A Laker Attitude


Dallas Youth Basketball and AttitudeESPN can’t get enough of the disaster taking place before our eyes that is the star powered Lakers. It doesn’t take a basketball genius to see that lack of talent is not the problem for the Lakers, but instead team chemistry. Some of the blame can certainly be put on the coach, Mike D”Antoni, who has proved ineffective in bringing this dream team together. However, the attitudes of the players incur just as much blame as D’Antoni in my eyes.

Having been part of many different teams, I am staunch supporter of positive environments and see no arguments for anything else. When team-mates are positive to each other the game becomes fun and when the game becomes fun players are more comfortable which in turn makes them play better and leads to more success overall. When I watch the Lakers I don’t see a positive environment.

Kobe Bryant is a great player but his leadership on the floor has bothered me for years. Much has be made about how this time around Bryant is staying calm and patient, demonstrating his maturity and want to lead. This to me sounds like the only thing he is doing is rising above extraodinarily low expectations. That he is not throwing a fit is not reason for praise.

I understand that he is basically an assistant coach during games as he is constantly taking younger players aside and giving direction or instruction and this definitely counts as a form of leadership. What I don’t ever see, and what is the most important part of being a leader, is Bryant encouraging his teammates after they make mistakes. When he throws a pass that is dropped by Gasol, never have seen Bryant giving any sort of positive re-enforcement. If a player wants to be a leader he needs to help his teammates be the best players they can be. To do this they need to be comfortable. I would advise Bryant to go so far as to take responsibility for things that weren’t his fault because that is what leaders do. When we talk about great quarterbacks, the leaders on the football field, we always appreciate how after a loss, regardless of their own play, they take full responsibility for the whole team or at least the offense. We expect this sort of responsibility in football so why no on the hardwood?

This sort of attitude where the answer is “ wasn’t my fault” is seeping into youth basketball. More and more we see kids outright blaming teammates during games. This certainly leads to young players being afraid to make mistakes and when your afraid to make mistakes your not going to be playing basketball at a very high level. We should be training young players to be encouraging each other. I am not blaming the attitudes of middle-school kids on Kobe Bryant, but I think he is a prime basketball lesson of how you have to have chemistry between players at all levels no matter what the talent level is.


Basketball Fundamentals: The Power Lay-up

layups and basketball trainingWhatever the first thing was you were taught in basketball it is safe to say that a lay-up was not far behind. Kids all across the country, including Dallas Youth Basketball Players, have and will continue to learn about the ability to take two steps in basketball that allows you to shoot without having to stop your forward momentum. The lay-up is also where the idea of having to use both hands is introduced, a skill that of course is seen in all parts of the game.

The reason this shot is taught early in a players development is that is so common and so useful along with being an extremely high-percentage shot. Today’s news is that the lay-up works. As young player develops it is important for them to continue developing this shot as well. This can come in the forms of reverses, finger-rolls and different release points, but one of the most important things that can be added to a lay-up is power. This may sound obvious at first but there is a huge difference between a lay-up with and without “power”.

What turns a lay-up into a power lay-up? Probably not basketball lessons with Dad in the driveway.  The first thing is to bring your knee all the way up so that you have the ability to take quite a bit of contact. This is not in an effort to hurt an opponent but instead simply send the message that you are in attack mode and nothing with any sense is getting in your way. The second is speed and explosiveness. A power lay-up has as much momentum as possible in two directions, straight ahead and vertically. A tip for developing this momentum is to pound your last dribble before taking off. This helps players to gather and explode up as well as decreasing the possibility of getting stripped. When a player shoots a power lay-up he or she needs to have a mind-set that goes along with the physical traits previously mentioned. He or she has to WANT to attack. They have to want contact. When this mindset and the mastering of physical movements, the power lay-up can become a staple of any players game and used with great success.   Character Prep helps not only with the physical techniques in mastering power layups- but also the mental aspects of being an attacking player.   Dallas Basketball Training at it’s finest.


Dallas Youth Basketball Rebounding


6 Steps To Boost Your Rebounding Average


Maybe you’re not blessed with superior height or you can’t jump out of the gym, but you know you could be getting more rebounds. Your coach keeps telling you that rebounding is the key to games and you have to win the war on the backboards. There are 6 things that any basketball player can do to improve their rebounding numbers, both on the offensive and defensive backboards.


  1. Get physical — make body contact. Contrary to popular belief, basketball is a physical game and quite often can get nasty. The key to a good rebounder is the ability to find your opponent and make body contact. For young players this might take some getting used to, but the ones that will take that step early on will only help as you play at higher levels.
  2. Learn to pivot on balance. In the low post most coaches talk about being able to reverse pivot when trying to get a defensive rebound and front pivots are most common for guards trying to block out the opposition on the perimeter. In either scenario, you must be able to make contact and pivot on balance.
  3. Move your feet. Not very often will your opponent stand in one place when a shot goes up — at least the good ones don’t. Therefore, as the offensive player is maneuvering to get an offensive rebound, you as the defender must be able to move side to side and keep them from getting to the ball first.
  4. Watch the flight of the ball. This is a tough one for young players, but if you can learn to develop this skill you will see your numbers rise dramatically. Often times, players will look down or back to find their defender when a shot goes up — and lose sight of the ball. Players that can pivot, stay on balance, FEEL the offensive player without having to look for him and watch the ball as it approaches the rim will have a better chance of being first to the basketball.
  5. Anticipate where the ball is coming off the rim. This definitely takes some practice and a skill that can be developed as you are practicing shooting with a friend or a teammate. But the key here is to be able to anticipate where the ball is going to come off the rim or the backboard once the shot is missed. The better you can get at figuring out if the shot is going to be short or long will increase your chances of getting more rebounds.
  6. Attack the ball with 2 hands — be relentless. The first five steps are “technical” things to help with your rebounding, but this last step has everything to do with effort and might be the most important. The player that has the most “want to” will often times win the ball. And the key here is to go after it with two hands. Too many times players try and get a rebound with one hand and get it poked away. If you can learn to go after each ball with two hands with more aggressiveness, your rebounding numbers will surely increase.


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.


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


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 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 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: