Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

Checking Your Oil

April 4th, 2017 Articles
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It’s common knowledge that you are what you eat. It just makes sense that what you put into your body will reflect how you feel and your performance on the court, field and in everyday life. The crucial part of healthy eating is balance, and a balanced diet means consuming from all the different groups in the right quantities. Nutritionists say there are five main food groups – whole grains, fruit and vegetables, protein, diary, and fat & sugar.

Here’s a refresher of these groups for your reference.

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Know Yourself

January 19th, 2017 Articles
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In Ancient Greece, the philosopher Plato declared that “the unexamined life was not worth living” and was put to death for corrupting the minds of the local youth. His plays had featured a wise character named Socrates who when asked to sum up ancient philosophical knowledge replied with the now famous quote: ‘Know yourself.’

Then and now there remains extraordinary power in knowing yourself and many feel that this is literally the meaning of life.

Plato’s encouragement for reflection and self-knowledge was judged so great a danger to society and he was executed. What were the elder Greek leaders thinking? Most likely they were protecting themselves, as we now know that real danger comes with a lack of self-knowledge.

When we speak about self-knowledge, we’re alluding to a particular kind of knowledge, generally of the emotional or psychological kind. For this exercise we’d like to focus on the areas of self-knowledge that matter most in life, the areas concerned with the inner psychological core of the self.

 

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Funny Hats

September 1st, 2016 Articles
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It’s only a very small percentage of people who feel the need or requirement to be continually dressed in a uniform or outfit. It’s an even smaller group who demand to walk around publicly in it. Personally I just don’t get it. The trend in Westerns society has been to move away from suits and dresses and into more casual comfortable sports clothing. Shorts or jeans and a t-shirt is my uniform. I also don’t wear a “onsie” to an office, or a tuxedo on the football pitch. It’s just not appropriate dress.

 

I can accept that this clothing is “part of their religious expression” as an argument and we can all stand up and agree that every person has the right to express themselves. Here we firmly agree.

 

Where we must also agree… but where Western society needs to be more clear about is, is the right to practice what you want but can never compromise or reduce the enjoyment of others by it’s activity.

That’s the total deal.

 

 

 

“Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals, or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.”

UN General Assembly Declaration 1981

 

We often forget about this last part.

 

 

 

 

 

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Zero to Hero

November 22nd, 2015 Articles
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In a quest to better understand the homeless situation actor Richard Gere posed as a street bum for a day. A noble act that continued with him giving money to the needy. It was the contrast of the story that attracted my attention… and our continued fascination with the “Zero to Hero” story-line. This sneaky emotional trick is repeated shamelessly on every talent show and THE standard plot line in movies and television. A little twist of the story line can be seen in sports advertising where our hero dresses up like a zero and “Surprise!”, they’re remarkably good. The old, slightly fat senior citizen can still play!
 
We’ve seen Ronaldo the footballer do it and we’re all been following the Uncle Drew saga. (the latest of which is posted below) We like this story soo much, that it’s repeatedly told, and it never gets old… it makes us happy. These stories have slotsdad clear contrast, with beginnings and ends, starts and finishes, rags to riches, Forest Gump, David vs. Goliath, Pretty Woman and of course the entire Rocky series.
 

 

 
But in actuality… the world is tough place. It’s a place where the “Zero to Hero” rarely, if ever occurs. We all get knocked down, just ask Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey, and who can forget the iconic ring calls of… “Down Does Foreman”, “Down Goes Ali” or “Down goes Frazier.”, as heroes dramatically tumble from invincibility. The point is: we all get knocked down, both the Hero and the Zero.

 

 
Early media tricked us with “Linsanity”… but when we dug beneath the surface the true story came out. In sports as with most things the truth is hard work and setbacks. Lots and lots of setbacks….lots of hard work. It’s never easy, as athletic journeys are trials of dedication and commitment. “I’ll work at it 100%” you say, and then cite the 10 hour training days of Kobe, Nadal and Messi. These cats are top level professional athletes and they have the means to dedicate themselves to their sport completely. How about a fine dinner created by your own personal chef? A massage sir?
So we see the destination and we forget about the journey…fooled again. The fact is most of us have school, jobs, families, and all sorts of other commitments AND we’re an athlete.
 
