Coffeechug Notes: Basketball Thought from Dick DeVenzio

One of my all time favorite books on basketball that I read every year always looking for a that new thought or idea is

Every time I read this book I take away new ideas. I love this book and if you coach or play basketball then this book should be on your shelf.

Here are just a few of my favorite passages that I use every year coaching

B-U-B = Ball You Basket – you should always be closer to the the basket than the ball!

1829 – ration of diameter of rim (18) to diameter of ball (9).

Click, Click, Click – move the ball without holding it. You have to know before you get the ball what you are going to do with it. Goal is ten clicks a game.

When attacking in open court go right at the defender, then break. Don’t make an angle early. Keep them guessing and off balance.

Get in his “bubble”

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Coffeechug Coaching Ideas and Motivational Thoughts

This post is just more insights, ideas, quotes and notes I have gather over time in my notepads. I will cite the source when I am able to and if not, then I will still share my notes. I have tons of notepads

John McKissick – There is no mistaking the great ones – they practice just as hard as they play.

What was Lebron reading? Click here

Keep The Heat On!
Get Sweaty Like A Boxer!
Knock Them Out First Round

5 Things in Basketball

  • Rebound
  • Defend
  • Dribble
  • Pass
  • Shoot

*If one of these does not work, then try one of the other 4!*

One of my favorite game day quotes I use when I know my team needs to play tough.

Competition is like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t stop wrestling a gorilla when you are tired. You stop wrestling a gorilla when the gorilla is tired. Be the gorilla. Rebound like a gorilla.

Drills – Ideas To Think About and Try In Practice

  • 3 Man with medicine ball or with basketball with water in it
  • 3 passes to get it down, not allowed to hit the ground
Every team will miss at least 1/2 of their shots so why don’t we spend more time on rebounding.

80% of rebounding is done below the rim

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Training – Sunday 11.20.11 – Swim Class and Basketball

Sunday has been my 12th straight day of training and working out. I know I should have a break in there, but some of these days have been me doing some swimming(not very much) working on technique. I needed a day for rest, but Sunday was packed again.

I had my first triathlon swim class. This was a 1 hour swim class where I worked with Stacey Zapolski and Tara Christensen. There were five of us for this class. I learned many things that I need to work on.

  • My kicking is terrible. My knees bend way too much. I have to correct this by working on kicking from my hips and not the knees. I find it hard to not bend at my knees and at the same time keep my ankles loose. I either am completely rigid like a board, or kick like a mad man.
  • I need to swim with more of my core. I swim with my shoulders. I move my shoulders during my stroke, but my core/rest of the body does not move. I need to work on rotating my body while extending more on the stroke.
  • I was able to get to the other end of the pool in 17 strokes. They said I should be down around 14. I have some work to do. When I swim on my own I am still up around 20 strokes.
  • I need to reach in front and pull all the way to my leg.

These were some things that I walked away with to work on during the next month. I really need to dial in my kick. I am starting to notice it more and more.

Some drills that I need to work on to improve some of these skills are

  • Streamline swim – hands out in front and just working on my kick. Breathing as needed, but not using my arms at all. I can also do this similar drill, but instead of the streamline position move my hands down to my sides.
  • Swim on my back with hands at my sides. I don’t like this drill because I am not comfortable on my back, but this really allows me to see my knees rising. It is a great drill to help me focus on kicking from my hips
  • Shark Fin – not sure if this is the right name or not, but this is the toughest drill I have encountered. Basically, swim on your side for 6 kicks, one are extended looking forward. While kicking you are to bring elbow up out of water like you are ready to switch hands. You pump like that three times and then rotate. I cannot describe it any better, but I suck at this drill. Obviously, it is because I need work on it. I hope to get better by next month when we meet again.
  • Kicking with fins. I have not used fins, but I know I need to. This will be something easy that I can incorporate.

Needless to say I love the challenge. I get frustrated that I cannot adapt as quickly as I would like, but this is something new for me and it is providing me something fresh in my workouts.

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After my swim class I had to run to my car and drive over for my basketball game. I have not touched a basketball in quite some time. My cardio and conditioning was top notch, but my bball skills have decreased. It felt good to be on the court again. I took this time to work on sprint intervals and changing speed and direction. I could tell that I have not moved like this in quite some time and I could tell by the pain in my knees later.

Needless to say after the race Saturday and these two workouts today I am exhausted. It is a good tired, but I am ready for Thanksgiving to give my body a rest.

