Dallas Basketball LessonsAn Introduction To Basketball Training For Middle School Players

Pass, catch, dribble and shoot — it sounds easy, but these are the building blocks and skills that all young players must possess. The better you can do these simple skills will only help your chances of making more teams and help you become a well- rounded basketball player.

Passing and catching is a lost art these days — and it’s not just being able to pass to a teammate that is open and waiting for the pass. It’s having the ability to pass to a teammate on the run as he’s going in for a lay-up and being able to catch the ball as you are preparing to shoot. It is also having the ability to pass to a teammate as he’s getting ready to shoot on the perimeter and being able to get the ball to him in the “shooting pocket.” Without accurate passing and being able to catch, basketball becomes a difficult game.

One must also develop the ability to dribble the ball with both hands — and in time do it against varying forms of pressure. Whether you’re a guard, forward or center being able to take a couple of dribbles to relieve pressure or using the dribble to create a shot going both directions is imperative.

Lastly, shooting at the middle school level is a challenge because of strength and maturity, but the thing that must be emphasized is proper form and footwork. When working on your jumper with a dad, coach or teammates just remember BEEF: B-balance, E-eyes, E-elbow, and F-follow through.

Balance: feet should be at least shoulder width apart, right foot slightly ahead of the left foot

Eyes: fixed on the rim

Elbow: straight up and down, not twisted out to one side or the other

Follow Through: snap your wrist, straight down towards the rim. You should be able to feel the muscles on the top of your wrist strain after each shot. Having a “goose neck” is a must for any player that considers his/her self a shooter.

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Improve Free Throw ShootingDon’t shoot free throws like Dwight Howard.

Here are some tips to help Dallas Youth Basketball players improve their free throw shooting:

  1. Take your time getting to the line if you were fouled hard  or are out of breath

  2. Mentally reward yourself for getting hit.  Our sport is one of the few where getting hit is a good thing.  I like to say to myself:  “Yes!  Two FREE Points!”

  3. Develop a process and don’t keep changing it.

  4. We like the shooting foot (right for right handed players, left for left handed players) on  the nail in the floor which is directly in front of the center of the rim on the free throw line.  Nearly every gym has this nail.  The other foot should be shoulder width apart and three inches behind.

  5. Exhale as hard as you can toward the basket.  This should lower your heart rate by 20 beats per minute.  It can also serve to clear your mind of distractions.

  6. Don’t think thoughts like:  “I need to hit this!, I can do this, We need this, Oh Crap,” etc.  Before you begin your shooting process you should think of a swish.  Hear it, see it, and feel it in your head. Expect it.

  7. Everyone’s ritual can be a bit different.  I like to have 4 dribbles, look at the rim, say  “down shoot, follow thru high, SWISH,” and begin.

  8. We recommend sitting in your chair rather than bending your knees.  In other words, flex, don’t bend.  Bending your knees over the foul line brings you off balance.

  9. If you miss, take a step off the line, and begin the whole process again.  I would not make too many adjustments after a miss.  Stay with your process.  You may use more or less legs if you are short or long.

  10. Hold and exaggerate your follow thru on free throws whether you hit or miss.  The back on the hand should finish facing the rim and the elbow should be above the eyebrow on the follow thru.   We like the toes, knees, elbow, hand all under the ball, but the follow thru is not open to debate.



Dallas training to catch the basketballSound easy?  So why are so many youth basketball players in Dallas screwing this up?

Train To Catch The Basketball

  1. Want the ball.  Our youth basketball players are becoming Xs and Os .  They are learning plays and not how to play.

  2. Convey to your teammates that you want the ball.  If you are open, let them know.

  3. Let them know with your eyes, your mouth, and your hands.   Look at them with urgency, let them know aloud by calling “BALL!”, and clap.

  4. Have your fingers open wide giving a target close to the triple threat if open on the perimeter.  Get your hands out from your chest reaching to receive the ball.

  5. Have all ten fingers pointing at the ceiling.

  6. Be ready to step to the ball if there is defensive pressure.

  7. Do not let your eyes leave the ball.   See the ball into your hands, specifically your finger pads and bridge of your hands.

  8. Cushion the arrival of the ball.  Use your hands and elbows as shock absorbers.

  9. Have your feet ready.  For the 1-2 method have that left foot down if you are right handed.  If you are using the hop step get ten toes to the rim.

  10. Secure and protect the ball in a manner that is on balance but gives you the opportunity to be aggressive to shoot, sweep and drive, or pass.


Many Dallas Youth Basketball Players Don’t Train During The Season

In Season Dallas Basketball TrainingWe know parents and players alike are asking how is it possible that I am at practice, games and tournaments 15 hours per week and you are saying we don’t train during the Dallas basketball season?