So remember the early days, so pure… so honest. We did it for ourselves and improved rapidly. These are good times. Remember if you can. Those that continued, learned to love practice and hours blurred into weeks, months and years. It’s true that good basketball players can be born but the really great ones have been built and forged. Just because you have a “basketball body” or size 15 shoes doesn’t grant you an automatic ticket to the “Show” and basketball success. The playgrounds are littered with 6′ 4″ guys who jump through the roof but can’t shoot, dribble or play defense. I call them “Professional Dunkers”. A true aspiring athlete struggles, works and is continually improving their skills. They get injured and then they fight back through adversity one day at a time. This isn’t easy, but who said it would be?
 
I’ll leave you with a clip from “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” a story where the main character lives his life from old to young and our hero’s many journeys are beautifully condensed.
 
“I hope you make the best of it.” Benjamin Button
 

 
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Finding Buddah

May 7th, 2015 Articles
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At seasons end it’s time to think a bit forward. Blossoms are blooming and for most ballers the regular season is over. Champions have been crowned in the local leagues and even the mighty Spurs have “Gone Fishing”. If you’re not been part of some sort of playoff series then it’s very likely that you’re been sidelined… and wish otherwise.

With this motivation, it’s time to reflect on your progression as a basketball player and where you’d like to be next year. Good basketball programs will provide you with formal player feedback sessions at seasons end.  If you’re program doesn’t do this, ask your coach to do so. They will do this gladly, perhaps informally and only verbally, and ideally by writing something down. This is feedback for you as a basketball player, an analysis of your game and your first step in getting better for next season.

 

What you’re looking for is a report card of your basketball game. What you do well and more importantly what are you can improve. Generally this report will be broken up sections that are rated or graded. No player gets a perfect score so there’s always something for you to work on. Typical categories are…

  • Ball Handling
  • Passing
  • Free Throw Shooting
  • Shooting (2 point)
  • Shooting (3 point)
  • Rebounding – Offensive
  • Rebounding – Defensive
  • Defense
  • Jumping Ability
  • Ability to Finish
  • Use of Weak Hand
  • Attitude and Concentration
  • Work Ethic
  • Team Orientation
  • Leadership
  • Commitment
  • Fitness

 

Now here’s my top hint to you. Accept these comments. You may not agree with them (especially the negative ones) but these comments are pure gold and your first step to becoming a better basketball player. Take this feedback seriously, and accept the feedback humbly. The sound of swished twine may echo’s in your ears… but now is the time to listen. If you don’t understand your coach’s point, quietly ask for examples and more clarification. Then ask for a drill that you can do to improve this area. The point is not to fight this, but work with it and use to to improve your basketball game.

 

 

For summer season it’s important to get out and play. If you’re under 18 and serious about basketball you should be looking for a summer basketball camp. It’s not uncommon for developing players to attend multiple camps over a summer. If you’re not in the gym then the guy who replaces you will be. Investigate the offerings around your location and get to a camp. The best one that I know of in the Netherlands is offered by Mario Bennes, a former professional player in the Dutch NBL. Here’s his website.

http://www.mariobennes.com/

 

 

 

Summer basketball can also mean 3×3 basketball and summer basketball leagues. Get your buddies together and enter a tournament. Win or get your but kicked it’s a great way to spend a summer afternoon. If you’re looking to maintain or increase conditioning it’s also fun to experience other sports. Running, tennis and CrossFit are my recommendations. Make sure to include a strength-training component to your summer program. This is a must for basketball players at all levels of play.

Increasing professional basketball players hire a personal coach during the off-season. The most revered in today’s game is Idan “Crouton” Ravin the current guru of basketball elite. He describes his services, as “I’m a trainer, a friend, a mentor, a therapist, an advisor, all of the above,” and tells his story in his book “The Hoops Whisperer”. This basketball guru works with the likes of “Chris Paul, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Stephen Curry, Blake Griffin, James Harden, Dwight Howard, and many more”… a virtual who’s who of today’s NBA elite.

For serious aspiring aspiring players it can be difficult to find a basketball guru, so if you’re lucky enough to find one: treat them nicely! Old professional players or a friendly coaches are good sources for advice. We work for food and pocket change. I’ve been thinking of calling myself “The Basketball Buddha” for gigs of this nature.

For recreational players a personal trainer or a committed workout buddy will suffice. Find someone you trust to challenge, inspire and push you. Make a plan to improve (write it down), commit to it and get better during the off-season; it’s that easy and it’s that hard. This is a massive opportunity and available for this summer only, so seize your basketball dreams this summer. The work, sweat and sacrifice will make the next season the very best yet.

Here’s a bit of inspiration about this years NBA MVP, Stephen Curry. “Success is Not An Accident”

 
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