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Basketball Questions and Answers

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Basketball Questions and Answers

This is where you can post your questions about the game of basketball. Post your question in the comment section of this tip and I will answer it as quickly as possible.

Coach Lok

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2/9/2009 7:14:01 PM
Stevo said:

What is a dead spot on a court??? Somebody said this other day while playing.

2/9/2009 7:26:54 PM
Brian said:

A "dead" spot is simply a spot on the court that doesn't give the normal bounce to the basketball, usually because of some kind of defect underneath the floor. The Boston Garden was notorious for this. Bird and his crew took advantage of knowing where all the "dead" spots on the floor were. They were crafty like that.

2/15/2009 11:15:47 AM
John Lovett said:

Question: If a defender places his hand on the ball to block a shot, while the ball is in the shooters hand and the shooter is in the act of shooting, can the defender touch a portion of the shooters hand without it being considered a foul. i.e. hand to hand contact on the ball in the act of shooting. foul or no foul?


2/16/2009 9:07:33 AM
Brian said:

The hand is part of the ball at all times, whether you are dribbling or shooting. So the block you described would be perfectly legal. Once the ball leaves the hand, or if you get some wrist on the block attempt, this would of course be a foul. Also what happens down below the actual block can determine a foul also. If there is body to body contact while the block is occuring, you are violating the offenses player's space. This body contact will be called a foul regardless of what happened up top with the block attempt.

2/16/2009 9:12:37 AM
mathew said:

is it goaltending if you block a shot the same time it hitz the backbaord

2/16/2009 9:15:34 AM
Brian said:

No. The ball is not "legally" coming down until AFTER it hits the backboard. So if you block it at the same time it hits the backboard, that's a legal block. If the ball hits the backboard first, then you block it, that is a goaltend.

2/16/2009 9:28:50 AM
Christian said:

hey coach im on the short side but I love basketball so much do you have any tips that would help

2/16/2009 9:43:07 AM
Brian said:

Yeah Christian, there are lots of great tips throughout the site that would help you. I myself am on the short side...along with the slow side...along with the weak side. I have been successful in this great game despite this. If you love the game, being short shouldn't stop you. Obviously being on the short side you want to concentrate on guard skills. Look at the dribbling and shooting sections of the website. Also Becoming a Great Point Guard section. I will be adding more to these sections, ecspecially the Ball Handling Moves section where I will break down many of the one-on-one dribble moves that have allowed me to be a World Champion.

2/21/2009 7:20:43 AM
jonalyn said:

what is the skill in basketball?

2/21/2009 7:25:02 AM
Brian said:

I'm not 100% on what your asking. I'll just assume your asking what I think the most important skill in basketball is, and in that case I would probably say shooting. While no player will be a great player with just one skill in his arsenal, there have been a number of players who have made a living with just the ability to shoot. Great shooters are in high demand and will always have a place on a squad because they have the ability to spread the court, and create space for everyone else.

3/24/2009 2:36:55 PM
Bud said:

What, if anything, do the hashmarks on the sidelines at approx quarter court represent for the high school and college game?

3/24/2009 5:31:35 PM
Brian said:

Great question. The hash mark you speak of represents the coaching box. Basically a coach can walk from his own baseline up to this hash mark. If he steps over this line during a game, usually a referee will give a warning, before eventually giving the violating coach a technical.

4/3/2009 1:12:53 AM
Manny said:

Hello, I'm a fast 5"11 guard an all but my weakness is court vision/passing. Can this be developed to the point that I can be a great point guard? Some seem to just have the talent for it.

4/4/2009 12:05:31 AM
Brian said:

Obviously passing itself can be improved just by doing passing drills and whatnot. Court vision is a different story. You're right, some just seem to be born with eyes in the back of their head(like Steve Nash). The main attribute a guy like that has, is the ABILITY TO SEE MOVES AHEAD. That is how he is so successful. This might sound off-the-wall, but if you are serious about developing this ability, you should learn the game of chess. Yes, chess, the board game your grandfather probably plays. lol. There is no other game, imo, that develops this. You will learn to see moves ahead, conditioning your brain to learn this special skill. Eventually, you will find yourself doing the same thing on the basketball court.

4/7/2009 9:06:02 PM
Kevin said:

Hi there, first of all thanks for the great page. And now to my question.

I'm a quite short player (5"8/1.76) but I have skills all around. Great passing, court vision, shooting (also some impossible shots 'a la' MJ style), very fast movement, and know very well how to open up space on the defense lines.
My point is, I'm in a debate with myself whether I'm a point guard or shooting guard, although because of my stature I would be a point guard. What do you think I should play? What should I do to max-out my skills? Also, I've got a good vertical jump, I can almost reach the rim (10") for a couple of inches.

One last thing; I want to try-out for a team, what skills will they most probably be expecting out of me as a (point/shooting guard)?

Again, thank you very much, keep up with the great work,


4/8/2009 1:57:04 PM
Brian said:

Sometimes our height dictates our position on the basketball court. Being 5'8", pg will be your natural position so I would focus on learning the skills to becoming a great pg. It sounds like you have many of the attributes of a great pg. Definitely read over the "becoming a great pg section" and also the "ball handling moves" section. Remember, a great
pg is a quarterback on the court. When you try-out, show leadership, lead be example during any drills coach has you doing, and when it comes scrimmage time, penetrate the middle of the defense and get EVERYBODY good looks. Don't just jack deep jumpers. Coaches want a PG that can run their offense, to get good shots everytime down the court. GL.

4/8/2009 2:21:24 PM
Manny said:

I need exposure. Local leagues & tournaments are all that comes to mind. 21 years of age. How else can I get exposed, be as descriptive as possible. Much appreciated

4/8/2009 3:46:40 PM
Brian said:

What is your ultimate goal?...College?...Semi-pro? Obviously a good high-school career is the best way to get noticed, and at age 21 you are clearly past your high school days, but that doesn't mean its a wrap for you, it will just be a tougher road to get noticed. From here, what exactly are you looking to do in your basketball future? Also, what kind of high school career did you have, if any?

