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Monthly Archives: January 2018

Get a Better Basketball Shot

BEEF is an acronym that stands for balance, eyes, elbow, follow-through. This is a strategy used everywhere to teach good shoot form and is an extremely effective strategy.

B – Balance

Balance is extremely important when shooting the basketball. A player’s feet should be shoulder width apart when they prepare to shoot. This gives the perfect amount of balance on each side of the body. With the knees bent, one foot should be a little in front of the other. The foot that should be in front is the one that is one the same side as the player’s shooting hand. (If you shoot right handed, your right foot should be a little in front) Not only is this good for your aiming but it gives you a good aspect of where your feet should be pointing, at the basket! From here you should be balance and bent down ready to move on to the next step.

E – Eyes

Bent in position holding the ball, you know need to use to eyes to look at the basket. Yes, this seems like it should go without explanation, however there is a little more to it than that. The eyes are your greatest tool for aiming the ball and you would think most people know they should look at the basket when the shoot, but it needs to be more specific than that. Players who are great shooters do not just aim at that orange ring up on the backboard, they pick an even smaller part on the rim to look at. This results in a more precise aim and results in more accurate shots. I have always been taught to shoot at the inside of the rim right in the middle, I know some people who are taught to aim at the front of the rim. I do not really agree with that because if you aim at the front of the rim you will hit the front of the rim and it won’t go it. With that being said I recommend aiming at the inside back of it.

E- Elbow

At this point you are balanced and looking at the right part of the rim. Now it is time to start shooting. The most common mistake for players who have bad shots is they do not keep their shooting elbow in. The reason for this is because keeping your elbow in takes a little bit more of an effort (at least at the beginning, until you get used to it). However, people who do take the time to be conscious about it will see that they are able to get more power in their shot because they have more muscle pushing the ball. While you jump off of both feet, tucking your elbow in you want to push the ball in the air toward the rim, don’t forget to keep your eyes on the rim!!

F – Follow Through

Almost done with your shot but there is still one last part… the follow through. This was the part I had the most trouble with when I played. It is important that your hand points to the rim when you are releasing the ball. Not only do you want it to point at the rim, but you want your arm to be extended and your hand to stay high up in the air. At the end of your shot your aim should be basically straight up and down. My problem was that after my shot my arm would be pointed toward the rim, instead of straight up. This importance of having your hand straight up is because it affects the arch on your shot. You want to have a high arch on your shot because it creates a better chance of your shot going in the basket if it is coming from higher up. Holding your follow through a few seconds after each shot is important because it is a good way to assess how you are shooting and to ensure you are following though the right way.

Time Jump When Trying to Block in Volleyball

Distance off the net

While the biggest timing factor is the hitter’s jump, you need to adjust your block jump based on how far off the net the hitter will be attacking the ball. The further back, the more you must wait to account for the longer time it will take for the ball to reach you. A back row attack, for example, requires a bit of a delay in your jump compared to a ball set tight to the net.

Speed of the hitter’s arm swing

The final little adjustment to timing comes by accounting for how hard the hitter attacks the ball. This is just like adjusting for the hitter’s distance off the net. An attacker with a fast arm swing will get the ball to you quicker than a player with a slow one. As a result, you have to delay a bit for the latter and jump a bit earlier for the former. If you can catch the hitter setting up an off-speed shot, that could also factor into your block timing (or your decision to go up at all).

Commit vs. Read

The jump, distance, and arm swing timing factors are going to be the same whether you are commit blocking (going up with a hitter without waiting to see if they are getting set) or reading blocking (waiting for the set). If you are commit blocking you still have to time your block based on the hitter’s jump, how near the net they are, and the speed of their swing.

Get The Mental Edge On Competition

One way to separate yourself from your competitors is to do the things they refuse to do.

Make sacrifices such as going to sleep early and waking-up early so you can get a jump on the rest of the competition. Those are two things that most people don’t want to do. Who wants to go to sleep early?

