Top 4 Reasons Why Being a Famous Basketball Player is Not All That it is Cracked up to Be

Many young children daydream about what they want to be when they are older. Doctors, lawyers, nurses and professional athletes are just a few careers that are among popular choices. However, any sort of a professional athlete choice seems to be the hardest career to obtain and yet it also comes with many challenges. Take for example, the NBA. While it’s quite admirable to say that you are a professional basketball player, there are many things that you will quickly discover after you are drafted.

#1 You Need More Than Just Height

Sure, being tall can be quite an advantage in basketball. With a net that is ten feet off the ground, pro teams will definitely want to find some long legs to reach it. That’s why the average NBA player recruited is approximately 6 feet 7 inches tall according to www.nba.com. However, you still need a lot more skill to back up those long limbs. For example, Paul Sturgess, an English professional basketball player stands seven feet 8 inches tall (www.sbnation.com)! That’s tall enough to grab the top of the basketball rim! And while he’s surely capable of a good slam dunk or two, Sturgess hasn’t surpassed the NBA-D league. It goes to show that being noted as the tallest pro basketball player on earth by the Guinness Book of World Records still won’t get you to the recognition you yearn for.

Fortunately, while the NBA is notorious for including the tallest athletes in the world, there are still some “little guys” that can hold their own and make it to this elite group. So, don’t think that because of your lack of height you will receive an automatic rejection. Although, the odds are even slimmer, there still is a chance. Take for example, Muggsy Bogues. Bogues’ awesome skills have been demonstrated through his career in the NBA including with the Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors and the former Washington Bullets.

Bogues was one of the shortest NBA players in history (www.complex.com) standing only 5 feet 3 inches tall! Not only was he much shorter than the average NBA player but he was also much smaller than the average man. The Center for Disease Control lists the average American man’s height of 5 feet 9 inches. That’s a whopping 6 inches taller than Bogues! Did this seem to affect his athleticism? Absolutely not! Bogues was known for his strong abilities in passing, stealing and quickness on the court. These extraordinary skills made his height easily overlooked by fans and players. The 1990’s of Bogues’ career with the Charlotte Hornets went down as one of the most popular eras in the Hornet’s history of basketball (www.complex.com).

However, regardless of your height (or lack thereof), there are many other factors that come into play if you’re truly wanting to get into the NBA. Many of which, don’t come very easily. Some other factors to consider are professional strength, leadership, teamwork, notoriety, wingspan, shooting abilities, speed, defensive skills and endurance. Further, all of these traits and many more must be at an extraordinary level.

#2 Not All Basketball Players Have an Abundance of Wealth

Many people think of NBA players as wealthy individuals with an endless amount of exposable income. Surprisingly, this is not the case at all for the vast majority of them. In the October 21, 2011 edition of the Wages of Wins, it notes that the majority of NBA players make less than $2 million. Although that may seem like a lot, it’s not nearly the amount that of NBA icon, as Kobe Bryant. Bryant made well over $23 million in his 2014 season according to www.espn.go.com. And while he quite deserved the amount due to his high scoring abilities (receiving 81 points during his highest scoring NBA game against the Raptors), it’s not likely that many of his teammates with equal abilities will be handed the same check.

The Wages of Wins article went on to note interesting facts including that since the 1990-1991 NBA season, 1461 new players have entered. Of those, only 33% of NBA players (490 individuals) never even made $1 million dollars their entire career! A million dollars seems like a lot to most people but you may not be taking into account other crucial factors. For example, for most NBA players, this income is their only source of income to support themselves and their families. Not to mention, their basketball career is a finite amount of time so when it’s over, the money stops. What if they sustained an injury or could just no longer keep up their best game? Immediately, that cash flow seizes.

#3 Many NBA Players Face Career Dilemmas

The question then becomes what to do next? Coaching? Even that is a long shot. Surprisingly, becoming a NBA coach is actually even harder than playing for the team. With all of the retiring NBA players competing for the rarity of an open coaching position, it can be quite daunting on any career plans to learn that it’s not an easy goal to obtain.

What’s even more troubling is that the athletes have to make these career and retirement decisions at a much earlier age than the average American. While most of us do not plan to retire until 60 or even 70 years of age, to a NBA player, this is unheard of. The oldest NBA player in history was forward Nat Hickey during the 1947-1948 season (www.nba.com). Hickey was 46 years old and that was over 60 years ago. In today’s time, the oldest player during the 2013-2014 is Steve Nash at 40 years old (sportige.com). That’s when many of us are just hitting our prime, certainly not thinking of retirement. While we all hope the best for Nash and that he continues on with an outstanding career in the NBA for many years to come, statistically, it probably won’t happen. In fact, the average age of a NBA player is only 26.8 years according to the rosters reflected at basketball.realgm.com.

Now, let’s consider the other end of the spectrum, that being the youngest player in professional basketball. Yes, Andrew Bynum was only 18 years old when he played his first game in NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers (www.nba.com). Today, Bynum continues to do well and has played over nine years. However, even though starting your career early may be an advantage, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will have a life-long career. It is interesting to note the time the average NBA player spends in their career. Unfortunately, it’s not that long. The average being just a tad over 6 seasons with only 41 games (http://weaksideawareness.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/average-nba-career-length-for-players-details/). Can you imagine that after only 6 years, your dream job will be over and your salary will no longer exist? What a heavy weight to carry on your shoulders!

#4 Relationship Troubles

Maybe being a famous basketball player alone will be enough to lure in a significant other but you’ll have to work pretty hard to maintain that relationship. For example, one couple known for their shaky relationship was Kobe and Vanessa Bryant. Together, they were one of the NBA’s most prominent couples. Unfortunately though, their ten year marriage ended after Vanessa filed for divorce in 2011. And the Bryant’s marriage trouble was not a scarcity. In fact, many NBA players face relationship difficulties and the divorce rate is unsurprisingly higher than that of the average American. Although, pro athletes marry at nearly the same rate (73%) as others, 57% of those marriages will end in divorce and many of which happen during the first year of retirement. (source). Another source estimates even higher divorce rates at a staggering 60%-80%!

