Summer time is the perfect opportunity to build skills.  Here are three crucial areas to focus on this summer with ideas and suggestions for ways to improve.

Getting better is a choice!  Take the time to invest in your game this summer and reap the rewards next basketball season!



The 70’s and the 80’s were the years of the motion offense or passing game.  The primary method of ball movement was the pass, not the dribble.  In fact, some offenses restricted players to one or two dribbles per possession.  The numbered fast break also played a role in diminishing the importance of the dribble.  “Get the ball to the point guard!” the coach used to scream.

All this has changed.  The game of the late 90s and 21st century is “spread and attack.”  Penetrate the paint, get to the hoop, spread the floor and create one on one opportunities are the skills emphasized in today’s game.
The dribble is back “big time.”  Every team needs at least one great dribbler.  A player who can attack the press defense, get through the traps, and create a numbers advantage for the offense will be a strong asset to their team.  Today’s dedicated athlete must make the dribble a high priority.

Develop the ability to use either hand equally well; eliminate hand favoritism.
Pound the ball into the floor—dribble the ball hard.
Use the off arm as a shield not a limp noodle—iron off arm.
Keep your head up, and your eyes on the goal or your eyes in the eyes of the defender.
Change speeds and change directions.  Be unpredictable in your movement.  Do not develop a rhythm.
The dribble ends in a two-foot stop with the exception of running lay-ups and hook shots.

The pass is basketball’s most neglected skill.  I would say that the most important tip I can give you is for you to fake a pass, and then make your pass every time that you pass.  You must be deceptive in your passing technique.  If you “telegraph” your pass, you will turn the ball over.  Grit your teeth when making a pass.  You will be more focused.

Over Head Pass
Cross-Step Pass Left
Cross-Step Pass Right
Bounce Pass Left
Bounce Pass Right.
Hook Pass
Baseball Pass
1-2-Down – Through Pass

The chest pass is not taught because it is rarely performed against defense
1-2-Down-Through is the foundation.
Palms in, and fingers to the ceiling on all catches eliminates broken fingers.
The cross step pass makes a player three feet taller and beats defensive pressure.
Ball fakes must be strong and deliberate to be effective.
Bounce passes made to bounce waist high (occurs by passing 2/3rd of distance to receiver).
Bounce passes should be made with back spin on the ball.
Passes must be made to receiver’s outside hand.
Receiver must call for the ball and show a hand target where the ball is to be delivered.
Passing in opposite direction of the dribble is not acceptable.

The key to mastering your shot is repetition.  Repetition of the perfect shot.  People, especially people in western civilization, expect immediate results.  When attempting to improve any aspect of our basketball game, we expect to get better NOW.  Asian culture teaches youth to love repetition.  The piano player in Japan prefers to practice one song 1000 times so they can play it perfectly.  Youth in the USA tend to want to play 1000 songs one time without regard to perfection.

T I M E” spells “great shooter.”  “A L O N E” is the necessary discipline to become a pure shooter.  Spinach is a term that refers to the repetition of your shooting motion without using a basket.  Spinach is just you and your basketball.  By practicing your shooting form many times every day you will perfect your form and teach your muscles to shoot correctly.  I can tell you this from experience, the feeling that comes from making a clutch shot in a key game more than makes up for the hundreds of hours you put into your shot.


Focus intensely on every practice shot.
1 position: hand in front of body palm up…index middle finger on seams; V on heel of hand.
2 position: ball in jump shot position; elbow shoulder high; wrinkles on wrist guide hand touches ball and moves about 2” off ball.
3 position: hold your hand in the “cookie jar.”
You must be able to shoot ball in front of you or directly behind you.
Your goal is to learn to have perfect form and shoot the ball softly.

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