Friday, August 19, 2011

Can a Player Improve Overall Speed and Quickness?

By Kenny Robinson
     The one question that always comes up among coaches and parents is, "Can a player become quicker?" I sought the answer to this question while attending the Maryland Basketball Performance Clinic, Saturday, July 23rd, which was led by the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the University of Maryland’s basketball team, Kyle Tarp. It was a small group of about twelve to fifteen coaches who coach at the high school, college and/or club level. Some were strength and conditioning coaches, and others were basketball coaches. All of us were there because we wanted to find ways to improve the performance of our basketball players. Coach Tarp had a lot of great information, and the coaches themselves brought some great insight into our discussions on relevant training methods for basketball players.
            It is clear the freaky speed and athleticism we see in the elite basketball players is something they have been born with and no matter how much advance training we put our athletes through, they will never attain that kind of speed and quickness. However, can we make a player quicker and faster than he or she is today? No question. It had been demonstrated that with the right training, a player would improve his or her overall speed and quickness. Most of these results have to do with efficient running techniques that are specific to basketball, and overall speed development regimens that can be useful to all athletes.
            This past week in our daily Elite Basketball Training sessions I went over some of the techniques with the players, and in just a couple of sessions, you can see how important learning to move correctly and from the right position can have a significant impact on a player's ability to get to any spot on the floor quickly. Basketball is about changing directions quickly and instinctively. Just adding a half second in your ability to get from one spot to the next can be a strong determinant in playing time at the high school level and beyond. To learn more contact coach Kenny Robinson for upcoming speed clinics for basketball players ""

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How Bad Do You Want to Be Good?

By Kenny Robinson

"Kobe [Bryant] was the only guy on the bus to the gym, and that spoke volumes to me -- he's the best player in the game, yet he's always willing to come work on his game, so that kind of motivated me and Jeff," Durant said. "He went by himself, he got a lot of shots up, and by the time he was done you could see he had gotten better over that hour. Like I said, it was a big inspiration to me and Jeff."

 Kevin Durant on Kobe Bryant (

       A lot of players talk about how bad they want to be good. Most of it is just talk. I see players all the time that would rather be in the hallway with their girlfriends, playing video games or hanging out with their buddies. I see others who come to workouts and do just enough to get through it. They never push themselves and the whole time they are working out they are looking for ways to cut corners or are doing just enough to get by. 
      The players that are serious about being good basketball players are single focused and will walk to the gym in a blizzard on Christmas morning to work on their game.  Fundamental basketball skills are not something with which you are born; they are developed over many long hours, every day for weeks, months and years.
      Many young players are under the impression that playing AAU games over the summer will make them better and attract college coaches’ attention. AAU ball will get you AAU experience and some exposure, but your game will only improve when you are in the gym and going through drills and training regimens designed to make you better. 
      A good workout will be challenging, it will make you question your love for the game and it will expose every weakness or fault in your ability. This is one reason I admire prizefighters more than any other athlete. They understand the importance of putting in the work.  In the fight game, they are literally risking irreparable damage to the mind and body and in some cases their life every time they step into the ring.
        Young basketball players have to understand the most important impression is the first one, and if they are serious about reaching their potential as an athlete, they have to make sure that when the opportunity arrives, they are at their best; no excuses. Whether it is a high school tryout or an AAU game in front of the top coaches in the country, a bad game may put you at the bottom of the list or not on the list at all. One thing that is certain in sports is that the player you are going against is taking every opportunity he or she can to make you look bad. Good players never want to look bad especially in front of a crowd that is why they put in the work.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What Does Being in Basketball Shape Mean?