4/9/2009 1:32:22 PM
Isiah T said:

Im white, and good at basketball. But when I go to gym in my town, the black kids wont even give me a chance. I watch them and know Im better than 80% of them, but just cant get on the court. What can i do? Im shy too.

4/9/2009 3:14:02 PM
Brian said:

My best advice is: DON'T ACT SCARED. Go up there, ask "who's got next", say "I got it after you". Nobody's gonna beat you up for wanting to play. I understand it can be intimidating, but if you think you're good enough to play on that court, then walk up there and act like it. When you finally do get on, same thing. Don't play scared. Play your game, and eventually you will get the respect you deserve.

4/9/2009 3:27:49 PM
Manny said:

My Goal is NBA, semi-pro sounds good too. I didn't play high school.

4/9/2009 3:41:54 PM
Brian said:

Those are some lofty goals, and I wish you the best of luck, but I won't lie and say you don't have some challenges ahead of you, especially without a high school career to fall back on. For now, I would concentrate on the semi-pro circuit before even considering the NBA. Many of the various league's(like the CBA, ABA, etc) have try-outs through-out the year. Some may even charge you for the opportunity. My advice would be to find these tryouts that are with-in your area, or with-in driving distance and go to as many of these try-outs that you can. Obviously during these try-outs you will have to "shine", because most players there will probably have college experience, and at minimum a nice high school career. Best of luck though.

4/16/2009 8:45:19 AM
Joel said:

Coach, my question is when boxing out can the defender extend his arms to keep the offensive player from getting around him for a rebound?

4/16/2009 12:22:14 PM
Brian said:

Another good question. You CAN put your hands out during a box-out, but you CANNOT use them to hold, or to restrict your opponent from getting around you, that is what your body is for. The hands are usually put out to "feel" for your opponent, and once you know the direction that your opponent is going, you slide in front of him, put your "butt into his gut", and continue the box-out until the ball is with-in reach. Hope this helped.

4/21/2009 7:49:04 PM
Manny said:

So many workout plans out there. What should I be doing for strength exercise? Can I do calisthenics only? Do I have to lift weights? If I do have to lift weights, what exactly do I do? So much information is out there. I want to get strong but not loose speed.

4/23/2009 11:30:54 AM
Brian said:

A workout program is a very personal thing, given on an individual basis. You are right, there are plenty out there, I would find one that has a combination of calisthenics and weight training. More reps, less weight so you can build lean muscle instead of bulk muscle. There is nothing wrong with building strength, it is very useful on the court and off.

5/9/2009 9:37:16 AM
Vlado said:

hy..this is a great site..Can u give me an advice,I'm from Europe,15 years old,6"3,78 kg,I'm a shooting guard,but i can play positions of a wingman and a point guard,i have the court vision,everything,i practice 5-6 hours daily.And now,do you think,can i get in NBA,or should i even more practice???..sorry,my english is not so good..:))

5/9/2009 1:21:19 PM
Brian said:

It looks like you have the right "NBA" body, being at 6'3" and only 15 years old, I'm not sure how much you weigh because we don't use the Metric system here. But as far as improving your game, that should never stop. Even Michael Jordan continued to practice everyday, and he was the best in the world. I would concentrate on your shooting, and developing a game from the Triple Threat position. Also hit the weight room, I would work on getting stronger, it seems that's the one thing European players seem to struggle with when making the transition over to the NBA, the physicality. Also, never stop working on your game, making it to the NBA only happens to a select few, so you have to continue to outwork the thousands of others with your same dream. Good luck.


5/10/2009 8:21:32 AM
Vlado said:


5/12/2009 3:42:03 PM
Adam said:

I've probably stopped growing and am about 5'11. My hands aren't NEARLY as big as most NBA players and I doubt I'll ever be able to hold the ball out with one hand. Should this make my dribbling and shooting technique different than other players, e.g., do I still rely on my fingers and fingerpads even though I'd probably have less control than bigger players?

5/12/2009 7:25:17 PM
Brian said:

There are advantages and disadvantages to having big hands. Take Shaq for example, he has huge hands but has a hard time controlling the ball at the free throw line. Most basketball players can't "palm" the ball, so you're are not at any disadvantage if you can't. So no, you shouldn't change any shooting or dribbling techniques because of it.

5/16/2009 11:45:47 PM
Ben said:

Hey, Just to start this website has helped me so much, I am a huge fan. Is there anymore tips for being a point guard?

5/17/2009 12:41:53 AM
Brian said:

Glad to hear you find the website so helpful. There are plenty of pg tips throughout. Obviously read over the "Becoming a Great PG" section. Also the "Ball Handling Moves" section. Master the moves in this section, one of the most important jobs of a great pg is to break down the defense off the dribble. If you're able to get into the lane, then you will create opportunities for yourself and your teammates. Good luck.

5/18/2009 10:41:32 AM
Carlo said:

Im 16 and currently playing aau during the offseason. I've realized that the defense is more intense in aau and sometimes it's hard for me to get open and score. Im a point guard shooting guard but usually play the 2. My point guard loves pounding the ball and trying to beat his man and show his handles so he never tries to stretch the ball or give the ball up when there's space between me and the defender so the defense has time to recover and get a man. I usually find myself face guarded when he finally decides to pass the ball and I don't get the ball lowering my opportunity to score. Any tips?

5/18/2009 11:58:07 AM
Brian said:

It's unfortunate that your pg doesn't give you the ball in a position to score, that's the main job of a pg, but keep your head up, I'm sure you will play with plenty of pg's over your career that CAN do their jobs. As a two guard, I would highly recommend mastering the Triple Threat(see section on TT). When I say master, I'm talking having nightmares in your sleep you practice it so much. Also, if your pg is getting you the ball, but a little late, I assume the defense is in "recover" mode when you do get it. This leaves them vulnerable for a shot fake. Once you receive the ball, you know as soon as you catch it whether you're gonna shoot. If you're not gonna shoot, sell the shot anyway. As soon as you catch it, show the ball, look at the rim, and blow by the defender for a drive or a pull up jumper. The key to the headfake is NOT traveling. Make sure you put the ball down before you move your pivot foot. Officials are itching to call a travel on a shot fake, don't give them a reason. Even pros make this mistake. Shot fake, dribble, blow by. GL.