Most people don’t even discipline themselves to go to sleep at a specific time every day. Just by doing something as simple as that you can develop your mental toughness and discipline.

If you go to sleep early, you will wake-up early. Waking up early will give you more time to work on your game and study the game of basketball.

Avoid junk food and stay away from anything that doesn’t contribute to your progression as a basketball player (drugs, alcohol, excessive partying, negative people).

Some athletes think because they’re always active, that eating junk food won’t affect them. In some cases that may be true, but if you want to get a slight edge over your competition I recommend you cut junk food out of your diet.

Make an effort to eat vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs, milk etc…

Eating healthy will give you more energy and make you feel better. Cut out junk food and replace it with fruits for the next 7 days, and I bet you will notice a big difference in the way you feel physically and mentally.

Increase your knowledge and understanding of basketball by reading relevant books and watching documentaries.

Read biographies of successful athletes and watch their documentaries on YouTube. You can learn a lot from the experiences of basketball players who have achieved the goals you may have set for yourself.

Model Successful Athletes

If you live life with the same principles and disciplines of the top basketball players in the world, you will be able to guarantee your own success as a basketball player.

So, find out what the great basketball players are doing and then go ahead and do it.

It’s not just about training yourself physically; what separates the good from the great is mindset and discipline.

Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan were known for having ridiculous work ethic and relentless drive.

So, if I were you I would adopt the discipline of working hard and staying motivated. If Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan practiced every day, then you should be doing it too.

Adopting the mindset of the greats will certainly elevate your game above the competition.

Don’t Live In Fear

Dealing with your fears on the basketball court and in your daily life will boost your self-confidence, and self-control.

When you deal with your biggest fears in life, you will use that experience to help you overcome future obstacles and seize opportunities when presented.

Don’t let emotions and feelings hold you back from reaching your full potential.

Fear will hold you back unless you learn to fight it and use it against your competition instead of being used by it.

Marathon Running For Beginners

Just as a plant-based diet often begins with small steps, such as avoiding meat one meal a day (or one day a week) or eliminating a single kind of meat from your diet, until you’ve actually begun running, it’s totally natural for you to believe you’re not capable of getting in shape to run a marathon.

Only after you have run around the block or survived 5 minutes on the dreaded running machine do you start to recognize your true potential. After settling into a training routine, you get a few 5- and 10ks under your belt, and start to realize that a half-marathon is within your grasp.

I don’t mean to understate the preparation and commitment you need to run a marathon. But while you shouldn’t expect to get there overnight, it’s not as difficult as you might think. There are unlimited resources available to develop your marathon training plan, and first time runners should generally allow from 4-6 months, depending on your condition.

It’s OK if it takes you several months, or years to develop the confidence to sign up for a marathon, as long as you keep moving in a positive direction. Whether preparing for a marathon or starting a plant-based diet, you’ve got to expect occasional setbacks and self-doubt along the way. The key is to not allowing yourself to be deterred from reaching your goal.

Although I ran Tokyo Marathon, my first, in March 2009, after 1 1/2 years, I began to doubt whether I could do another marathon, and whether I would be able to make it to Honolulu, owing to time, finances, as well as minor injuries including knee pain and a sore achilles tendon. There were last minute surprises, too, like discovering I had forgotten to pack my 5-fingered grip socks just before laying down to sleep on the eve of the marathon!

Once you make your mind up to run a marathon, you need to decide your specific training goals. Avoiding injury, more than a running a fast time, was my first priority throughout training the past year. In addition to running (cardio), I have been doing core exercises and yoga for strength, balance and flexibility. Although I was sucking wind at the end, I had finished the Honolulu Marathon, in a time that even surprised me.

After finishing a marathon, you’ll feel like you can accomplish anything. If you have prepared well, I guarantee you will enjoy it, and want to do it again. Scheduling another running event in the future will give a purpose to continue your training, too. Like a healthy vegan diet, running benefits your physical fitness and your mental outlook.