By Kenny Robinson

         Most ordinary people cannot answer that question. We can start by saying a player in basketball shape has the ability to play an entire game at full capacity without getting tired. He can perform offensively and defensively the same way whether it is the beginning of the game or the end. We can also say that even though he or she is getting pushed, bumped and shoved they can still make a big shot, go after a lose ball and sink a free throw at the end of the game.
            A good example of someone in superb basketball shape was Kemba Walker during his run through the Big East and NCAA tournament or, Dirk Nowitzki during the NBA finals as he had to make one big shot after another in the final minutes of the game to give his Mavericks a chance to win. These are elite players and they have come to understand the importance of being in tip-top basketball condition and they hire the best in the off-season to get them ready.
            You can build your fitness base by running, cycling, lifting weights and other exercises, but the only way to get in basketball shape is on the court doing drills, playing basketball and pushing yourself. My college coach would always say “you can’t get better until you are too tired to workout because anybody can be good when they are fresh. The problem is the game is determined at the end when everyone is tired.” Trust me, he made sure we were in basketball shape. The main point to my coach’s statement is that basketball is an instinctive game and only repetition from hard work will allow your muscles to react instinctively and automatically in the heat of the game.
            One of our players whom has been working out with us the past couple of weeks went to a DC Assault practice and the coaches were so impressed by his conditioning and skill development that he has been asked to go to Orlando, Florida to play with them in the AAU exposure tournament against some of the top players in the country. 
            The word is getting out about our workouts because we are filled to capacity. Players are finding out quickly that if you want to get in the best shape of your life and improve your basketball skills then our workouts is where you have to be. Coach Kenny and his “Original Bull Dawg” staff are kicking butts and improving player’s games.
            Not only are we working guys out on the court five days a week, the truly serious are heading over to our facility to take part in the twice a week strength and training workouts. This kind of training regimen is not for everyone, only those who are serious about reaching his or her potential as a basketball player. It is your summer and your time don’t wait until tryouts start this Fall and say “ I wish I had worked out a lot harder during the summer.”  These guys will be running past you like you are standing still.

Only a few slots are left for the summer. Do not be left out… Contact us at to see if space is available. for more details.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Are You Interested in Playing College Basketball?

 Here is some important information that you must understand…
High school basketball is one step toward your dreams to play college basketball.   If you want your game to stand out amongst all the other basketball talent there are some things you need to consider after you have mastered the ability to play great defense, developed your quickness and explosiveness, shoot the basketball, drive to the rim and score with contact and make the free throws. 
Most good basketball players miss out on being recruited by D1 or D2 colleges because they have not met the eligibility requirements by the NCAA Clearinghouse.
The NCAA has five major requirements to be considered eligible to play DI or DII college basketball:
1)      Student Athletes must maintain a minimum 2.0 G.P.A. in all approved core classes.  
2)      Student athletes must complete all of their high school core classes. Core classes are courses that have been approved by the NCAA that meet academic standards.  The NCAA Clearinghouse approves courses in the following categories – Social Studies, Math, Natural or Physical Science and English.   In order to get approved for Division l college status a student must complete a minimum of 16 core classes.  Division II requires a minimum of 14 core classes:
16 Core Course Requirement for Division l
4 years of English.
3 years of mathematics (Algebra I or higher).
2 years of natural/physical science (1 year of lab if offered by high school).
1 year of additional English, mathematics or natural/physical science.
2 years of social science.
4 years of additional courses (from any area above, foreign language or nondoctrinal religion/philosophy).
14 Core Course Requirements for Division II: (Note: Beginning August 1, 2013 NCAA Division II will require completion of 16 core courses.)
3 years of English.
2 years of mathematics (Algebra I or higher).
2 years of natural/physical science (1 year of lab if offered by high school).
2 years of additional English, mathematics or natural/physical science.
2 years of social science.
3 years of additional courses (from any area above, foreign language or nondoctrinal religion/philosophy).
3)      Student Athletes must meet the minimum score requirements for ACT or SAT. Division I qualifying scores are based on a “sliding scale”.  The higher your academic G.P.A. the lower your ACT/SAT scores.  The lower your academic G.P.A. the higher your ACT/SAT score needs to be.  For example:  If student has core G.P.A. of 3.550 & above they have to have a minimum SAT score of 400 (verbal and math) or minimum ACT score of 37.  However, if a student has a core G.P.A. of 2.00 they must have a minimum SAT score of 1010 or minimum ACT score of 86.
Division II doesn’t have a sliding scale.  Student Athletes must have a minimum SAT score of 820 (verbal and math) or minimum ACT sum score of 68.
4) Graduate from high school!
5)      Maintain amateur status per NCAA rules.  This is an important issue.  Players can not accept monetary gifts or play at a professional level.
When is the best time to register for NCAA Eligibility?
The NCAA states a player must register at the NCAA Eligibility Center at the beginning of their junior year in high school ( It is important to make sure you keep your NCAA portfolio up-to-date on a regular basis so that colleges or universities will have the most recent information about you.  Your high school counselor also needs to send your transcripts to the NCAA Eligibility Center after you complete six semesters of coursework.
It is important that you understand NCAA eligibility requirements if you plan to pursue DI or DII college basketball.  Do not wait for a coach or a friend to do this for you. Take responsibility for your career. To learn more about the NCAA Eligibility Center visit  For NAIA schools go to

At Bull Dawg Basketball Training we can help you with your game and we can provide counseling on meeting your eligibility requirements. Contact Kenny