ball, by seeing the basket, you will also see what is happening between you and your basket. So, if a teammate is open, you can pass him/her the ball, particularly if that teammate is unguarded and cutting to the hoop.

When advancing the ball with a dribble, you must be able to dribble without thinking about dribbling or about the opponent who is guarding you. This will free you to see the court, ready to pass to a teammate who is open.

Only when you pass or shoot should your focus shift from seeing the court to executing that pass or shot.

Seeing the Court on Defense
When guarding an opponent who does not have the ball, you should see him/her and the opponent who has the ball. To do this, do not focus only on your opponent or on the player with the ball. Focus on a point between the two. This action will help you to see both the ball and your opponent. Of course, by seeing the court, that is, having a broad external focus, you will be able to see what is happening in front of you. This will enable you to help your teammates. For example, an effective defensive player is ready to block the passing lane to the player he/she is guarding, and can also block the passing lanes to his/her teammates.

When guarding a player with the ball, your focus should narrow, that is, most of your focus should be on the player you are guarding. It should be broad enough, however, to forewarn you of screens, particularly a screen from the side.

Changing Your Focus
To play effective basketball you must also be able to change your focus rapidly and constantly from seeing the court to executing a particular action, such as intercepting a pass or executing a shot.
This tip was contributed by Vic Pruden. More tips like this one can be found at Basketball Tips

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