Tuesday, November 11, 2014

2014 Dribbling Gift Guide

2014 Dribbling Buying Guide

Handle the Rock Dribbling System

The Handle the Rock Dribbling System is a great gift for anyone wanting to become a better dribbler.  The workouts are real-time so all a player has to do is put the video in and workout along with Jason Otter.  You can order the whole system at a discount or get the following titles individually.

  • Beginner - 3 workouts each around 15 minutes.  Best for beginning players.
  • Intermediate -3 workouts each around 25 minutes.  This is the workout most players will want to start with.
  • Pro - 4 Dribbling workouts and one passing workout.
Jason Otter brings incredible skill and energy to the workouts that any player will enjoy working out along to.

Heads Up Goggles

The Heads Up Goggles are great for any skill level of player.  One size fits all.  The goggles block the vision of the basketball from about the chest down so players will learn to dribble by feeling the ball instead of looking at it.

Weighted Basketballs

The weighted basketball is a great tool for improving dribbling power and speed.  The men's size ball is 3 lbs and the women's ball is 2.25 lbs.  Players will have to pound the basketball harder than a normal ball which will build the strength in their fingers, wrists, and forearms.  They are also good for passing and rebounding drills.  For younger players and girls we suggest ordering the 28.5" ball.

Power Dribble Drag Bag

The Power Dribble Drag bag is a great way to build strength, speed, and power while dribbling. The bag won't scratch a wood floor so you can take it to the gym and use the FREE Jason Otter's Extreme Full Court Dribbling Workout to become a great dribbler.  This is the way to become the ball handler that every coach wants on the floor.  The bag comes with 3 smaller bags that can be filled with sand to give you around 30 lbs. of resistance.  You can also put weight plates inside the bag for your resistance.  So if you have that player who is a gym rat this is a great gift for them.

Monday, November 10, 2014

2014 Basketball Gift Guide for Coaches

Gift Guide for Basketball Coaches 2014

Coaching Boards

What are the best gifts to give a basketball coach this Christmas?  A new coaching board is always appreciated by basketball coaches.  We have some colorful basketball dry erase boards that will brighten any coaches day.  The Sport Write boards come in two sizes and feature a place to keep your marker and a handle to carry the board around.  

Want to go a step further for your favorite coach? Our customized boards allow you to put the coaches name on the board, the school colors, and school logo.  You'll need to be able to get a high quality graphic for the logo.  Since these boards are customized, DO NOT wait to get one made.  Typical delivery time on a customized board is 7-10 days so ordering sooner is better.

DVD Rental Package

Not sure what DVDs to get your coach?  No worries!  Get our 9 DVD rental package and your coach can choose which DVDs they want to rent.  To buy these 9 DVDs it would cost over $400.  Coaches typically only watch DVDs like these once or twice so why buy them when you can rent them?  Help your coach by learning the Xs and Os of the game from the best coaches in the world.

Gift Certificates

You want go wrong for the coach in your life if you get them a Gift Certificate.  Your favorite coach can choose from our coaching boards, DVDs, Rental DVDs, and Training Aids.  They will find something that will help them become a better coach.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


HOOP THOUGHTS: JIM BOONE'S PACK LINE DEFENSE DVD: SNEAK PREVIEW: Coach Jim Boone is one of the best teachers I've come across in the game of basketball.  He had gained a national reputation in recent ...

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hey Parents! Just Shut Up!

Ok, I could say this nicer, more gently, but I tend to be someone who is direct and to the point.  If you are coaching your kids from the sideline (or worse - I'll go into later) it's time to SHUT UP!

Now I'm talking about the parents who through an entire game are coaching their kids from the sideline. Every parents eyes focus on their child but should your child's eyes be focused up in the stands looking at you every play for feedback?  Think about if you had two bosses.  You are in a cubicle and on your left is boss 1 and on your right is boss 2.  Both are telling you what to do at the same time.  Maybe boss 1 is telling you to do something one way and boss 2 is telling you to do it another way.  Who are you going to listen to?  Which way are you going to do it?  Sounds frustrating right?  It is.