There could many reasons for the breakdown of NBA marriages but some of the biggest offenders have to do with fame and money.

Fame is indeed a powerful quality but it also comes with a lot of evil temptations. When you are constantly being propositioned by a countless number of women promising to do just about anything, it may be hard to reject. Especially when the athlete spends an immeasurable amount of time away from home, it becomes harder and harder to avoid these temptations.

Secondly, there is money. While money can make things in life a whole lot easier, it can also bring about many hardships as well. The average NBA player is not accustomed to making millions and when they do, they may not be spending it very wisely. Spending too much too quickly especially without the spouse’s approval, can definitely elicit a quarrel. There will come a time when the basketball player’s career will end and if there wasn’t careful investment and savings on both ends, a great deal of turmoil will surely ensue. And just because you were once a famous basketball player doesn’t mean that it will save you from one of the leading causes of divorce in mainstream society.

Yes, there are children day dreaming as we speak of becoming the next Michael Jordan or Larry Bird. And although we wish every child the very best in achieving their dreams, we hope that they understand that certain dreams such as becoming a famous basketball player may not what be what it’s cracked up to be.

5 Basketball Training Aids to Improve Your Game

If you are trying to improve your basketball game, the only equipment you truly need is a basketball and basketball hoop.  However, if you are looking to improve faster, be more competitive and bring your game to the next level, you need some basketball training aids to help along the way.
There are a huge variety of training aids designed to improve everything from your ball-handling technique to speed and jumping drills.  For some basketball training aids, you can make substitutes at home.  However, the amount of time you will save and extra training you will get in will more than make up for the cost in the long run.

Rapid Fire Net

This net attaches to the sides of a basketball backboard and is then anchored to the ground with movable weights.  The end result resembles the basketball free throw games at an arcade.  This basketball training aid lets you practice shooting skills in rapid succession without having to chase or retrieve the ball after every shot.

Training Braces

There are a variety of braces, straps and spacers that are designed to correctly position your arms, wrists and fingers when handling and shooting the ball.  These are especially useful training aids when working by yourself and you might not be able to see or correct mistakes in your form.  They will also help prevent you from creating bad habits when practicing on your own that will only need to be corrected by your coach.

Ladders

Ladders essentially look a ladder place on the ground and can lay flat or have a few inches of height, depending on the type of training aid you are in the market for.  They are great for agility drills and can really improve your reflex and reaction times on the court.  You can make your own ladder at home with blocks or tape, but the set up and clean-up for this training aid is so easy and fast, it makes it well worth the price.

Multi-Height Platforms

These stable platforms come in several heights and are perfect for jumping drills.  It is possible to use a weight bench, chair, box or step instead of these platforms but these substitutes come with a safety risk.  Platforms were specifically designed for jumping and offer the stability and traction necessary to perform safely.  Chairs can tip and weight benches allow you to slide (as well as wear out the weight bench much faster) but these basketball training aids will take all the jumping punishment you can give.

Recoil Resistance Band

These come in several varieties that can either be attached to a stationary object, such as a pole, attached to a partner, or comes paired with a weighted sled.  They are used with speed drills and help condition for sprinting, jumping and fast changes of direction.  This basketball training aid is especially important to invest in because it is the safest way to perform most resistance sprints.

Basketball Dunks: The Basics

Although professionals like LeBron James and Michael Jordan make a basketball dunk look like one effortless and powerful leap, successful dunks are comprised of much more than that; there are critical techniques, fundamentals, and steps behind every prosperous dunk that even an avid basketball fan may be oblivious of. Being familiar with recognizing how a particular dunk looks is a world away from knowing how the slam works, which is obviously a vital aspect to a dunk’s success. However, knowing the small steps taken throughout the process of a dunk opens up a whole world of technique that goes beyond the basics. Nevertheless, this article will show the basic steps involved in some of the most well-known and famous basketball shots.

The Basics

A slam dunk is a basketball shot where the player jumps up with the ball in hand, slamming it into the basket either with one or two hands, which can touch the rim during the shot. An undeniable crowd-pleaser, the slam dunk carries different forms and executions under its title, and is an impressive feat for any basketball player.

Wait…There’s a Name For That?

One fundamental form of the iconic “slam dunk” is the Windmill, a type of dunk that anyone can witness Lebron James pulling in the February 2014 game between the Miami Heat and the Phoenix Suns. This shot is accomplished when a player jumps, one-handedly carrying the ball from behind himself into a circular motion above the head, and into the basket. To undertake this particular basketball dunk, the player must begin a strong dribble from the three-point line, heading towards the basket. After a few solid steps, a well-balanced jump (one or two feet) should be taken while simultaneously extending the arm holding the ball downward. The arm must then speedily move up in a circular path over the head and into the hoop.
The powerful Tomahawk dunk is executed when a player jumps while holding the ball with one hand above his head, which then bends backwards behind the head, before quickly propelling forward and into the hoop. The start off begins with a rapid dribble towards the front or side of the rim, but all who attempt it should that the dunk is more difficult to achieve when approaching at an angle. Taking steps needed to jump inside the perforated semi-circle line; the focus needs to be on making the leap more vertical than horizontal, as height is most critical here. The leap can be made on one or both feet based on the player’s discretion, but two feet would provide the most powerful and balanced ascension. Once in air, the player needs to position the ball with a single hand behind the base of the head, and then drive the ball into the basket during the highest point of the jump. It is immensely important to be high enough in the air, as well as in range of the rim during the peak to maximize the drive of the ball into the basket.

A Few of the Best

The Free Throw Line dunk may possibly be one of the most difficult shots a player can attempt, and Michael Jordan made this iconic dunk in the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest. Requiring speed and altitude, this dunk can be executed by vaulting oneself from the free throw line, a mark standing fifteen feet from the rim, to dunk the ball into the basket. To start off with this crazy-impressive dunk, a player needs to get a solid running-start from the other side of the court, in order to leap off with the most power and momentum with one foot at the free-throw line, outstretching the hand palming the ball in mid-air. Since this shot requires length of jump as well as height, the player must swiftly dunk the ball once in range of the rim before the momentum of the jump carries him or her past the basket.
The 360 Windmill Dunk is what Vince Carter made famous in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest, and what Paul George proved repeatable in the six times that he performed it. This is yet another iconic shot that seems to defy gravity and realistic speed, requiring the player to perform the traditional “Windmill” dunk after having spun 360 degrees in mid-air before the dunk. Taking the same steps, as one would do for the “Windmill”, the player would have to increase the momentum from the traditional windmill in order to muster the power needed to twist midair in the milliseconds between the jump and the basket.