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Basketball Card Talk

I am working on an upcoming basketball practice talk series when my season begins. What I have in mind is that once a week or perhaps more I would pull out a series of basketball cards that all tie into one topic. I would go and rate my top players in each category. I am asking for some ideas now as I need time to gather the basketball cards necessary to complete the talks.

 This is going to take some serious prep and work, but I think it will be a great way to add some fun to the beginning of practice and establish some good relationships with my players.

Some current ideas that I have gathered would be

  • best guard, shooter, dunker, post
  • best nickname
  • best mullet
  • best shoe
  • best tattoo
  • best eye glasses

I am in need of some clever topics. If you have a good suggestion please fill out the form below. Thanks

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Coaching Basketball: First Game of the Season

Another year of basketball is underway. Once again, I am helping my father in law coach his varsity boys basketball team. Coaching is in my blood and I eat up every minute working with the players and coaches. Being 50 minutes away from my father in law I am not able to attend every practice so I show up when I can and try to make every game. This provides me an opportunity to be part of a varsity program, but not taking me away from my family everyday of the week. It is a good balance as much as I would want to be fully engaged in coaching. It won’t be long until my 8th grade boys basketball season gets started in another month where I have a chance to be head coach and try out some things.

Anyways, last night we had our first game of the season. The team we coach is one where we really need each player to step and play as there are no superstars or overly athletic kids. We run the triangle offense, but only in the second year of this system with a program that was in very rough shape prior to my father in law taking over. Last night, we ran the triangle the best we have ever ran the offense. I could go into all the details about the game(we lost in overtime 74-77), but the purpose of this post is to raise some questions about philosophy of basketball and/or sports in general.

One of the things I talked to about with the players after the game was the whole notion of believing in oneself. Last night when our post player fouled out(who had a great game), you could just feel the shoulders and heads drop and all belief in our team collapse. Why is that? This team just put up 70 points in four quarters and now they stop believing. This program has not scored 70 points in years!!! I talked with the players about how they need to be the team that changes the outlook of basketball in their community. When they step on the floor they need to be so sure and positive of themselves that they are going to play well. I don’t understand how you can step onto the court and be unsure of yourself? We discussed how as coaches we can work on the technical/fundamental/skill development of things that did not go well, but believing in yourself can only come from you. I am trying to think of ways to help them work on believing in themselves, each other, and the program. This is a challenge to help guide them down the path of positive thinking.

Another thing that I really believes corresponds with their belief in themselves is the fact that we gave up 20+ offensive rebounds where I bet they scored on at least 15 of those. Yes, we can talk about defense help, position, and blocking out. However, I think it goes deeper than that. If these boys believed that they were not going to lose, don’t you think these things would have happened? If they believed they were better than the other team, then I firmly believe that we would not have to go back to practice and hammer out rebounding drills because they would have been crashing the boards and keeping the other team from scoring put backs all night long. The tenacity and aggressiveness would have taken care of this stat that killed us. We take away 5 offense rebounds and we win this game hands down. Am I wrong in my line of thinking?

Lastly, we are trying out the Danny Mills Value Point System this year. This is a wonderful tool to use. As a coach I drove home thinking about each player and when I compared my thoughts to the VPS I was not as accurate as I thought. The emotions of the game had an impact on my reflection of the playing status of some players. Our post finished with 30 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 steals, but he was not the leading VPS player of the game. Why?  Well, he also had 6 turnovers and fouled out. Our point guard beat him out by .1 on the VPS. He scored less(23 points), only had 4 rebounds, but he only committed two turnovers and delivered four assists. This tool is so important to this program because we have so many players that don’t understand how important every decision on the court really is. They don’t see the big picture. All they see are points and rebounds and neglect all the other aspects of the game.

We have much to work on this season, but in the end my goal is to develop these players and this program to begin to believe in themselves. Not sure how I am going to do this yet, but that is the goal that I have set for myself as a part time coach.

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Basketball Post

Anyone who knows me understands my love for the game of basketball. It completely consumes my world when I coach and I can sit and watch an endless amount of college basketball. I love to read basketball manuals about different tactics and strategies. Anyways, I have always wanted to include basketball into my blog, but it just never seemed like a good fit with the theme that has developed here on my blog. Finally, I have found a basketball video that fits. Watch this clip and pay attention to the Shirtless Cupid in the stands. No wonder the guy cannot make a free throw. This cracks me up.

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Quote for the Day

If you aren’t making those around you better; you are making them worse

For exampl
e, I told my basketball players a little story that takes place in Africa at practice today. If you see an 8th grade black team basketball player ask them, “Are you a gazelle or a lion and why?”

They should be able to explain their answer to you. If not, then let me know!

As always, feel free to post your comments about the quote.

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