5/20/2009 7:53:37 PM
chris said:

i need a lot of help with something. next year for my high school tryouts i need to be able to dribble with my left hand and do lefty layups but im a righty. is there anything i can do to help me because i cant dribble with my left hand for my life. i know it seems kinda lame that ive been playing for so long but i practice almost everyday but i almost never get better with my left hand if you can help thanks.

5/21/2009 12:40:32 PM
Brian said:

If your left is a glaring weakness, you need to completely commit to making it a strength. This summer, spend most of your time dribbling around with your left, driving with your left, even shooting with your left. Most people develop their "off" hand when they injure their strong hand. Now I'm not suggesting you go slam you right hand with the car door, but in your mind you should "act" like it's injured. Keep a basketball with you at all times, whenever you can dribble that ball with your left hand, do it. "Pistol" Pete Maravich used to carry the basketball everywhere he went, even slept with it.

5/22/2009 3:33:45 PM
ricky said:

hey, love the site, my friend told me about it and i've been on it every day since. Question: have u ever though of making an instructional dvd? me and my buddy were thinking how most of this stuff isn't taught by anybody, and we dont live close to nevada so a private lesson is out of the question. just curious because u have two fans here who would 4 sho' by one. thnks

5/22/2009 5:49:17 PM
Brian said:

Hey Ricky, thanks alot for your support, it means alot that you guys find these tips so helpful, that's all I was hoping to accomplish with this site. As to your question, I have had several people ask me about creating an instructional DVD, it's something I've always thought about, the problem is it takes time and money, both of which I've always been short on. This summer I might have some extra time, so if it was gonna happen, it would be in the near future, but I can't promise anything. Thanks again for your support, I'll keep you posted if a DVD is in the near future.

5/22/2009 5:50:30 PM
Croatian said:

hy...can u help me with nervousness...when I'm playin' i'm can i get rid of it..??...btw nice site...

5/22/2009 7:33:15 PM
Brian said:

Nervousness is a tough thing to break. I would say put in the time on the practice court, so that when you get in game situations you "know" you can make that shot, or that move, or that pass, etc. Don't think it, know it. Also, I would concentrate on the little things when it's game time. Play good defense, get your nose dirty and grab rebounds, run up and down the court. The more you can contribute to your team during game situations, the less nervous you should be over time. GL with that.

5/27/2009 9:58:55 PM
joe said:

im 6'3 and a sophmore.
i want to make varsity for my hs
any tips?

5/28/2009 12:52:31 AM
Brian said:

Yeah. Spend this entire summer working on your game. From Triple Threat to shooting to dribbling. There shouldn't be any weakness to your game once the new school year starts. The great thing about basketball is that you can practice anywhere, anytime. If your laying in your bed, you can work on shooting form. If you're going to get the mail, you can practice dribbling with your left hand. If your truly committed to a goal, then make it happen. Don't just talk about it, be about it. Oh yeah, and check out the tips on this site. They won't hurt either. GL

5/28/2009 7:19:57 AM
joe said:

thanks this site is going to help me alot

5/29/2009 10:42:22 PM
Manny said:

I've been working on my game coach. In a month I'll be trying out for the NBA D-League. Why am I all of a sudden not amped and not motivated. How does one get motivated or better yet inspired again? Thanks again coach.

5/30/2009 12:13:38 AM
Brian said:

People get motivated and inspired in different ways. At this point I would think one would be excited, a chance to play in the D-League? People would kill for that opportunity. Keep working hard the month leading up to it, be in tip-top physical shape, work on any glaring weaknesses. And if you need motivation, watch the movie "Rudy". That movie always gets me going. GL in your tryouts.

5/30/2009 8:27:41 PM
Ben said:

I need help on how to score against some one who is bigger, better, faster, and stronger, cause I whomp on anyone my size but i get smoked by older people. Thanks:) ( This is the most helpful site I have ever been to)

5/30/2009 10:00:49 PM
Brian said:

That's simple. You need to outsmart them. Get them off balance with head fakes, good footwork. That's why you have trouble with the older guys. They're extra crafty. It will just take time, but if you put in the work, take the tips form the site onto the court, eventually you will earn your "crafty" status. GL.

6/3/2009 12:06:17 AM
Manny said:

Hey Coach, I want to know how am I supposed to stand out offensively when everyone on my own team is playing great? For example, I don't want to just become a decoy on the court.

6/3/2009 1:16:38 PM
Brian said:

When everybody is playing at a high level, it's the little things that will stand out to scouts and coaches. Communicating, setting good picks, making the correct pass, hitting the offensive boards, etc. Obviously being an efficient scorer is the number one way to get noticed, but beyond that it's the little things that will set you apart from the rest.

6/9/2009 12:14:13 AM
Ben said:

Hey Brian, I am in a pickle here. I have practiced shooting all my life, but three fourths of the drills I do are point guard drills. My brothers tell me to be a shooting guard, but I love point guard.
Also all my friends are point guard so when I am on their team I wont play PG, so how do I choose which position to play?

6/9/2009 11:56:15 AM
Brian said:

In the end, your coach will make the ultimate decision. In the meantime, learning "point guard" skills is fine, because a point guard has to pretty much do everything on the court. They have to penetrate, they have to shoot, they have to make plays from triple threat etc, etc. These are skills that will also benefit you as a two guard. The one difference between a sg and a pg is that a pg usually shoots off the dribble, while a sg usually shoots off the pass. So make sure when you're practicing shooting you do both, off the dribble and off the pass drills. And triple threat is of course another skill that must be mastered for any shooting guard to be successful, so put in plenty of work on that. GL.

