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June 11th
 
EFFORT Is Basketball’s Secret Weapon
 

 

There’s no doubt that the game of basketball has grown in popularity, with more than 500,000 high school boys basketball players in the United States, according to the NCAA, and more than 400,000 girls basketball players in the U.S., there is indeed a LOT of competition.

Competing is what the game of basketball is all about. Yes, skill, development, and aptitude for the game itself are all important to succeeding on the basketball court, however, one of the most overlooked attributes is flat out EFFORT!

  • It takes EFFORT to dive for a loose ball.

  • It takes EFFORT to consistently box your man out.

  • It takes EFFORT to cut off the baseline to prevent an easy layup.

  • It takes EFFORT to beat the other team down the floor on defense and on offense.

  • It takes EFFORT to win games.

Youth Basketball Association specializes in bringing the best out of every player by providing top-of-the-line basketball training in Houston…and EFFORT is an area in which we definitely focus on.

As a matter of fact, the Cleveland Cavaliers first win over the Golden State Warriors in the 2017 NBA Finals was a testament to what plain EFFORT will do for you. With EFFORT being the key to their win, what happened Friday night with Cleveland’s 137-116 Game 4 trampling of the Warriors shouldn’t be a surprise.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were able to score the most points in a quarter and in a half in NBA history. In the first quarter they scored 49 points, and for the first half, they scored 86 points.

You see, the difference between the first three games and game four was simply EFFORT. There were….

  • No new players

  • No new coaches

  • No new game rules

  • No new clocks

  • No new nothing

EVERYTHING was the same as it has been. The only difference was the increased EFFORT the Cavs played with. As a basketball player, you should know and understand that having God-given talent is great, but effort is the thing that separates good players from great players. At Youth Basketball Association, we strive for greatness with great basketball training and development in Houston for all ages.

 

 
 
June 7th 
 
 

Defense Matters, KD is Proof of It

 

 

Regardless of how long you’ve played the game of basketball, there’s one phrase that I’m sure you’ve already heard, “Offense sells tickets, but DEFENSE wins championships.

Nothing could drive this point further than the recent play of Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant. Durant, during his entire career in youth/AAU basketball, college basketball at the University of Texas, and in the NBA, has always been known for his scoring ability.

However, no matter how many points he was able to score during his basketball career, he always came short of winning a championship. In knowing this, Durant, recently decided to take his game to the next level by focusing more on his defense.

Durant admits his transformation and acceptance of defensive responsibilities didn’t come naturally. It wasn’t until his old Thunder team reached the postseason for the first time and he immersed himself into the game-to-game video room that he understood more than offense.

“It started when I first made the playoffs in 2010, and once you go over scouting reports, defense is the only concern,” Durant said. “That’s when I started to realize how important defense is. I know that’s kind of late in my career, but that’s really when I started to focus in on the importance of getting a stop, rebounding – the other parts of the game outside of trying to make plays on the offensive end.”

So What’s the Result of Durant’s Focus on Defense?

After two games in the 2017 NBA Finals, Durant now stands on the doorstep of a championship over the Cavaliers. He has totaled 71 points, but also has posted 22 rebounds, five blocks and three steals (that’s defense).

And just like Durant, you too can take your game to the next level by improving on the defensive end via basketball training in Houston. Defense for most players does not come naturally, but the good news for you is that defense is something that can be improved on with proper training and guidance. Here at Youth Basketball Association, we have the knowledge, skill, and ability to help any player go from the player they are right now, to being the player that they really want to be.

We have a specialized defensive training program that has been time-tested and proven to help players understand:

  • The importance of angles

  • The importance of defensive positioning

  • The importance of seeing the ball while also seeing your man

  • The importance of flat out hustle by diving for loose balls and beating your man to the spot

  • The importance of taking charges and having the willingness to put your body on the line for the sake of the team

Defense is a crucial part of the game and if you’re able to provide lockdown defense, there will always be a place on the floor for you. I’ll say it again, offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships. Youth Basketball Association is about building and developing champions.

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
MAY 31ST
 
 
A Lesson in Lebron James’ Home Vandalization & Basketball Focus
 
 
 

There’s a saying that the game of basketball is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical. True or not, the actual percentage isn’t as important as it is for YOU to know that as a basketball player, regardless of if you’re a beginner, or high school starter, college player, or even a pro player, mental focus is one phrase that you’ll hear repeatedly throughout your career.