It is the same and worse for young kids playing sports.  Your child's coach is coaching the team and telling them to do something and then you are in the stands coaching.   Your child is constantly looking up at you for approval.  Is your child focused on the game or you?  That answer is obvious which means YOU ARE HURTING YOUR CHILD and not helping them.  Say that 10 times to yourself.  If your child is more worried about what you are saying then you are distracting them from the game.

You are embarrassing them in front of their peers and the crowd with your constant coaching.  No kid wants to have their mom or dad draw attention towards them.  Kids are worried about fitting in already and if you are embarrassing them then others may start to say things to your child about you.  Now the problem is twice as bad because they are hearing it from you and they are hearing it from their peers.  You may not think you are making them feel bad but think about a time in a workplace where you were called out in front of others.  How did that make you feel?

One of the worst examples I have seen lately of an overzealous parent is something I have not seen before in youth basketball.  Dad coaches his boy everywhere.  Not just from the sidelines but during warm ups - ON THE FLOOR while the team warms up.  At halftime - ON THE FLOOR.  And of course after the game Dad is chomping at the bit waiting for the coach to get done talking so he can get at his son.  Dad even coaches in between games in hallways and I'm sure wherever else.  I'm not sure the son can go to the bathroom without Dad coaching there.  Can you imagine the car ride home with this dad?  Can you imagine living with this Dad?  I can only speak of what I've seen in the gym but I wonder if this kid is constantly tortured with how he can get better.

Now I'm sure Dad means well but Dad, you need to back off your son and "Shut Up!"  I can't imagine the pressure, anxiety, and other things the child must feel.  I know I wouldn't even want to play anymore if someone was constantly after me.  Can you imagine as an adult if you had a boss that was always poking their head in your door, telling you what to do, seeing what you were doing?  I don't know who would like that as an adult so who would want that as a developing child?

Here is just one concrete example of how this Dad hurts his son in games.  He is constantly giving him instruction on his shot.  This kid shoots a lot during games and had not made a 3 pointer all weekend.  He finally made 2.  He must have been about 2 for 20 the entire weekend from 3.  When Dad is telling him how to shoot from the stands now the son is constantly thinking about his shot instead of just shooting.  He really is a decent shooter but if you are thinking instead of reacting you aren't going to make shots.

The other thing Dad doesn't realize is that you can't fix someones shot with a little advice.  It takes tens of thousands of reps -IN NON-GAME situations to learn a new way of doing something and then not going back to the old way.

So my advice to parents of youth basketball players:

  1. Shut up during the games if you are going to coach.  
  2. Cheer your child AND teammates in a positive manner.
  3. Save your coaching tips for after the game or even the next day.  By waiting a day to talk to your child about what they can do better, the emotion of the game is gone and they are more likely to listen and learn.  
  4. Give your kid a break.  Make a promise for one weekend of basketball that you will not offer any advice, observations, or criticisms of anything related to their basketball team.  Tell them good job after each game.  Find something else to talk about or do besides basketball after the game.  You might find with this approach your child will bring up things related to the game that THEY want to talk about.
The game of basketball is a great way to spend time with your child and teaching them life lessons. Just make sure your child is having a good time first and worry about what you as a parent want second.  

I'd love to hear other advice and other stories that we can all learn from.  So please share!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Player Pre-Pratice Routine

What do you players do before practice starts when they have some time on the court?  Maybe it's just 5 minutes but do your players maximize this time to improve their game?  Many teams I've seen practice from youth to college, the overwhelming majority (nearly 100%) of players don't even come close to using this time to get better.

Most players will come out and start shooting 3s, talking, pretending to stretch, etc.  The majority will shoot, walk and get the ball, and repeat until the coach blow the whistle to start practice.  So how can players maximize the time before practice actually starts?