6/18/2009 5:20:00 AM
Shaq Junior said:

Hey Brian. I'm a 6 2" and I have a really broad body build. My conditioning is really off, and my athleticism is really lacking. My vertical jump sucks honestly, I only started playing 2 years ago. My parents want me to study instead of playing basket ball, and I really get frustrated when my body comes up short in a casual game.

6/18/2009 12:10:22 PM
Brian said:

My advice to you is use what you got. If your vertical is lacking, put that big body to good use. When your posting people up, use head fakes to get them in the air. When you go to the rim, LOOK for contact, don't avoid it. That's the best way to play against a more athletic defender, get your body into them, get them off balance, then go up for the shot. Rebounding is the same thing. You don't have to out-jump somebody to out-rebound them. Get a low base, put your body into them, and don't release until that ball is within reach. You can still be a force down low by using your superior strength and you low center of gravity against your opponent. GL

6/21/2009 6:03:49 PM
terrell said:

How far is the block from the baseline

6/24/2009 11:19:42 AM
Brian said:

7 feet.

6/24/2009 11:21:32 AM
Ranton said:

why don't u make tips on court vision and seeing the court or playmaking

6/24/2009 11:25:29 AM
Brian said:

Someone asked a similar question in the comments of this section. Court vision is very difficult to teach someone, especially through a couple paragraphs over the internet. Some people are born with the ability to see moves ahead, allowing them to be great playmakers(ala Steve Nash, Jason Kidd) If you want to develop this ability, the one way to do it is to play the game of chess. It teaches your brain to look moves ahead, eventually translating to the basketball court. Above all, get out there and play ball. Repetition through play is the only way you are going to learn this ability. GL


6/28/2009 11:33:15 AM
John said:

I just realized that I can't integrate the concept of "think and play" into my game whenever its a game with pressure (like finals of a tourney or something, or mob crowds cheering the opponent). My brain switches to instinct, and I can't think or concentrate on my next move, and fine the ball to be slipping out of my hand quite often. Is this some mental disorder?

7/2/2009 12:41:30 AM
Brian said:

That is a problem, and a tough one to fix over the internet. The mental aspect of the game is so huge, the simple answer is just to block everything out, but I know that can be difficult. I find that the more I practice something, whether it's a particular move, or a particular shot, the more comfortable I am in pressure situations. Practice your "go-to" move until you can do it in your sleep. Then in game situations is second nature. When you're shooting, ONLY look at your focus point on the rim, nothing else. It may take a little while, but you should be able to overcome it. Just be confident in the work you put in, the rest will fall into place. GL

7/2/2009 2:52:19 PM
Laura said:

Hi Brian. I am about to be a senior in high school and my goal is to be able to play basketball at the college level. However I haven't really gotten the college attention that I have wanted. I'm not sure what I should be doing. I just recently got a personal trainer but what else should I be doing? How can I make my basketball dreams come true? Is it too late? I also moved during high school and am not treated well by my team. They don't like the idea of the new girl taking their spots. What can I do to be accepted better by my team and still get the respect I deserve and my dreams to come true?

7/6/2009 11:21:45 PM
Brian said:

Lauran, I can completely appreciate your goal to play college ball. Beyond putting up great numbers, or playing for a winning program, the other way to get noticed is to put together a nice highlight tape of your best basketball moments and start shipping it to different college coaches. Many players have been noticed using this method, and while it surely isn't a guarantee, at least you'll know that you've done everything in your power to make your dream happen. Worst case scenario, you walk-on to whatever college you eventually attend. There are always spots available to these walk-ons. The main thing is, DON'T GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM. As far as your high school career, stay postitive, continue to get better, and just earn the respect of your teammates by working hard in practice. Don't get caught up into whether they like you, just make them respect you. The "like" part will eventually come.

7/8/2009 6:15:09 PM
Cori said:

I have gone through your drills, conditioning, ball handling, etc. I'm making a schedule for summer of what I need to work on and fix. I'm hopeing that it will help. Every morning I run 1-3 miles. Is that helpful? I'm going into the 8th grade and wanting to make the A team. I've played post for 3 years now my coaches want me to a off-guard. I'm still used to the post position how do I switch? I want to get stronger. What do I need to do? I don't have availibilty to a gym. Thanks

7/12/2009 9:50:34 PM
Brian said:

As far as conditioning goes, its always a good idea to be in the best shape possible. You wanna be able to go all out, all of the time. If your moving from a post position to an off guard, definitly work on your dribbling, outside shooting, and your triple threat. I wouldn't worry so much on getting stronger as I would mastering the above three things. Also, when practicing shooting, learn to do it off the pass. The best way to do this when by yourself is to use an underhand, two handed spin on the ball so that when you go into the shot, you are catching it after it spins back to you. This is how you will be getting the majority of your shots as a two guard, so master this. The more work you put in, the more you will get out of it. GL

7/12/2009 9:54:37 PM
yousef said:

i need help with mt left hand lay ups i suck at them amy tips

7/12/2009 9:58:19 PM
Brian said:

Lay ups are about foot work. Practice over and over without the ball, until you are completely comfortable with the foot work, making sure when you are releasing the "ball", that you're lifting off with your right foot. After you feel comfortable with the footwork, start practicing with the ball, make sure to go up with both hands, before extending with the left hand. Nice and soft, less spin the better.

7/18/2009 4:06:02 AM
Carmelo said:

Hello Coach, I'm a big man and love to dominate in the post, I love the paint. I have a passion to be like all the best big men there ever was, but better. I need some help, I want the athleticism or Dwight Howard, Foot work out Al Jefferson, defense of Ben Wallace. Right now I have my heart focused on weight training my upper body to sculpt it into a Dwight Howard physique. Do you have any ideas of what sort of weight training I would have to do to get that build?

7/19/2009 6:00:31 PM
Brian said:

You can't just "turn" yourself into a Dwight Howard. He's a freak of nature. And I'm not a personal trainer, so I wouldn't feel comfortable giving out weight training tips. Sorry.