If To Be Attempted…

Remember that all good dunks have to end with a safe landing. A dunk is not considered totally successful if the player does not land on his or her feet. It is also a plus if the player avoids getting injured. The key precautions that can make or break a dunk are:

1. Strengthening yourself
Strength in the quads, calves, gluteal muscles, and core is absolutely imperative for balance in the leaps and lands of a jump and dunk.

2. Maintaining agility
Flexibility in the hip flexors, arms, shoulders, and aforementioned muscles can prevent tears, sprains, and strained muscles that athletes tend to experience.

3. Watching for other players
Be wary of other players around, as players can prevent a successful landing or cause an injury.

Basketball Skills and Training for Kids

Exercises and explanations of the skills and training for kids

Why Basketball?

Exercise is essential to our well being as human beings and what better opportunity to promote the unifying ethos of playing sport than by introducing our children to sport at an early age. Basketball is ideal for this purpose, as it does not need too many people to be involved in the first instance. A child can play by himself with very little and inexpensive equipment. Just a basketball and a hoop and a small space to play are all that is required.

Accessibility and Benefits

Basketball is a city sport, a country sport, an indoor sport or an outdoor sport! Dad can play, granddad can play, Mum and Grandma too. Many feel basketball appeals to all sorts of people and its benefits. Their aerobic and physical fitness improves and this is good for everyone’s health and happiness.

Basketball Skills for Kids

To ensure maximum enjoyment and benefit from the training and skills sessions, the exercises will be fun and games-led.

Basic skills:

Drills include each child bouncing the ball on the spot individually, exercising ball control. Once confident, the child will bounce the ball whilst standing on the spot but turning in a circle clockwise and then doing it again but in an anticlockwise direction. They can also change hands and have a go with their weaker hand. The next stage would be to pat the ball whilst moving. At first, it would be easier to move forwards and, gradually, they can move backwards whilst keeping the ball moving in any direction with their hands. Children will play short competitive games working in twos for passing and ball control development. The kids will learn to pat the ball deftly and as they get more confident, they will naturally apply finger control in keeping with their level of expertise.

Defensive skills:

Once the basic skills are learned, most of the children will be required to lift an arm out to protect themselves from other players whilst bouncing their own ball. This activity can once again be encompassed in a game where children are paired up and have to keep their ball bouncing whilst trying to disengage their opponent’s ball with their free hand.

Passing skills:

After mastering ball handling, kids attempt passing. Two lines are formed with kids facing each other. The ball is passed back and forth from a child in one line to another child who is on the opposite line.

Dribbling Skills:

Kids will dribble the ball in groups. Mini competitions using equipment like plastic cones or bean bags to mark the course together with a simple set of rules will enable kids to speed up their learning process. The game is based on a knock out competition with two teams running through the cones, which outline the course to the end of the hall and tag a player on the other side and form a dribbling relay team. The winner is the team that completes the course the quickest when dribbling the basketball. The spinoff is that the game will encourage team spirit, bonding between the players, confidence and speed of moving with the ball.

Shooting the ball:

In basketball lessons for kids, no attempt is made to mirror the adult version of the sport. Kids are encouraged to shoot the ball, double handed at first to enable them to get the measure of the circumference of the hoop.

Basketball Training for Kids:

Aerobic Activity and Muscle Strengthening

Before attempting more complicated skills and techniques, the training element of the sport must be emphasized. Kids will strengthen their muscles and bones by regular, targeted training sessions. The kids will do floor exercises to strengthen their core and upper body area as well as short burst running and jumping sessions to strengthen calf and leg muscles and build in dexterity. Other taught skills can be acquired on the back of this training such as defending skills, laying-up shots for team mates and making chest passes.

Basketball Drills for Little Kids

It is never too early to play physical games and basketball is no different. Lightweight, miniature balls must be used in order to protect the child from any muscular damage. However, it is an essential part of child development, which crosses the boundary of mental and physical agility. A toddler running after a rolling ball is a familiar sight. This toddler is inadvertently building up its leg muscles, which will help him to crawl, walk, run and jump as his bones harden and grow with continuous activity. Hugging a basketball allows the little child to flex its muscle in its upper arm and grip the ball with tiny fingers. This is important in promoting hand-eye co-ordination. Additionally, the interaction with a grown up who is rolling the ball and ensuring the child is safe from harm, enables the child to be introduced to the social effects of game playing. This is crucial in ensuring that the little kid will take an early interest in the game and continue to develop and progress as a player.

Rules and Regulations, Morality and Fair Play

An important aspect of basketball training for kids is the continual and intentional provision of information to kids about behavior expectations when involved in sport. This process starts with the youngest kids and progresses upwards to enable the children to give it the priority it deserves. Sportsmanship revolves around the rules of the game and how it is played. There is no room for disrespect to other players, officials or spectators. Whilst learning the rules of the game we teach them how to win and how to lose with dignity.

To be a good basketball player you have to practice, practice, and practice. You can have fun doing this either by yourself in a quiet space with a ball and hoop, with or without a net or with a few friends in a park or in your own backyard. Here, we show a few simple exercises to help you to improve quickly. These involve basketball drills for children of all ages and some lessons on how to play the game fairly whilst having fun. You will notice that your fitness level will rise giving you that extra boost you need to propel you to the next level.

The Right Shoes for Your Favorite Game: Basketball

When you are playing in the court and when you are in the heat of the game there are many things which can either help you play better or can destroy your game. One thing that you cannot overlook is to have the right shoes on your feet so that you will be able to make more baskets and increase your game. The court is hard and the surface is slippery. Unless you fancy falling on your ass and injuring yourself, and possibly others, then you need to get yourself a proper pair of dunking basketball shoes.