Perhaps nothing could make this point clearer than the news coming out of the NBA today, just one day before the start of the 2017 NBA Finals. LeBron James’ Los Angeles-area home was vandalized with a racial slur, according to multiple reports. Los Angeles Police Department detectives are investigating an alleged hate crime after someone spray-painted the N-word on the front gate of James’ house in Brentwood, California.

Although this is both an unfortunate and unexpected situation to occur in the life of Lebron James, one of the best basketball players on earth, Lebron will still be expected to perform come game time. If not mentally focused, what this unfortunate turn of events could turn out to be, is a distraction for Lebron….and IF he is not mentally focused, it could affect his play and the overall result of the entire series.

You see, we have a clear case right now to show that mental focus not only comes into play for younger athletes, but also pros. Simply put, mental focus is a major part of the game, and this is one area of your game in which you do NOT want to go untrained.

Yes, you can train for mental focus. In fact, mental focus is a crucial part of the training curriculum that we have here at Youth Basketball Association for those wanting basketball training in Houston.

Once you add mental focus to your game, you’ll not only become a better basketball player, but you’ll also make your team a better team, and that much more worth recruiting.

Here’s why: Colleges and universities spend millions of dollars each year looking for the best talent, but with that talent, there’s an expectation that the player is also mentally strong. In the game of basketball, only the strong survives, and EVERY program wants players who they know that can count on when the chips are up and when the chips are down. Being strong mentally is the only way that is accomplished.

So as you prepare to watch the 2017 NBA Finals, pay attention to Lebron’s mental focus, and how he responds to this unfortunate situation.  

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
MAY 26TH 
 
 
 
How the NBA Finals Can Make You a Better Player
 
 
Hours before LeBron James scored 35 points on 72 percent shooting to bury the Celtics and pass Michael Jordan as the NBA’s all-time leader in playoff points, The King wanted to make one thing clear: He is not a scorer.
“I’m not a scorer,” he said during shoot-around ahead of Cleveland’s Game 5 matchup against Boston. “I don’t want to be labeled as a scorer. I can put the ball in the hoop. I’m a playmaker.”
You see, like Lebron, if you play the game of basketball, you must understand that being a playmaker is one of the keys to being, not just a good player, but a GREAT player. But there’s also one thing you must understand: being a playmaker doesn’t just sort of haphazardly happen. It’s “intentional” action that ball players must take upon themselves, action that is only developed through consistent training.
Well, the good news for anyone in need of intentional, consistent basketball training in Houston, Youth Basketball Association, has everything you need to take you where you are right now to where you really want to be.
Here’s why getting intentional, consistent training is so important to your success as a basketball player: in just a few days, the world will finally be able to see the first trilogy in NBA Finals history, the Cavaliers versus the Warriors. Regardless of who you are rooting for, Lebron, Kyrie, and the rest of the crew, or the Splash Brothers, Kevin Durant and company, when it’s all said and done, it will come down players making plays. Sure, they all make it look easy, but what you see on TV is the result of hours and hours of time and dedication that these professional athletes have put in to become better players, better playmakers.
And in case you didn’t know, playmaking comes in all forms. You can be the person breaking the defense down via penetration in order to create something offensively, or you can be the person actually knocking down the shot to finish the play.
As a tip, let’s just say that your teammate took his man off the dribble, penetrated down the lane, and kicked it out to YOU, giving you the opportunity to make a play by hitting the open shot.
Well, in order to finish the play, there are four essential things that you must do to ensure that you give yourself the absolute best chance of hitting the shot.
Thing #1: Balance. There’s an old adage that says, “you have to crawl before you walk.” Well, the same is true when it comes to being a good shooter. You must first be on balance when you take a shot. If you’re off balance, the chances of making the shot is virtually slim to none.
Thing #2: Eyes on the target. Seeing the basket is essential to making the shot. Not having your eyes on the target, the basket, is like placing a blindfold on your head, taking a shot, and “hoping” for it to go in. But if you focus on the basket with your eyes, you’ll have a much higher chance of nailing the shot.
Thing #3: Elbow in line with the basket. Now that you’re on balance and your eyes are firmly on the basket, lining your elbows up with the basket ensures that when the ball is released from your hands, the ball goes directly in line with the basket. If your elbow is off center from the basket, then your shot will also be off center, therefore decreasing your chances of making the shot.
Thing #4: Follow through. When the ball is released from your hands, make sure that you flick your wrist to follow through on your shot, giving it that extra touch it needs to drop into the basket.
These are just a few things that you can do to improve on your shooting, whether you’ve created your own show, or knocking down a shot that your teammate created for you. Players make plays, so when the NBA Finals come on, pay attention to all of the playmaking going on, and start asking yourself how you could be doing the same thing when you play.

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