7/19/2009 7:03:31 PM
Cori said:

I am able to do all the the things that you said would help me. So, thats good. I was also wondering if doing college basketball has any advanteges? And, what are the best types of Basketball shoes?

7/21/2009 5:02:52 PM
Brian said:

That's great you can do all these things, it doesn't mean you shouldn't continue to work on them. Michael Jordan worked on his game everyday even though he was the best player on the planet. So don't ever be "satisfied". Not sure what you mean by "doing college basketball". If you mean playing college ball, there are plenty advantages. A free education for starters. And as far as basketball shoes, see the section called "Various Court Shoes". Thanks and GL.

7/21/2009 5:03:17 PM
tee said:

what are considered the 5 spots on offensive that the defense is vunerable,also known as the kill spots?

7/25/2009 12:00:24 PM
Brian said:

I've honestly never heard them. Sorry.

7/31/2009 3:45:53 AM
Bana said:

Let me start off by saying thanks for the great tips. I'm a 16 year old 5'10 basketball player. I'm a decent player. I've never played for a team in my life and all my friends always tell me to try out. I go to the open gyms all the time and it seems like I'm one of the best there, even the Varsity coach asks me to play. I was thinking about playing varsity this year but I'm too nervous, not having any background experiences.
What should I do? Play Varsity or start off with the Sophomore team?

8/1/2009 4:50:08 PM
Brian said:

I've never heard of a sophmore team, but if the choice is yours, I would say Varsity for sure. I'm a big believer in jumping in feet first. Even if you don't get significant playing time, you still get to practice everday against greater competition, which is the fastest way to get yourself better. I'll take my myself as an example. Growing up I would consider myself an average defender. One day I just decided that everytime I step on the court, I'm gonna guard the best player on the court, and shut him down. Over time, playing against the better competition made me a better defender. The same will happen to you playing on Varsity. GL.

8/1/2009 4:52:28 PM
Paul said:

How can I be myself when I am in the game? because everytime I get nervous with myself and cant show who I am. tell me the way to not make me nervous in the game?

8/1/2009 4:55:43 PM
Brian said:

I totally understand. Been there, done that. I guess the best advice I have is try and focus on the task at hand. It's basketball. It's the game you play all the time. Just because your doing it front of people doesn't make it any different. You know what your good at, so do them. Don't concentrate on who is in the stands, whether it's your mom, dad, that cheerleader you like. Just play the game, have fun, and stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Bottom line is: It's just a game. GL paul.

8/1/2009 4:58:19 PM
L24 said:

Hey Brian, awesome site. I'm gonna be a freshman this year and there are a couple of spots on our Varsity team that are open so how do I get my coaches attention and how do I get that spot?

8/1/2009 5:01:55 PM
Brian said:

You didn't really specify the position your playing, so it will be hard to go into detail. The best advice I can probably give you is be in good shape when you go into tryouts, and make sure you hustle your butt off during those tryouts. I'm talking every suicide or sprint you guys do, you should be first across the finish line. If there's a loose ball during a scrimmage game, dive on it. Hustle is the one thing coaches can't teach, and it's almost contagious, so they love having hustle guys, even if their talent level isn't the same as some others. GL, and work hard this summer so you have no regrets come tryout time.

8/1/2009 5:03:07 PM
Logan said:

When is it ok for a point guard to start scoring and taking over a game if his teamates don't?

8/1/2009 5:10:24 PM
Brian said:

Great question. Being a pass first pg myself I know exactly where you're coming from. I always like to keep everyone involved, reward my big men for running the floor and doing the dirty work, but there ARE gonna be times when your teammates are just out of sync, or the defense is just too good for them to score consistently and being more aggressive is the answer. My best advice is to just take what the defense gives you. If you have two guys collapsing on you as you penetrate, you have to have enough confidence in your teammates to kick it down for that layup or kick it out for that jumpshot. If you feel you have an advantage over your defender and your teammates are having a tough time of it, by all means, look to score more than normal, get to those "sweet" spots on the court and start looking for you jumpshot. I like to make a larger effort in getting deeper into the lane so that I can create some easy opportunities for my guys, to get their confidence up. But if scoring is gonna help your team win, then by all means, take on that challenge, and put the ball in the bucket. GL.

8/1/2009 5:13:49 PM
Shaz said:

Hi, I'm a 6'3" 10th grader and play a C or PF in my school, I live in Bangledash by the way and not many ppl r as tall as me so I'm forced to play that position. I have decent handles and nice jumpshot all around, I'm also planning on playing college ball. So I'm guessing my final height would be around 6'6"-6'7, which is the height of a SF or SG in college. So I guess my question is what key things should I do to be great at both playing at the post and playing a swingman?

8/1/2009 5:19:59 PM
Brian said:

Another great question. This happens alot, when your forced to play out of position. This can sometimes be an advantage, because in the end you will be a more well-rounded ball player, ecspecially if you recognize the fact your playing out of position like you clearly do. The number one thing I would want you to master in your spot: The Triple Threat. Study and master the triple threat position, becuase it's a position you will need to be comfortable with when you make the jump to college, and have to play SF or SG, also it is something you can utilize even playing the PF or C position now. Pau Gasual is a great example of this. He plays PF/C in the NBA, but has a great faceup game, and is very productive from the triple threat. His advantage is he is quicker than most of his defenders, and can also shoot the ball from mid-range, which seems to be your strengths also. Another great position for you to learn is the Inverted Post Position that I talk about in the Basketball Post Player tips section. Pau actually utilized alot of the moves I go over in this section also. Learn these two things, while at the same time improving your shooting and dribbling, and you should have no problem with your transition to college. GL Shaz.

8/28/2009 3:51:58 PM
Ben T. said:

when looking at team chemistry and selecting players, what kinds of things are involved in order to get those players that have good team other words, how do you select them?

