Slumps happen. They are as inexplicable as they are inevitable. Often we have no idea how they happen or why they stop, and usually it seems to be outside of our control. For me, it happened in one of the most important games I ever played in college. It was our conference championship game, and if we won, we would earn a berth in the national tournament.
In 2002 I chose to transfer from my first college to the University of Alberta, a team I thought could win the National Championship. The U of A had won it all the previous year, and I wanted to win badly. I knew they were returning all five starters, but I believed in my skills and my work ethic. I knew I could break into the starting line up.
A zone defense should be one player guarding the ball and four players helping guard the ball. However, in youth basketball, zone defense turns into one player jumping out of position and reaching for steals while teammates stand and watch it happen. Most youth players have yet to develop strong man-to-man defensive skills, and so many youth coaches and teams tend to default to a zone in order to get cheap wins instead of developing long-term, winning basketball habits.
Today, I want you to consider not only how to get the most out of your ONE mind, but how to take advantage of all three of your minds. Wait, three? Yes, each of us has three minds with which we learn and teach. Learning to access each mind—whether you’re an athlete or coach—will impact how quickly you improve and DRASTICALLY affect how well you perform.
THINK THE GAME
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“Players under pressure revert back to their deeply held habits”. In a big game, against tough defense you will see what type of player you are. You will see what your habits are. Every time I step into a gym almost every athlete looks the same; a little out of control, a little weak with the ball, makes a few too many mistakes, and hardly ever has a plan.
Comer was the conductor of the face moving train that was the FGCU offense. He orchestrated two masterpiece games as a play maker that should be emulated by young point guards everywhere. His ability to create plays in all situations was THE difference for Florida Gulf Coast. Comer creates in four primary ways as a point guard and when he is at his best, like he was the first weekend, all four are clicking on all cylinders.
The first time I played in a professional basketball game in Greece I was shocked by the speed. I was not shocked by the speed of the players running up and down the court or by the quickness of the guards, but I was shocked by the speed of the ball. Nothing in my basketball training had prepared me to for the speed of the ball movement. The biggest difference between youth basketball, high school, college and professional basketball is the speed of the passing.