It all starts with the head coach.  As the coach you must have the expectation that you and your players will not waste a second when on the court - whether it is before or during practice.  Explain to your players that 5 minutes before practice over the course of four months, adds up and if the effort is made, you can greatly improve a skill during that four months.

I'll give you an example.  One of our players does not use her left hand in games.  She needs to develop her weak hand and gain confidence in it to be able to use it in a game.  So I took her aside, showed her some simple drills and how to do them at game speed.  I explained to her if she does not do them at game speed she will not be able to transfer it over into a game.  I told her for whatever amount of time we have before practice starts, come out and do these weak hand drills so that over the course of the season she will improve this weakness.

The message that we will not waste a second of practice should be announced to the team and explained.  Before practice the expectation is that they will come out and work at game speed on a weakness in their game.  During practice players do not hold basketballs when in line.  For example, if we are doing layups and someone is waiting their turn, the expectation is that you pound the basketball and work on your dribbling and the basketball is not tucked under your arm.  This may only be 15 seconds, but over the course of the layups, this can easily add up to several minutes of additional practice on dribbling that they would not have done otherwise. 

Always be looking for opportunities for your players to handle the basketball or do something besides standing around.  Develop the mindset in your team that time won't be wasted.  We are always striving to get better and LOOKING for opportunities to get better - even if it just 15 seconds here and there.  All the reps add up over time.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Jason Otter's Point Guard Elite Videos

Here at HoopsKing we had always wanted to put together a complete point guard series unlike anything that had been put on the market before.  We had done a point guard video with Jay Hernandez called Advanced Point Guard Skills & Drills which is a great video in of itself and is mostly offensive scoring for a point.  We wanted to do some videos that would encompass the entire point guard experience, use live defenders on the floor, and teach you why you are doing the drills and where those skills will come up in games.

We had done other videos with Jason Otter and he is well known for his Point Guard Elite basketball camps so we knew we wanted to do a video series with Jason about point guard play that would be second to none.  Let me let you in on a little secret with instructional basketball videos.  The videos you see done at clinics are rarely as good as the videos that are filmed to be just instructional videos.  The reason is that at a clinic a coach has time constraints so they have a limited amount of time to cover their subject.  They have 60-90 minutes and they have to be off the floor for the next presenter. So another great thing about the Point Guard  Elite series is that we filmed it over 3-4 days taking the time to make it great and make sure we left nothing out.

Just seeing Jason's outline for the video shoot, we knew that it was going to be a great series.  It was going to cover many things I had not seen in other videos.  There were going to be details that no one ever talks about when playing the point.  You might get these details if you have a really good coach, but Jason would be sharing these details with everyone through the videos.  That's another great things about videos, is that even if you don't have great coaching you can learn from the best and study them.

The way I would describe the Point Guard Elite series is like watching a game with broadcasters like Hubie Brown, Fran Fraschilla, or Dan Dakich who do a great job of teaching the game when they are calling a game.  I love watching games in which they broadcast because they are always pointing out the details of the game and you can learn so much.

Jason does the same thing in the videos.  He just doesn't throw a bunch of drills out there and tell you you should do them.  He specifically tells you how this drill will help you in a game.  I think of some of the ball handling drills he does.  He shows the dribble move AFTER he shows you HOW and WHEN it will be necessary in a game.  There aren't a bunch of crazy dribbling drills or dribble moves in the videos, just ones you really need to be good at to be a great point guard.

The series really teaches you how to be a great point guard and how to practice to become a great point guard.  Jason played point guard at the Division 1 level and professionally overseas so he has the experience along with the knowledge to take your point guard play or your teaching of guards to another level.

I could go on about each section of the videos - shooting, dribbling, defense, running the offense, etc. and make this blog 10 pages long.  But instead I would suggest you take a look at the free preview videos we have online, look at the outlines of each DVD below and really think about investing in the Point Guard Elite series.  Even if you don't play point, you can get so much out of these.  Today's game is requiring more players to play like point guards instead of just one player having those skills.