8/28/2009 9:37:13 PM
Brian said:

Chemistry is something that develops over time. In a practice/tryout situation, the best thing to do is look for guys with positive attitudes, guys who are willing to hustle up and down the court...these are the kinds of guys that will be easy to get along with in a "team" concept, leading to great chemistry over time. Great question though, hope that helped.

9/5/2009 7:52:17 AM
dolf said:

hi i'm a pretty good shooter in practice.. but in actual games i can't seem to hit even wide open shots.. and i often times get criticized by my teamates that i do a "mini hop" before i take my jumpshot..i do this to square up and get power on my legs..what you advise? i change my jumpshot technique? pls.. help..

9/6/2009 5:52:38 PM
Brian said:

It sounds to me like your not practicing "game" situations. While just shooting around or at practice, we sometimes tend to take it easy, not emulating the fast nature of game situations. And no, you shouldn't have a hop in your shot, this could be one of your problems. You should be setting up for the shot BEFORE the ball is even there. Your feet should be shoulder length apart, you should be balanced, and you should just have to catch and shoot. My advice is to get a friend or family member, and have them run at you while your shooting around. Try your best to simulate "game speed" in practice so your more comfortable come game time. And most importantly...BE CONFIDENT. Know that you put the time in practice, and KNOW that come gametime all that hard work is gonna pay off. GL.

9/6/2009 5:55:53 PM
Vish said:

I haven't been playing basketball in a long time and tryouts are coming up in 4-5 months and I wanna know the best way to become the best I can be by then, thanks!

9/6/2009 6:00:40 PM
Brian said:

4-5 months should be enough time IF you are disiplined. I would start off by getting in shape, doing a combination of cardio and light weight training. You didn't really get specific on what position you are trying out, so study the site, looking for tips in areas that will improve your particular style of play. Try to shoot at least 20-30 free throws a day. Work on your ball handling. Practice from the triple threat. If you put in the work, you should have no problem getting ready for these upcoming tryouts. GL

9/6/2009 6:02:46 PM
CJ said:

I was recently asked by a 7th grade girls coach about conditioning. Do you think that it is better to incorporate as much of conditioning into drills at that age to get the most out of kids in all aspects of practice?

9/6/2009 6:17:36 PM
Brian said:

I am strongly opposed to this type of practice, ecspecially at this age group. For one, the seperation of skill level from the MOST skilled player to the LEAST skilled player is not that big at this age, so why would conditioning be such a high priority when you can just sub in and out accordingly? The number one priority should be to make the game of basketball fun, while teaching fundamental basketball skills, not to burn the girls out, making them dread every practice. If conditioning is really that important, then play up and down, full court scrimmages. That way the players are learning basketball skills, having fun, AND getting in shape. I mean no disrespect, but coaches who run military style practices usually just lack the imagination or don't have enough to offer on the "basketball" side of the coin. Hope this helped.

10/2/2009 8:54:47 PM
Chris Brown said:

How to not be sared taking it to the goal
im 5'10 and everyone i play is at least 6'4

10/3/2009 8:47:27 PM
Brian said:

One: Learn to use quick release lay ups, floaters, etc. You must learn to get the ball up on the boards quickly and with good touch.

Two: Create body contact and use that contact to create space and get your shot off. Usually when I go to the rim, I lean into the defender, bounce off him and go up as the space is created. Don't be scared of contact because it's space that shot blockers want so that they can time out their blocked shots.

10/13/2009 10:33:49 PM
Manny said:

Hey coach, I want to get better. Mentally better, a smarter basketball player. What can I do to help this situation, if I'm only surrounded by pick up games...

10/17/2009 5:40:00 PM
Brian said:

My advice is to find a league at a local gym to join, or just find a core group of guys who have the same goals as you and go to these different pick up games and run people off the courts. Every time you step on the court, be aware of making YOURSELF a better player by making smart decisions, playing good basketball, even if everyone around you is just out to get theirs. Pick up games are also a good way to improve your defense, since alot of times the rock is hard to come by in games like that. Pick the best player on the opposing team, and lock him down. Hope this helps.

11/1/2009 1:54:26 PM
joe said:

hey i am a sophmore in hs and i am hoping to make varsity this year. i am a big man about 6'4 and more of a defensive player. how can i become a better scorer? also the school system i am in is having a levy on tuesday and it has failed 3 times already, were should i play if we dont have sports? thanks i love your site.

11/7/2009 9:55:03 AM
Brian said:

As far as the levy, I'm sorry to hear about that. Hope everything works out. If things don't work out, join AAU, or a YMCA league, or something along that nature. As far as improving your scoring, at 6'4" you should have SOME kind of back to the basket game. If you don't, put in a lot of work on a good spin move, along with a good counter to the spin move. It always starts with mastering ONE great move, then branching out from there. I would also recommend the section on the inverted post position. This is a great position to master, and score from. Obviously developing a short/mid range shot is important, so put in the work on that. GL

11/7/2009 9:56:10 AM
amir said:

hey coach I have this important question, I have been trying to solve it ever since I was a freshman. I am a very good basketball player but when it comes to playing with varsity i feel intimidated, I don't have the same passion, I am softer and weaker and very passive and scared to receive a ball, how do I become a tougher player and not let varsity players control me? i feel like i am giving them too much respect. How do I become mentally tough and not be scared all the time? I REALLY WANT TO MAKE MY TEAM!!

11/7/2009 10:02:59 AM
Brian said:

That is EXACTLY what you're doing, showing them "too much respect". Varsity is where you want to be, and technically, they're in your way, because that's a spot that you should have. That's the mentality you should have anyway. I would take it as a personal challenge, going at Varsity even harder and stronger that I would anyone else. There's nothing wrong with showing respect OFF the court, but on it, they are in your way, and you should be doing anything within the rules of basketball to get them outta your way. Pat Riley used to have a rule, during a game, none of his players were allowed to help an opposing player up if they were knocked to the ground. I'm not saying to go that far, but that should be your mentality. Be aggressive, take it to them, and NEVER be scared. GL.