Simple.  Muscles are actually rotting during the season because we don’t spend enough time on strength training, shooting, working on ankle and knee support.  Check out this video of Devin Harris going thru a Body Weight In Season Basketball Training Program.  “Body Weight” means you don’t need access to a weight room. Try it.  Results come quickly.  It is almost like you set a “reset” button on your basketball body.

Maintaining and Gaining Weight For Dallas Youth Basketball Players

Dallas Basketball Strength TrainingDallas Basketball Training can often deplete up to 1500 calories per day during the season.  This can make maintaining weight or adding additional muscle very difficult for Dallas Youth Basketball Players.  As a young player I used to drink chocolate malted milk.  I still recommend drinking chocolate low fat milk within 45 minutes after a workout.  If you want to add a quick 600 calories daily to your basketball training regimen check out this video from www.strongerteam.com.


Dallas Youth Basketball Players Are Highly Susceptible To ACL Injuries.

Dallas Youth Basketball ACL TearNothing can prevent ACL injuries but many strength and conditioning specialists like Alan Stein of www.StrongerTeam.com believe basketball training methods and conditioning can help to reduce the risk.  Considering the exercises in the video below can also help increase basketball performance – we recommend making these part of your warmup before beginning your Dallas basketball training workouts.




The Importance of Becoming a Complete Basketball Player
Guest Post Written By Kyle Ohman of www.BasketballHQ.com

dallas basketball trainerThere are many different skill areas of the game; shooting, dribbling, passing, etc. Most Dallas Youth Basketball players are good at a couple areas of the game but then the rest they struggle with. If you are a shooter you want to stick to your strengths, but if you get over closed out in a game are you going to be able to put the ball on the ground and make a move? This is just one example but you get the idea. I heard a quote from Reggie Miller one time and I think it is a good question that every player should ask themselves. He said, “What are you going to offensively after the defender has taken away what you do best?” That is a great question to ask yourself because once you start getting to play against better competition they will scout you. If you can only drive to your right hand they are going to make you go left. This is where training to become a complete basketball player comes into play.

If you are really committed to becoming a complete basketball player then the first thing you need to do is sit down and make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Once you have figured out what you need to work on then you can dedicate the time to training for it. If you can’t dribble the basketball with your left hand then work on it until it is as good as your right hand, if you struggle as a shooter then work on your shot, whatever your weakness is be willing to put the time into fixing it. A quick word of warning though, don’t get away from your strengths. If you are for example primarily a shooter then still work on shooting and make your strength even stronger.

Don’t be afraid of failure or messing up when training on a weakness. Most people don’t try something new because they think that it will be hard or they will fail. That is why their weaknesses always stay weaknesses. It may be really hard at first to work on your weaknesses and you will probably want to quit but the reward comes to those who push through. People said that Michael Jordan couldn’t shoot the basketball when he first got in the NBA, so he just believed them and was an average player… NO! He spent time working on his weakness and he became the best player of all time and one of the most clutch shooters of all time as well.

Once you have put the time into working on a specific skill have confidence in yourself. If you have spent the whole summer working on your jump shot then when you get in the game shoot the basketball with confidence when you are open. The majority of the battle is mental,  but since you know that you put the work in, you can be confident you have earned the right to be confident in yourself as a basketball player because you put the time into your game.

I know from personal experience the impact of working on your weaknesses and becoming a complete player. I went from being a walk on at a Division 1 school to being a thousand point scorer and ranked the 19th best shooter in the country my senior year. If I can do it anybody has a chance. Be willing to work on the areas of your game that you might not want to and then be patient with the process. This is the formula for success.

Kyle Ohman



The Euro Step is also known as the two step.  It is more than just a great move.  Dallas Youth Basketball players should all train on the Euro step to really master footwork principles and become more powerful operating in tight quarters.  It teaches players to use all of their two steps, to change direction after picking up the ball, and to really extend to the basket.

Whether you are looking for middle school basketbball training, high school basketball training, or getting an even earlier start, Dallas basketball trainer Adam Taylor can help teach you the moves and footwork mastery you need to get to the next level.   Check out this great video in which Dwayne Wade breaks down the Euro Step or Two Step move:


Want to read more on how the NBA imported the Euro Step? Check out this NY Times article:


Preseason Letter for Dallas Youth Basketball Players

Dallas youth Basketball Team“If each of you makes every effort to develop to the best of your ability, follow the proper rules of conduct and activity most conducive to good physical condition, subordinate individual acclaim for the welfare of the team, and permit no personality clashes or differences of opinion with teammates or coaches to interfere with your or a teammate’s efforts, it will be a very rewarding year.”

Coach John Wooden wrote these words to his UCLA Bruins team.  The words are timeless and should be applicable to every Dallas youth basketball player and coach.  While forming, storming, norming and performing might be typical group dymanmics, great teams and players move quickly thru the first 3 areas of development.  If you and your team are still storming (have split agendas) then you need to re-read this letter.