There is nothing worse than going onto the court with the wrong shoes. You’ll immediately feel out of place. However, if you want to feel like a pro, then you should wear like a pro. When you are working out with the right shoes, your foot doesn’t feel the impact when you jump really high. You will be able to jump and get closer to the net every time with the right set of basketball shoes. They will provide your foot the cushion that it needs to absorb the shock of the pavement; or of the wood, depending where you are playing.

Life is Fast

Life is fast and busy and you will be shooting hoops in many different environments. Your ankle needs the support stop you from twisting an ankle, or to gain speed on the court. Try practicing at home or set aside some time on the courts. You will be amazed how much the right shoe can help you to increase your verticals as well as get more baskets. Many of the injuries that are suffered on the court are all about the ankle not being supported and there not being enough cushions in the shoe to be able to absorb all of the pressure and the weight.

If you are practicing with the wrong shoes, it is only a matter of time before those old shoes help you get an injury. Your feet and your ankles have a hard time absorbing the shock which is on the pavement and the courts, and for that reason it is very important to make sure that you are working out and are practicing with the right vertical jump training equipment.

Because basketball doesn’t use a stick, like hockey, or padding and helmets, like football, your feet and your hands are your only method of defending yourself. If you’re going into a game without the right shoes then you’re sacrificing the one asset you have that can make all the difference. The right pair of shoes can make or break a game, and a team with a pair of quality, expensive, tailored shoes, are more likely to get the edge in over a team with regular old sneakers on. Even if you’re only playing for the fun of it, you should still invest in a decent pair of shoes as they’re you’re armor, they are what will keep you safe when you’re putting all that pressure on your joints.

Train for the Best with the Best:

If you have been fantasizing about taking your performance on the court to the next level you must think first about where you are. What kind of investment do you need to make in yourself? You need to make sure that if you are training hard and playing hard, then you have the best possible equipment to ensure that you will be able to protect yourself as well as enhance your game on the court. For that reason there is nothing better than having the best shoes which will help you make the vertical jumps you have been dreaming about.

When you are working on trying to have access to the best jumps there is nothing more critical than ensuring that you have the right shoes to get you through those jumps and work outs. That means you want to be ready for anything, any surface and any game. Once you have been training with the best basketball shoes you will be ready to move onto something else which will keep you ahead of the competition and ready to go. That means you need to have the best in the business if you expect to constantly increase your heights and are always looking to take your game to the next level.

So What Are We Looking At?

If you want a quality pair of Basketball shoes, then you’re going to need something that thick soles filled with cushion. Some use a bubble of air as well for added suspension. You’re going to want something with a thick tongue at the front and large laces that won’t come undone. Make sure there’s plenty of comfortable, quality padding at the heel, as you don’t want to suffer blisters after every game. And finally, of course, you want a pair that stands out. Not only do you want a pair that are going to give you the edge on the field, but you’re going to want a pair that’ll give you the edge on the street too. Basketball shoes are known for their vivid colors and wild designed, so don’t be shy, pick up a pair that’ right for you.

When you are trying to be a professional athlete, there is no way you would work with anything that would be subpar. That means that you would only wear and perform at your best. By doing that, you want to make sure that every time you go on the court you are ready to go and will have the best possible look and feel when you are doing it. You will be amazed at everything you can take on and conquer with the right equipment. There has never been a better time than right now than to make an investment in yourself.

Training for Basketball

Exercises

Keeping up with the intensity of basketball requires constant workout sessions. If you’re not putting the time in you’ll quickly fall behind. Try out some of these simple exercises to keep your head in the game and be in top performance.

Warm Ups

Before any intensive exercise session you should warm up. This stretches out your muscles and makes you less likely to pull something or injure yourself. As basketball involved a lot of running, you should stretch out your calf and thigh muscles. Place your hands against a wall and push your legs behind you, making sure to keep them straight. Do one, then focus on the next. Keep them there for fifteen second bursts. Next, step back and push one foot forward, against keeping it straight, again for fifteen second bursts, and again switching. Then grab your foot and pull it up behind you. This stretches out your quads and gets you ready for the big game. After you are done, relax yourself and loosen your muscles by shaking out your legs. For your arms, push one arm across your chest, and use the other for support. Then push your arms behind you back, with one hand on the elbow gently forcing it down. Stretch up to the air as far as you can, and then relax, again shaking out and relaxing your muscles.

Warm Down

After the match, make sure to warm down. It might seem counter-intuitive, but a quick job and a few key stretches after an intensive game can slowly allow your body to come down and helps prevent injury.

Core

Work your abs with sit-ups, crunches, planks and push-ups. Change it up. There are loads of ways to be creative when it comes to core. Put weight on your back, or move your body left to right as you do sit-ups. Add a pair of dumbbells to your hands or fight against a friend as he pushed you back. Make it team-oriented. See who can do the most or last the longest. Partner up and get a buddy to make sure you’re doing it right. Quality over quantity is key. Don’t waste your time doing a half-assed core training session. Put the effort in and do it right. Don’t overdo it, though. You don’t want to put yourself out of action. When you’re at home, try to keep a steady track. Do a few every day yourself and you’ll soon find you’re top of the class.

Drills

Drills are vitally important. You can be warmed up as much as you like, but if you don’t practice your technique on the court you’ll be no good to anyone. Here are a few key drills to practice before any big game.

Passing

Grab a partner, stand a good ten to fifteen feet apart and using your right hand push the ball to them. When they push back, receive with your left, and push again with your right. Keep doing this until it becomes routine, almost sub-conscious. Then, start moving up and down a few feet, making it more challenging by adding in a second ball. If there are a few of you, line up in two teams and pass balls all the way down the line, keeping it smooth and rhythmic.

Free-Throws

Take it in turns to practice your free throws. The points scored from fouls can make or break a game, so get in the habit of doing these regularly. Other team members can practice their defence by trying to block your throws if you want to make it that bit harder.

Mini-Games

Grab a partner. One tries to slam dunk while the other tries to block. Get your defence solid while you partner practices his offence, then switch around.