11/10/2009 8:20:41 PM
fresh 21 said:

hey im a guard at a small high school how do I get recognized by aau and college teams

11/18/2009 7:44:08 PM
Brian said:

Win ball games. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking it's "just" about their numbers. Winning ball games it the best way to get outsiders to notice. Outside of that, make a video tape, ship it out to different coaches. It might be harder being from a small school, but it happens all the time. GL

11/18/2009 7:46:53 PM
Morgan Drahn said:

Hey coach great site! Im a freshman guard and I am on jv but I know im better than some of the guards on the varsity. but the coach has them up there cause they're older, how do I show them that I'm better and deserve that spot?

11/18/2009 7:49:52 PM
Brian said:

First off, don't get down. You're time will come regardless. All you can do on your end, is work your butt off, show the coach that you're willing to do whatever it takes for the team. Coaches love a guy who thinks team first.

11/18/2009 7:53:08 PM
josh said:

hey do you have any ideas on being more aggressive,because everyone tells me I play soft in games because am not aggressive. Also it seems no matter how much I practice I still go into games and play bad, I've tried talking to myself in my head and telling myself I can do it,but I never do What is it am doing Wrong?

11/18/2009 8:11:08 PM
Brian said:

First off, sometimes you can try "too" hard. And I don't mean effort, I mean being overly results orientated. Settle down, and just play ball. Remember, it's a game. True, it's a game we love, but it's still just a game. Have fun. When guys are struggling offensively, I tell them to do all the little things to help their team. Play great defense, rebound, dive on the floor. Offensively, get into the paint, take the ball aggressively to the rim, make things happen off some headfakes or in transition. If you put in the work during practice, you should know that come game time, it's gonna happen for you. GL

11/18/2009 8:12:53 PM
Mitchell Crutchfield said:

when it comes to close range shots under pressure im ok, but on free throws, i always hit the back part of the rim and can i fix thit?

11/18/2009 8:18:46 PM
Brian said:

When you're shooting your free throws, what is your focal point? Or where do you look during the shot. Some people look at the back of the rim, I prefer the front of the rim. Either way, that should be the only thing you look at during your shot. Many guys make the mistake of watching the ball as it's in the air. DO NOT do that. Concentrate on your focal point, keep a good balance, good follow thru, and get plenty of arch on the ball. If you're doing those things, you should be money from the line. GL.

11/18/2009 8:20:55 PM
Logan said:

Hey coach, I have all the point guard tools and thats my position but i'm also the best shooter and slasher on the team. How can I distribute the ball and get my shots without looking like a ball hog on the court?

11/18/2009 8:27:10 PM
Brian said:

Just because you're the best shooter on you're team, doesn't mean you can't distribute the ball. Steve Nash is not only the best shooter on his team, he's probably one of the best shooters in NBA history. No other guy has shot over 90% from the free throw line, over 50% from the field, and over 40% from three point land more than Nash has, yet he is also one of the league's best passers. My point is, Nash always gets everyone else involved, when you do that, your own shots will come. There is nothing wrong with taking high percentage shots, but if you're taking contested jump shots, or difficult shots, then you're not doing your job. You're number one job as a point guard on the offensive end...get your team the highest percentage shot possible, regardless if you're the one shooting it or not. GL.

12/1/2009 12:28:10 AM
Abdullaah said:

My team is small and street ball players. They seem to respond to challenges, IF I keep them fresh. What can I challenge them to do to help them to be more aggressive in rebounding/boxing out?

12/1/2009 9:33:08 PM
Brian said:

It sounds like you have a "sell" job on your hands. You need to sell these guys that without the rock, they can't do anything. Get the point across that more rebounds, means more opportunities to make plays on the offensive end. When a shot goes up, they should find somebody, put a body on him, and THEN go get the ball. Once they buy into that philosophy, you should have 5 Dennis Rodman's on the court. GL

12/5/2009 9:35:38 PM
Curtis said:

what excersises can I do to jump higher for free

12/6/2009 7:47:22 PM
Brian said:

Polymetric training is the best, which basically means to isolate all of your weight on your toes, overextending you calf muscles. Doing line jumps, calf raises, and lunges is a good free alternative.

12/21/2009 9:15:26 PM
Bee said:

which player played for two different teams on the same day? what were the teams and what was the date?

12/23/2009 8:47:06 AM
Brian said:

lol, you got me there. I wouldn't imagine that it's allowed, but if it happened, please enlighten me.

2/11/2010 5:51:14 PM
John C said:

do ankle weights make you faster

2/16/2010 4:08:12 PM
Brian said:

yes, they help build your fast twitch muscles, but at the same time they can put extra strain on your joints, so I wouldn't recommend overusing them, but in moderation they can help.

2/25/2010 4:31:36 PM
Ben said:

Is there any websites that have drills and or tips to make you more explosive?
Oh and by the way Jordan Farmar played in a D-League game, then later that day he got called up and played for the lakers in the NBA in the same day.

5/12/2010 4:17:35 AM
AAA said:

im 14 year old shooting guard and im like 5ft 4.
i usually play with taller and older guys.
when i play with my age i play really well but when i play with older guys, i get confused and nervous. Is there any way not to get nervous.

ps can you give me tips on creating space and shooting.

5/15/2010 1:59:03 AM
Brian said:

I think you can only get better by playing with older guys. i think the big difference is, when you play against players your own age, you have fun, relax. Do the same thing when your playing with the older kids. It's still basketball, it's still a game, have fun with it. As far as getting space, use pump fakes or maybe a drop step. Get comfortable using both, and you should be able to get a high percentage shot off. GL, and have fun with it.

5/23/2010 7:34:23 PM
sydney said:

Hey coach i love this site! great job..ive used alot of stuff ive learn from here..very effective..but i really wanna increase my 5'10..athletic..faster then everyone..can leap out the building..but i really wanna know the best decisions in every that something thats comes with experience...or can i learn this other ways..

