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.