Coordination

Hand-eye co-ordination is vital in basketball. You don’t want to be the guy who constantly messes up his passing or his free-throws. Take your ball around with you when you’re at home and try to hit targets. Play on the street in a free-for-all and get the feel of the rough side of the game. Take that intensity back with you to the court. Even doing something outside of basketball, like going to a shooting range or playing tennis can improve your co-ordination. Take a small tennis ball and toss it off a wall at home or in your back yard. Try to toss it and grab is as often and as fast as you can. Little things like that will make it easier to pass the ball on the court. Even relaxing and playing some shoot-them-ups at home on your console can actually improve you co-ordination, but don’t stay indoors too long. Get out and get active.

Speed

Speed is everything in basketball, especially if you’re on point guard. Try to practice this a lot in between your exercise regimes. Try mixing up sprints and jogs together. Take a five minute jog followed by a two minute burst of a sprint, and repeat for an hour. Find a pathway at home that you feel comfortable running in. If it’s a loop then that’s even better. Time yourself and see if you can beat your own score. Get a friend in on it and try to compete with each other, see who can go the longest and the fastest. Make little aims for yourself. Pick a spot to reach in a certain time and try to beat it. You’ll soon find it’s not a chore at all, and it can even be extremely meditative too, which is great for the mind.

So what are the key things to remember? It is important to focus on core strengthening, coordination, and speed. Be sure to use a partner during drills, which could significantly improve your skills. Proper stretching, before and after practice, is also essential. Use mini games to keep your training fun, and keep track of your goals so you know how far you’ve come, and how far to go next.

How to Jump Higher In Volleyball

Before you can work on jumping higher in volleyball, you first need to fully understand the game and all that is involved with playing it successfully. Volleyball is a game that involves two teams, a ball, and a net. The net is suspended high above the ground and the object of the game is to consistently get the ball over the net onto your opponent’s side without them being able to hit it back to your side. It is imperative to understand how to play so you can understand how important jumping is to the game of volleyball.

Jumping is one of the most important components of the game because if you are unable to jump there is no way you can properly hit the ball to either defend it or score. In order to work on, and essentially, perfect your jumping ability, you have to learn various techniques to enhance your volleyball jump. Plyometric exercises allow you to increase your agility and speed to help you block and hit better. Leg plyometric exercises focus solely on the conditioning and strengthening of your legs which will significantly and dramatically improve your game. Let’s take a look at several leg exercises that can catapult you into a higher jump:

Knee Tuck Jumps

These allow you to increase your speed by spreading your legs apart and jumping with your knees high up to your chest and extending your legs quickly when landing.

Lateral Jumps

These allow you tone and strengthen as well as build support by jumping from one side to the other with a slight squat.

Mountain climbers

These are used for toning and strengthening your hamstrings as well as arms and abs by placing your body in a push up positing and consistently moving your legs up to your chest and down as though you are climbing a mountain.

Burpees

These focus on your leg movement by having you jump from a bent over position to extending your hands up in the air and then back down while your legs are moving up in the air and then down in a crawl type position.

Squat jacks

These utilize every leg muscle by combining squats and jumping jacks to build stamina and toning.

Leg plyometric exercises are the most effective way to work on jumping higher for volleyball. They allow you to perfect your jumping techniques which are so important for hitting and blocking. It is best to do your plyometric exercises for at least 15 minutes each to maximize your stamina and continuously see the increase of power in your legs. Having power and strength in your legs will ensure that you have the best possible jumping technique and will enhance your jumping ability.

In addition to leg plyometric exercises, you will also need to incorporate volleyball jump training into your daily regime as well. Volleyball jump training is specifically tailored to volleyball and focuses on the game and the techniques that should be used to increase agility and skill in jumping. The following are a list of volleyball jump training techniques and exercises to assist in maximizing your volleyball jumping ability:

Hop over drills

These drills will have a volleyball player hop over several objects in an obstacle course from front to back while continuously jumping as soon as they land to increase muscle stimulation.

Lateral jump drills

The volleyball player has to create height as soon as they leave the floor. It will strengthen the buttocks and hips to avoid injuring your knees.

Drill set up

These can be done with a teammate or alone but involves jumping up and down consistently front and back for about 15 to 18 seconds with a 45 second rest in between each one. This will build jumping stamina and increase your jump.

After establishing a regular workout routine for your leg exercises you may want to consider completing a jump height training program that is instructor lead and focuses on increasing your jump height. Understanding the fundamentals of volleyball and the importance of jumping as a key factor to being successful at playing the game is important. However, it is also important to incorporate a daily routine that will assist you in the dynamics of strengthening your legs to allow you to jump higher. In order to achieve a higher jump you have to work consistently on your leg muscle building as well as strength and agility training. You need to understand the dynamic of the game of volleyball and how jumping solidifies your place in the game.

Jumping higher is essential to the hitting technique that you incorporate as well as allowing you to become more comfortable with being active mid air and landing on your feet gracefully and efficiently. Increasing your jump height will give you an advantage in the game as you will be a key contributing factor to not only hitting but blocking as well. When you are able to jump higher you can block the volleyball from going out of bounds and potentially losing a point to the other time. In addition to blocking, jumping higher will allow you to hit the ball over the net and possibly out of the reach of your opponent’s side. This is a skillful tactic that can be used to score points for your team.

Understanding everything that surrounds developing a higher jump in volleyball will increase your knowledge and application to the sport. The implementation of a higher jump will make you more confident on the volleyball court and allow you to serve both yourself and your teammates well. Using the techniques and workouts given to you in this article will increase your abilities and your chances of become an invaluable member of any volleyball team.

How to jumper higher in volleyball is a skill that many volleyball players would like to learn and develop. Here, we show you some helpful techniques as well as workout drills to incorporate into your daily routine that will assist you in maximizing your most effective jumping ability. Look how the leg plyometric exercises and workout drills look and what you need to do in order to duplicate them to obtain a successful volleyball jumping height. Make sure your volleyball jumping height is measurable and attainable.