5/26/2010 12:28:56 PM
Brian said:

You're right, the best is just experience. EVERYtime you step on the court, you should be looking to make yourself better, even if your screwing around with your buddies in the driveway, work on anticipating, passing with both hands. That's what makes guys like Steve Nash so effective, they anticipate, can pass in various ways, and can do it equally with both hands. One other thing I've suggested to others wondering how to improve there "anticipation" abilities is a little off the wall, but works imo. That's learning and playing the game chess. Sounds stupid, but after playing chess, your brain develops the ability to see moves ahead, which eventually translates to seeing moves ahead on the court. GL.

5/26/2010 12:30:31 PM
Adam said:

I know you're supposed to control the ball with your fingertips and I heard when shooting the ball should roll off your index finger. Due to my small hands, I can't get a firm grip and the ball seems to only roll off of my middle finger, without much control either. I haven't been playing long though. Can I expect this skill to develop by itself or should I practice specific drills? (by the way, I'm ~6 ft, and considering there are a bunch of players shorter than I am I figure there should be hope)

5/26/2010 12:33:00 PM
Brian said:

Your off hand should be balancing or controlling the ball. Think of your shooting hand as a platform, that your going to launch toward the rim. Just make sure that your eyes are on your target, your body is balanced, and that when you launch that shot, you snap that wrist to get the proper rotation on the ball. Your small hands should not be a problem, if you had big hands, (i.e. Shaq), then it'd be a bigger problem. GL.

5/26/2010 12:34:00 PM
Nick said:

: Hey im a 6'1" small forward so im unsersized so i was hoping that you could give me some tips on how to play as an undersized small forward thanx

5/26/2010 12:38:40 PM
Brian said:

At 6'1". your are a little small to play small forward, so I would definitely continue to work on your guard skills(shooting, dribbling, making plays from triple threat). Sometimes we have to play out of position for the sake of our team, which we do. My only suggestion as far as playing small forward at your position is don't be scared to get dirty. You wanna be in there, grabbing rebounds, boxing out. Make sure to create a low base so you can counter the size they're gonna have on you. GL

5/27/2010 7:30:26 PM
craig said:

soo im an excellent shooter(67%) form the field (43%) form downton and i have an alrite post game but i have no faceup game whatso ever how do i improve that thanx

5/28/2010 8:58:13 PM
Brian said:

go to the triple threat section and MASTER it. This is how you will develop a good faceup game.

5/30/2010 7:38:11 AM
Josh said:

heya.bro.i just wanna say that advices are great and teached me alot of things that i need to be good in the game of b-ball.
so here's my question.
i really dont what to not good at basketball i dont have natural talent.and its so hard to master dribbling so just give me an advice.Should I gie up on basketball? Or just keep striving harder? PLS answer

5/30/2010 4:41:27 PM
Brian said:

If you're really serious about getting better, and you love the game, then I say strive to get better. If you're not a good ball handler, I suggest the tennis ball dribbling in the "ball handling drills" section. This is the best way to increase control over the basketball. GL.

6/19/2010 3:23:20 AM
jimmy said:

hi brian. i have a vacant lot at my factory and i intended to construct a full covered court for my employee's scheduled sport's fest end of this year. i wanted to ask you for the height consideration of the roof in order for the ball not to hit the roof framing. hope you can help me on this. thanks a lot.

8/5/2010 5:29:57 PM
Neal said:

Hey coach. ive always hated one type of defence. and that would be the defence where people use their arms to hold me back when im driving. meaning, im driving in and they keep pushing me to the side using there arms. kind of like a hand-check foul i guess. what are ways i can break that? sudden spin moves? or?

8/7/2010 5:48:01 PM
Brian said:

Great question. The best way to attack an opponent like that is to use your "back to the basket game". Go to the "basketball moves" section and master the spin move with your back to the basket and it's counter, the fake spin with your back to the basket.

9/17/2010 8:36:13 PM
Eric said:

Hey, I'm 15, pretty small for my age. 5'4. Pretty fast, I got very good ball control, people hardly take the ball away from me. I am good from close range and with passing. But lately people have been reading my passes and its hard for me to be unpredictable, plus I'm starting to shoot less, it's like I automatically asume that since I'm a PG I have to pass. I think its cuz i've been practicing my passing and I've practied so much that I'm doing it too much. Also I have a horrible jumpshot, although I'm getting better... If I had to compare my style of play it would be like Rondo's. Do you have any tips on passing ? And jumpshots ?

10/24/2010 10:45:39 PM
Brian said:

Like Rondo I would master the floater in the lane. If people are anticipating your passes, it's because you're not being a scoring threat with the ball in your hand. You have to attack the basket first and foremost, as people start collapsing, that's when you can start dropping dimes. Gl


9/21/2011 2:08:10 AM
Matteo said:

Hi Coach
when I'm rebounding defensively in a free throw and I am on the Elbow's spot, which side I choose? Why?

1/22/2015 11:45:48 PM
ZACH said:

Hi I'm 11 and on my gr 6 basketball team, the gym is tiny so When I try to shoot step backs (my go to move) I always bump into someone is there a solution to make my step backs more compact?

1/30/2015 2:53:41 PM
bill said:

What are the most critical stretches of time during a game? Start of second half? 1st quarter? 4th quarter?

2/28/2015 12:02:59 AM
Jose said:

Hey coach im a multi-guard player sometimes nit often play the small forward position for my h.s. team. I made the team this year as a sophmore, the season is currently over, im in my offseason grind right now and one thing the coach's said i should work on is my form my whole life i've been shooting the basketball with my shooting hand and the thumb of my guide hand and i got used to shooting that way im working on changing it.and i found the shot that is comfortable w/o my guide hand thumb but i cant get the ball to the rim as if im too weak for this new shot what can I do i really want to stop being the last player off of the bench i want to play in the NBA like every other young ballers dream is what are some things I can do to help me get my shot to the rim.?

3/29/2015 5:45:09 PM
Lois Semingson said:

Do you get fresh 10 seconds if time out is called before you cross center court?


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