Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Don’t Call Fouls During Pick-up Games

Everyone hates the guy or girl who calls too many fouls during pick-up games. Pick-up games are meant to be played tough. This isn't the NBA, and you aren't Lebron. So you can't go complaining about every call you don't like.

And by fouls, I mean touch fouls committed on you, not by you. Not calling fouls will make you tougher and better prepared to play in real games with refs. If you can take some abuse from a bad player during a pick-up game, you’ll be that much more prepared for someone tough in a game with actual refs.

Even Kobe has to play "no blood, no foul":

By playing without calling fouls you'll develop the mindset to play through everything, which in the end will make you a stronger player. Of course, don’t let your defender take advantage of you. If you get blatantly tackled on a lay-up and don’t say anything, your teammates will probably get mad at you. But, if you get bodied at the top of the court and then drive in for the score, you’ll develop respect from the players at the courts. Remember "No blood, no foul!"

Whatever you do, don't be like this guy:

Street-Ball Lingo

Often, young players are intimidated by the pick-up games at the rec or street courts. You walk up to the court, there’s a game going on, you see players sitting around and you want to play, but you don’t know what to do.

Here’s what to do: Get some courage, walk up to someone and ask, “Who’s got next?” This basically means who is picking the players for the next game on the court. They will either say I do or point to whoever does. If no one has next then say "I've got next", which basically means you're playing next game. Keep in mind if you do call next, you may have to pick the four other players. It all depends on court rules.

If someone already has next, ask them: “You got five?” This means, do you have five players for the game? They’ll either say they don’t and will pick you up to play or will say, “Naw, we have five”. At this point, ask who’s got after them.

You'll have to know the rules to play against these guys:

Repeat this process until you found the last player with “next” and ask if they need another player. If they don’t need more players, then say:

“I got after (the name of the last guy who got next).” Example: “I got next after Mike”. Make sure you remember every ones names because next time you play, it will be easier to find out who has next. Plus, learning a few names may make you a few friends. Also, you may need to use this newly learned terminology at a summer basketball camp!

Don't play pick-up like these guys:

Monday, June 10, 2013

Best Way To Recover From An Ankle Injury

Ankle injuries are common in basketball. When we jump in the air, we’re bound to land on someone’s foot. My worst ankle injury was on a fast break and after I shot a lay-up I landed on my opponent’s foot. Felt a pop and it was probably the worst pain I’ve ever been though.

R.I.C.E is the most well-known term for ankle injury recovery. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Rest as much as you can. Ice as much as you can. Keep the ankle compressed with a wrap. And elevate the ankle above the heart.

What I do a little different from some people is the ice part. Instead of resting my ankle on an ice pack or wrapping the ice bag on the ankle, I will fill up a bucket of ice water and stick my foot in it. Do this for 15 minutes in, 15 minutes out. Sounds miserable and it is. Well, it actually is only miserable for the first 5 minutes and after that your foot goes numb and can’t even feel it.

You may enjoy the numb foot because of how bad the pain is from your ankle injury. I’ve also noticed the more you do stick your foot in a bucket of ice water, the less you notice that initial 5 minutes of misery. Use the ice bucket and recover faster!

Here are some exercises to help avoid ankle injuries - Pre-Hab!:

High Tops and Athletic Soles

In addition to being a baller with fresh shoes, you also want to be a smart baller. A smart baller needs shoes that are comfortable and will prevent injuries. Wear high tops to avoid spraining your ankle. Some say high tops and low tops don’t matter. They say if you’re going to sprain your ankle, you’re going to sprain your ankle.

While I do believe that’s true for the worst ankles injuries, I don’t think it’s true for the little ankle tweaks. Sometimes you just make a wrong movement and twist your ankle a little and you can stop yourself from a complete sprain. This is where I believe high tops help prevent worse ankle injuries. Buy the high tops!

To make your shoes more comfortable, buy athletic soles. They can usually be found at any shoe store like Finish Line or Foot Locker. The cushioned sole will keep your feet in good shape for long workouts and are perfect for the long hours at a summer basketball camp! Once you wear them, you’ll never want to play without.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Avoid blisters at all costs

Bad blisters can ruin a basketball player. You always want to be able to play 100% and not get slowed down with feet pain. Just think of those quick cuts and the jumping, ouch! Make sure to break in your shoes before playing. Get rid of the stiffness in the shoe. It’s hard to tell if a shoe will cause blisters until you play in it. Don’t make your learning experience in the middle of a game!

When I was younger I always bought larger shoes because my foot was growing quite a bit every 6 months. If your shoes are larger and you’re waiting to grow into them, then double up on socks. Don’t let your foot slip around and potentially cause blisters. Still, it’s probably best to just buy shoes that fit your foot. If I had to do it again I wouldn’t have bought bigger shoes.

John Wooden, the famous UCLA basketball coach, used to sit his players down on day one of practice and teach them the importance of not getting blisters. He even said the secret to his success and 10 national championships was the way his players wore their socks. His tip for not getting blisters, no wrinkles. Put your sock up tight, feel your heel, sides of your feet, and ankle. Make sure there are no wrinkles! Wrinkles cause friction and friction causes blisters!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Every Baller Needs A Fresh Pair Of Shoes

The shoes won’t make the player, but it definitely helps your image. Plus, part of being a baller is knowing about all the new basketball shoes. What pros wear them, the special colors, and cutting edge technologies.

The best place to buy basketball shoes? Nike factory outlet. The shoes are a little bit older, but you can find shoes there for up to 75% off. And sometimes they sell the crazy colors that you can’t buy in stores. Which is perfect for any baller because to be a baller you have to be unique. Personally, I’ve bought all gold shoes, all blue shoes, all red shoes. All purchased at Nike Factory at a discount.

And if you really want to customize your shoes go to The shoes will be more expensive, but you can customize your entire shoe. Choose from dozens of colors and you can get something written on your shoe, such as your favorite number. Eastbay magazine has good deals too. You can try on shoes in the store and then order them for a cheaper price or different color on Get some fresh shoes for this year’s summer basketball camps!

Best basketball shoes ever?:

How to Spin a Basketball on your Finger

Many people start out trying to immediately spin the ball on their finger. This is the wrong approach. Start with the basics. It is more important to master the spin before you try any nonsense with your fingers. Start out simply practice spinning the ball in the air. Throw it in the air over and over against to achieve the perfect spin.

A big decision to make is which direction to spin the ball. I would recommend spinning the ball away from you, so when you try to keep the spin going you’re hitting away from your face. Don’t want to hit your face while trying to spin the basketball! Again, the most important thing to remember is not to worry about catching it with your finger. Master the spin, so the ball’s rotation is fast and steady.

Once you master the spin then you can start catching it with your finger. Keep working on it for a few minutes every day and before you know it, you’ll be a spinning pro. The last step is to master all the tricks, going from right hand to left, bouncing it from your fist, bouncing it from your knee, going around your arms, going under your arm and spinning the ball on your nose!

This kid’s spinning tricks are sick:

Play In Rough and Tough Conditions

Playing in rough and tough conditions will only make playing in good conditions easier. The difficult conditions I’m talking about are dirty, slippery floors. Or a basketball that has no grip. Or in outside windy conditions that make jump shots difficult. Or a gym that doesn’t have air conditioning. Or playing against players who foul a lot and follow the rule “no blood, no foul”.

Here's a perfect example of why you want to practice in rough conditions. Got to get tough against a defense like this:

Playing on a dirty, slippery floor will only make playing on a clean sticky floor easier. Playing with an old slippery ball will only make playing with a new ball easier. Playing outside in rough conditions will only make playing inside easier. Playing against player who foul the crap out of you will only make playing with referees easier. Don’t complain if you have to play under these conditions, just accept it and play your hardest. Always remember this is good practice for your future. Tighten up!