The 3 Best Exercises to Improve Your Vertical Jump Technique

So you’ve tried a bunch of vertical jump exercises and now you’re looking for the best exercises that will improve your vertical jump.  If you want a better vertical jump, the best place to start is with strength exercises and jumping drills.  This will quickly improve your strength, speed and jumping technique, the three most important factors involved in a vertical jump.  For strength exercises, standard and deviations of squats and calf raises will help strengthen the major muscle groups involved with vertical jumping.  However, you could spend all day in the gym and never improve your vertical jump at all.  Therefore for most people, they best exercises for a better vertical jump is to start with technique drills.

Jump Rope

This exercise may seem obvious but it bears mentioning.  Jumping rope uses the same muscles that will help with an explosive vertical jump.  Just make sure you are actually jumping rope and not skipping or doing a modified type of run with the jump rope.  Jump with your feet together where both feet jump at the same time and land together again.  Try to keep your ankles together and your knees slightly bent.

Shock Jumps

Shock jumps works on improving not only your jumping skills but your take off as well.  Many people concentrate on the actual jumping part of the vertical jump, they never think about the take-off and the last second before they are in the air.  This is incredibly important to create the power needed to get height on a jump, making this technique of the most overlooked but best vertical jump exercises out there.

To perform shock jumps, stand on a box or other type of step off the ground.  When first starting with this exercise, six inches is more than enough although you can go higher as you improve.  Step off the box, land on the ground and then immediately jumping upward.  The trick to this exercise is that it is only effective if you jump as hard as you can as soon as your feet touch the ground.  You would measure how long your feet are on the ground in tenths of a second.

One Leg Frog Jumps

To do a one leg frog jump, first get down on one knee like you are asking somebody to marry you.  Then bring both hands down to either side of your front foot and round your back.  Now move all your weight from your knee to the front foot (and hands if it helps for balance) and lift your knee off the ground.  This is the proper starting position for each rep.
From this one legged squatting position, jump as high as you can in one explosive movement, landing on the same leg and returning to the same starting position.  Do this for several reps and switch legs.  This will help develop the power and technique you need for a really good vertical jump and has the added bonus of strengthening your quad and hamstring without extra squats.

Michael Jordan – Career Facts

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His Airness Michael Jordan – The greatest there is, was, and will be

He has redefined the game like no one else before him, and probably no one else after him. Today, in large part, the NBA owes its global impact to Air JordanMJ dunk

Go to any continent, any country in the world. Visit any culture, any nationality, and any religion you can possibly imagine. Ask any person, no matter if they’re 12 or 85 years old, and no matter if they’re a neurosurgeon or a fireman. They may not even like basketball, yet every single person you can possibly find, will undoubtedly recognize the name. Michael Jordan. Symbol of basketball perfection, a personification of greatness. The man who, seemingly, could do no wrong.

He is widely considered to be the greatest basketball player of all times. In today’s day and age, basketball is probably the only globally popular team sport where this opinion is unanimous – you’re hardly to find anyone who will name a different person. Now, let’s take a closer look at the phenomenon called Michael Jordan.

  • Humble beginnings

Michael Jeffrey Jordan was born on February 17th, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in a small town of Wilmington, North Carolina, and at that time, it was beyond imaginable that a thin country boy who spent his days goofing around and playing any sport he could find, would grow up to become perhaps the most famous athlete of 20th century.

He was raised in a modest family, but the core values which would later on benefit him greatly, were instilled in him from an early age. Hard work, dedication, and an unshakable confidence that the effort you put in will eventually pay off, have stayed with Michael throughout his years, making him a vigorous and tireless worker, capable of overcoming any obstacle out there. It didn’t take too long, before these traits were put to test.

At 5’11”, Jordan wasn’t considered to be good enough to make his high school’s basketball team, as a sophomore. Next season, he came back better than ever, made the team, and soon enough – became its best player, by far.

  • North Carolina bound

Out of all the attractive college offers he had, Michael chose the Tar Heels. It was, as it turned out, an excellent move, as its legendary coach Dean Smith was able to get the best out of him. Coach Smith made sure never to allow Michael to stand out, or put himself ahead of the team, despite his talent clearly overshadowing everyone else’s.

Coach Smith taught Jordan a lot, both on and off the court

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Along with his legacy at North Carolina, grew the legend of MJ’s unparalleled competitiveness. Every practice, every game, every possession counted as if it was his last one.

Jordan’s most memorable moment as a Tar Heel came in 1982, as he hit a game-winning jumper against Georgetown. That moment infused a huge amount of confidence into Mike, which would stay with him throughout his career.

Jordan’s wins the game, and the NCAA championship, with a jumper against the Hoyas.

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  • With the third pick, the Chicago Bulls select…

The Houston Rockets selected Hakeem Olajuwon as number one. Then came one of the greatest draft mistakes of all times, as the Portland Trailblazers selected Sam Bowie at number two. The Bulls could only celebrate as they drafted MJ, as their third pick.

The third pick in the 1984 draft, Michael poses with what would become the most recognizable jersey in the history of the game

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That summer, Jordan was a part of U.S. selection which won the gold at the Los Angeles Olympics. It was the first (but certainly not the last) time that the international, wide stage got a glimpse of MJ.

It didn’t take long for Michael to impress the entire league. With a phenomenal 6’6″ frame, he was, at all times, the fastest and most explosive player on the court, along with a whopping vertical jump of 48 inches.

Jordan was an instant superstar, both on and off the court. He appeared on a cover of Sports Illustrated, got a huge endorsement deal from Nike, and, along the way, caused a lot of jelaousy and envy throughout the league. He went on to average a phenomenal 28.2 ppg in his rookie season, earning him the Rookie of the year award.

One of the first Nike Jordan ads.

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  • “God disguised as Michael Jordan”

Despite being set back by a broken bone in his foot, causing him to miss the majority of the 1985-86 regular season, MJ made it back in time to regain his playoff form and torch one of the greatest teams ever, the Boston Celtics. Despite the Bulls being swept in those series, second-year Jordan was toying with the mighty Celtics, averaging 43.7 points per game. In game two, MJ set a playoff record which, to this date, hasn’t been broken, scoring 63 points! After the game, all that shocked Larry Bird could mutter, was ‘’He is God, disguised as Michael Jordan.’’