We have dropped the price of the Point Guard Elite series from $149.99 to $119.99 for the month of December and many players, parents, & coaches aren't missing out on this opportunity to grab incredible instruction at an incredible price.  Paypal also offers no interest payments & financing for 6 months on purchases of $99 and up so you can take 6 months to pay for the Point Guard Elite series if you'd like.

Working in the instructional basketball business for 14 years now, I can tell you that there is no other point guard video or series as good as these are.  I've seen them all and the Point Guard Elite series is second to none.

Volume 1 Includes:

•  Point Guard Philosophy & Mentality
•  Form Shooting
•  Level II Warm-up with the Jump Rope
•  Defensive Concepts & Lateral Movement Drills
•  Stationary Ball Handling
•  First Step Drills with Resistance Bands

Volume 2 Includes:

•  Point Guard Philosophy & Mentality
•  Cone Sweeps
•  Cut Back Dribble vs. Defense
•  Triple Threat
•  Corner Turns
•  Creating Angles to Attack in Straight Lines

Volume 3 Includes:

Transition Dribbling
Point Guard Finishing Moves
Handling Pressure
Operation Zones
Half Court Defense & Lateral Movement
Full Court Defense
Getting Open Off the Ball

Volume 4 Includes:

Passing Drills
Ball Screens
Handling Double Teams
Feeding the Post
Using Screens
Running the Fastbreak
Drive & Kick

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I Ask Why? SKLZ Dribble Stick Review

Having been at HoopsKing.com for 14 years we always get requests for people to carry their products.  We say No more than we say Yes.  The simple fact is that many of the training aids we see are too expensive and just aren't effective enough to make it worth the time and money for a customer to buy them. So I decided to write the "I Ask Why?" blog series about some of these products.

We had been approached with the Dribble Stick product several times over the last year or so. We actually had seen it prior to being contacted and didn't think it was winner.  If you aren't familiar with the Dribble Stick it is basically a stand with "sticks" protruding out that you can dribble under or jump over.

My first problem with the dribble stick is the fact the that is it primarily a stationary only dribbling tool.  You must also learn to dribble on the move not just stationary.  While the video for the Dribble Stick shows some on the move dribbling it is just simply not effective in this realm. The kids in the video blow right past the stick.  A chair as a defender would be more effective.

So if you are doing stationary dribbling you are supposed to dribble below the sticks.  The only dribbles that I see you can do with this are a crossover, in & out, and that's about it.  You couldn't effectively go between the legs, there is no use for it with a behind the back wrap, and a host of other dribbles.

In the promo video they show chairs as part of lacking "the necessary tools" to teach your child to play basketball and then they put 3 or 4 dribble sticks out on the court that were no more effective than the chairs.

I could go on but let me bottom line this product out.

  1. If you make sure to dribble the ball below your knees you don't need this product.  Touch your knee on each crossover dribble and you'll be low enough.
  2. Turn a chair face down so that the back of the chair is in the air.  Just dribble under the back of the chair and it has the same effect as the dribble stick but you just didn't spend over $80 for it.
  3. You can only dribble under the stick for a few dribble moves.
  4. The jumping part of this product you could just jump over lines on the court, over a cone, or just about anything without having to pay $80 for this.
  5. It is not effective with on the move dribbles.  Watch any video online and a chair or cone would be just as effective.
The unbelievable part of this is that +SKLZ picked this product up and are now labeling it as the SKLZ Dribble Stick.  It costs $80 and I would say that it is a complete waste of your money and your child will probably use it a few times and be done with it.  

I have worked with professional basketball trainers over the years and no serious player or trainer would use this - unless they were paid to endorse it.  This is a complete waste of money if you buy it.  Just give your kid a ball, some drills, and they will be fine without the Dribble Stick.