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Court Vision

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Court Vision

There was a very popular Nike commercial that featured Lebron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers early in his career. The humorous (albeit a little sacrilegious) commercial proclaims "King" James as the "chosen one." It goes on to say that he asked the "Sole of the Game" not for "hops" or "handles," but for COURT VISION. Why? For the "glory of the TEAM!" Players in this era are very concerned with their "handles"(dribbling skills), but sometimes at the expense of their court vision. They are so busy bouncing the ball in as many different ways and around as many different body parts as possible that they miss open teammates and offensive options. COURT VISION is essential to effectively running a fast break or an offense. Vision is not just looking up the floor, but also "seeing" what is open and, even better, what is going to be open.

Every time players get the ball, they should square up and look down the court before initiating transition. Poor court vision results in forced passes, offensive fouls against unseen defenders, and the inability to see open teammates who might be able to advance the ball up the court more effectively. Only after the player looks ahead should he put the ball on the floor, and then only to advance the ball up the floor, drive to the basket, or improve a passing angle. Then, when advancing the ball with a dribble, he must be able to dribble without thinking about dribbling or about the opponent who is guarding him. This will enable him to see the court and be ready to pass to a teammate who is open.

Most importantly, players need to know where to look for their teammates. The offense should be "synchronized," or timed, so that players can get open in a sequence. The player with the ball then needs to know the proper sequence to look at. This is no different than a football quarterback looking for his potential receivers. As the player with the ball goes through his options (in order!), he knows what his next move should be.

In order to be a better passer who gets the ball to the right player at the right time, learn to focus under the basket. As you develop your peripheral vision, you will learn to see all of the players on your team and be able to pick out who is open without telegraphing your passes. As important as seeing your teammates is, seeing the DEFENSE may be more important; you will KNOW where your teammates should be through practice and naturally react to their same color uniforms. It is better if you have a "soft focus" on the floor and see your teammates through your peripheral vision. You should concentrate more heavily on where the defense is, attack their weak areas, and pass AWAY from the defensive player.

Remember, COURT VISION is important for the glory of the TEAM!



12/5/2009 10:12:06 PM
I A said:

This is so true


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