In the following seasons, Mike would only continue to get better. He averaged an astonishing 37.1 ppg in 1986–87 season, and followed that up with 35 ppg next season, in which he was, amazingly, also voted a Defensive player of the year and, ultimately, the MVP. Next season, he led the Bulls to another playoff run, again as the league’s leading scorer. The series against the Cleveland Cavaliers produced one of the greatest shots in NBA history. With the series tied at 2-2 and Cleveland up 100–99, there were 3 seconds left on the clock. Michael managed to get the ball, and then launch ‘’The Shot’’, over an outstretched arm of Craig Ehlo, one of Jordan’s favorite ‘’victims’’. The ball hit nothing but the net, as desperate Ehlo sunk to the ground in disbelief.

jordan-shot

The Shot, and…

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…the infamous celebration afterwards. Notice Craig Ehlo.

  • The renaissance of slam dunk

Michael Jordan won two dunk contests in a row – in 1987 and 1988. His distinctive combination of both being able to jump exceptionally high, and remain in the air for what seemed as an eternity, coupled with a unique style and grace, resulted in some of the most memorable dunks of all times.

Free-throw line dunk

Michael Jordan free throw line dunk

  • The championship, at last!

By the end of 80’s, Jordan was widely considered to be the best player in the league. He was breaking scoring records, toping one amazing move with an even better one, yet he couldn’t get his team past the Bad Boys – Isiah Thomas’ Detroit Pistons. Two years in a row they met in the conference finals (1989, 1990), and both times the Pistons came out on top. However, as with every other hurdle he had previously faced, this only made Jordan work even harder.

The Pistons used any means necessary to stop MJ

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At the beginning of 1990-91 season, it was obvious that Jordan was physically and mentally stronger than ever. Moreover, despite the initial doubts he had about the team’s new coach – Phil Jackson, MJ was soon convinced in his methods, and developed a high level of trust in his system. Coach Jackson had a unique approach to the game, and realized from the start that if Bulls were to be successful, he had to find a way to make Jordan trust his teammates. Very soon, Jackson’s strange ways of bringing a team together started showing results. Michael won his second MVP award that year, as the Bulls finished in first place of Central division.

The Bulls finally had a coach who could bring out the best in a dynamic duo of Jordan and Pippen

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In the Eastern conference finals, Jordan got his shot at revenge, and this time, Chicago would show no mercy. They easily swept the Pistons, and advanced to the Finals.

1991 NBA finals could not have been scripted any better. Michael vs. Magic. Two of the most prominent names in the league, going face to face. After dropping the first match, the Bulls smoothly went on to win the next four, and win their first ever title! Was there any doubt as to who would be the Finals MVP?

MJ can’t hold back tears as he wins his first ever NBA championship

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  • Repeat, then Three-peat

Once he got to the top of the hill, Mike was not about to let anyone come near his throne. After another successful regular season for the Bulls, he won his second consecutive MVP award.

The media did all but help the Trail Blazers in the ’92 finals, as they tried to create another rivalry – Clyde Drexler vs. Michael Jordan. As with everything else, MJ took this as a personal challenge, and set a record that stands to this day – 35 points in a single half, during Game 1. After another record – 6th three pointer in the first half, Jordan turned to the broadcasters, sitting courtside, and just shrugged his shoulders. The Blazers never recovered after that, and the Bulls won their second consecutive title in six games. Again, there was no dilemma as to who would win the Finals’ MVP.

‘’The shrug’’

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That summer, MJ was a part of the original ‘’Dream Team’’, assembled for the Olympic games in Barcelona. Considered by many as the greatest basketball team ever, the ‘’Dream Team’’, which featured 11 NBA superstars and one college player, went on to easily dominate all of the matches they played, beating their opponents by an average margin of 43.8 points per game. Even as he was surrounded by 10 legendary NBA players, MJ stood out as the team’s biggest attraction, by far.

As U.S. easily won the gold in 1992 Olympics, MJ was a star of the stars

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With the Bulls looking for a Three-peat in 1992-93 season, Jordan found himself going up against the Phoenix Suns, led by one of his best friends and the reigning MVP – Charles Barkley. Competition like that always seemed to bring out the best in Mike, and these series perhaps proved that better than ever before. He went on to average an astounding Finals-record 41.0 ppg, as the Suns’ coach Paul Westphal could only ironically declare: ‘’We can’t stop him. I never said we can stop him, no one can stop him.’’ The Bulls went on to win the series in six games, marking an incredible feat of three straight titles. Consequently, MJ became the first player in NBA history to win three straight Finals MVPs.

MJ celebrates the Three-peat

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  • Out of challenges

By the end of 1992-93 season, people were beginning to wonder – what more was there that MJ could possibly accomplish? He had won it all – Rookie of the year, two Olympics, scoring titles, MVP’s, NBA titles and so on. He was the face of some of the world’s most famous brands – Nike, Chevrolet, McDonalds, which made him one of the richest athletes of all times. In one word, Jordan was on top of the world, and as the 1993-94 season was approaching, rumors were beginning to swirl that he had lost his passion for the game, and was contemplating retirement. After his father, who was his idol growing up, and his most reliable confidant throughout his entire life, was murdered in July 1993, there were no more doubts in Michael’s head – he announced his retirement On October 6, 1993. It’s little to say that the NBA, as well as the entire planet – was left in shock. There was the greatest player ever, leaving the game in his prime. His next challenge – baseball.

  • I love this game!

Fortunately for the fans around the globe, the basketball Gods decided to bring Mike back to the game he was born to play. On March 18, 1995, Michael simply stated ‘’I’m back’’, and took the basketball world into a frenzy. He returned vs. the Indiana Pacers, wearing his childhood number – 45.

The infamous ‘’I’m back’’ Sports Illustrated cover

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Jordan’s return boosted the mediocre Bulls team, which found itself matched up against the young, talented and hungry Orlando Magic team in the second round of the playoffs. Though he averaged 31 ppg in those series, Jordan would often commit uncharacteristic mistakes, turning the ball over or missing what used to be his bread and butter shots. Most notable, he lost the ball to Nick Anderson towards the end of Game 1, which led to an easy fast-break basket for the Magic. On the Bulls ensuing possession, he made an errant pass to Scottie Pippen, which went out of bounds. The Bulls lost the game, and never recovered, despite Jordan switching his jersey number back to 23 in the middle of the series. The Bulls lost the series, 4-2.

  • The greatest team in NBA history

The playoff elimination in 1995 had an effect that all of his opponents feared – it drove Michael into a rage, as he trained harder that summer, than ever before. In the offseason, the Bulls added one of the greatest rebounders of all times – Dennis Rodman. Redefined, reinvented Bulls, led by a rejuvenated Michael Jordan, went on to post the greatest regular-season record in NBA history, at 72-10. Jordan picked up both regular season and the all-star game MVP, and though the Seattle Supersonics gave their best shot in the finals, they were still defeated 4-2.

The infamous trio of Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman, was too much for any opponent in the league.

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As faith would have it, The Bulls won Game 6 on Father’s day, bringing out the lasting image of MJ sobbing in tears, on the locker-room floor, clutching the game ball. Needless to say, it was his 4th Finals’ MVP, in as many appearances.

As the Bulls won their 4th title, Michael was unable to hold back his emotions

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  • Repeat Three-peat

In 1996, ‘’Space Jam’’ was released, where MJ tried out as an actor, starring as – himself. In the movie, he showed he was not only dominant against the opponents from this planet, but also from outer space! After helping the Looney Tunes retain their freedom, it was time to help the Bulls repeat the title in 1996-97 season. Jordan had the first triple-double in All-star game history in 1997, and the team had another great regular season run, finishing just shy of 70 wins. They advanced to the Finals, where a legendary duo awaited – Karl Malone (reigning MVP) and John Stockton. Game 1 was won on MJ’s buzzer-beater, after Malone had previously missed both free-throws.

MJ puts Game 1 away

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Prior to Game 5, media reported in frenzy that MJ was as sick as hell! His very appearance in the game was under question, as he was barely able to walk to the arena. Visibly shaken and dehydrated, Michael was at times laboring to get back to defense. On the game’s most memorable play, Pippen rebounded Michael’s missed free throw, and got the ball back to him. MJ drained a three-pointer, and won the game for his team. He scored 38 points in that game, once again demonstrating everyone the otherworldly strength of his will.

Mike was so sick at times, he had to be helped off the court by Scottie Pippen

BULLS JAZZ JORDAN PIPPEN

Game 6 featured an unlikely hero. In the decisive moments, during a timeout, reserve point guard Steve Kerr told Jordan he’d be ready to take the final shot, if the Jazz were to double-team Mike. Michael showed faith in his teammate, passing out of double team to a wide-open Kerr, who calmly swished his jump-shot, giving the Bulls the lead and, ultimately, the Championship.

Jordan and Kerr celebrate the ’97 title

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As the 1997-98 season was getting under way, Phil Jackson called it ‘’The last dance’’. Indeed, the rumors circled that upon the end of the season, the Bulls would break-up. Their superstar trio was aging, many players were dissatisfied with their status on the team, and Jordan maintained that he wouldn’t play for any coach other than Jackson. All of this made Jordan’s last season with the Bulls into something of a farewell tour. Every arena the Bulls went to was sold out, as people gathered in masses to get one last glimpse at His Airness. As always, Michael didn’t disappoint, coming up with another strong season – leading the league in scoring, and winning both the All-star game, and the regular season MVP award.

In 1998 NBA Finals, Jordan faced familiar foes, who had patiently waited for a year, to get their shot at revenge. In another hard-fought series, the Bulls went to Utah, up 3-2. What followed, was one of the most amazing NBA finals’ performances ever. As Stockton hit a three for an 86–83 lead with a little over 40 seconds to go, Game 7 seemed inevitable. Then, MJ first stormed to the basket, hitting a layup to get it down to one. As the Jazz ran their offense, on the ensuing possession, Michael gambled away from his defender, came up to Malone from behind, and stole the ball from his hands. He quickly dribbled past half-court, shook-off his defender Bryon Russell, and took his one last shot as a Chicago Bull. Swish. Nothing but the net. With little over 5 seconds remaining, Stockton missed a desperation three, and the celebration could begin. It was a second Three-peat for the Bulls, and their 6th title in 8 years. Michael finished the match with 45 points.

A storybook ending, as Michael sinks his last shot as a Chicago Bull, a game-winner for the 6th title

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  • Another retirement, another return

In January 1999, Michael once again officially announced his retirement. When asked about the possibility of some day making another comeback, Jordan responded that he was certain that this time, he was retiring for good. “99.9% certain”, that is.

In September 2001, that 0.1% prevailed, as Jordan announced yet another comeback, this time with the Washington Wizards. Many experts were skeptical about Jordan’s return, at the age of 38. They claimed that physically, he simply would be no match for young, budding superstars of that time, such as Kobe Bryant, or Vince Carter. Despite proving that he could play at the highest level, even at his age, Jordan failed to take The Wizards to the playoffs in the next two seasons.

In the Wizards jersey

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Michael Jordan played his last NBA game on April 16, 2003 in Philadelphia. With 1:45 remaining in the game, he made both free-throws, for the last points of his career.

Today, Jordan is a majority owner of an NBA franchise – The Charlotte Hornets.

  • The legacy

A small kid, barely 10 years old, is dribbling the ball. All of a sudden, he goes for a drive. His tongue is out, as he tries to palm the ball with one hand and lay it in. On the next possession, he’s pivoting around his right foot and shooting while fading away. He wasn’t even born when MJ last retired, yet go ahead – ask him where he picked up all those moves. ‘’That’s Michael Jordan. He’s the best. Don’t you know him?’’

Single-handedly, MJ made basketball a global phenomenon it is today. He’s a symbol of winning, passion, and endless drive. He’d come to work every single day, knowing that there’d be hundreds of fans in the stands who may just be getting a single shot at seeing him play. And he’d never disappoint, rising to the occasion every single time.

Simply put, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player ever.

greatest-basketball-player