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SourPatchKids 10-07-2012 09:49 PM

Preparation for High School Ball
 
I know many posters on this site have played or are playing high school basketball. Can any of these individuals(or anyone with knowledge in general) on the following topics:
- How to be mentally tough on and off the court
- Ways to balance schoolwork, family, and sports
- Diets for gaining mass
- Best type of protein supplements
- How to get adjusted to VERY physical play( our league is known to be one of the toughest in all of California and I've heard from people that even the freshman teams regularly feature players 6'4 and taller) plus the referees will let a lot of contact slide and what would be called somewhere else probably won't be called by them
- How to get 'into the zone' (I know this is different for everybody but I just want the hear all of your personal opinions). Being in the zone means focusing only on the moment and basically like the crowd, the benches don't even exist it's just you out there feeling unstoppable
- Tips on perimeter defense especially on how to not get caught with fakes/jabs( players will constantly change between shot fakes and actual shots or various counter moves/hands-up moves)
- How to fight through moving screens that don't get called

I know that's a lot any help would be very much appreciated. Additional information: tryouts( there's a Freshman A and Freshman B team, the best freshman make JV) are October 29-31 and we have conditioning right now. I'm not playing AAU anymore but playing in an asian league team and the average team is actually about as good as an above average AAU team. The high school I'm going to is the second best in California and is the two-time defending Division II champions( probably going to three-peat this year). We have one of the best players in the class of 2013 going here also.

SourPatchKids 10-07-2012 09:50 PM

Re: Preparation for High School Ball
 
oh yeah and I'm about 6'0 142 right now. Jumping off two legs I can grab and hang onto a 10 foot rim.

chips93 10-08-2012 05:04 AM

Re: Preparation for High School Ball
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SourPatchKids
The high school I'm going to is the second best in California and is the two-time defending Division II champions( probably going to three-peat this year). We have one of the best players in the class of 2013 going here also.


Who?

SourPatchKids 10-08-2012 10:05 AM

Re: Preparation for High School Ball
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chips93
Who?

Aaron Gordon

Jameerthefear 10-08-2012 04:47 PM

Re: Preparation for High School Ball
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SourPatchKids
Aaron Gordon

Lewis Sullivan goes to my school if anyone knows him.

ZenMaster 10-08-2012 07:21 PM

Re: Preparation for High School Ball
 
What position do you play?

What are your expectations for making the team? Do you expect to make it as a fringe player, or as a regular rotation player?

Rake2204 10-08-2012 08:26 PM

Re: Preparation for High School Ball
 
1. How to be mentally tough on and off the court: Maturity. One must be confident in their own game without crossing that line into debilitating cockiness. It doesn't help to be timid, but it also doesn't help to be a jerk. Just be sure in what you're doing while still remaining open to assistance or criticism from fellow players/coaches.

Personally, even when I'm overmatched, I find comfort (and some would say, mental toughness) in knowing that regardless of skill, my opponent's going to get a fight from me. The toughness is being able to the play the game regardless of circumstance. If a player gets dunked on, is he wilting? Or is he coming back strong and poised?

Off the court, mental toughness is being sure in your own decisions. I sometimes had issues early in high school whenever I tried to appease those around me instead of doing what I felt and knew was the right thing. Not being afraid to be yourself and doing the right thing is mental toughness to me.

2. Ways to balance schoolwork, family, and sports: Family obviously is at the top of the food chain. However, schoolwork is a close second. There's a couple of different ways to look at that. One, schoolwork can survive without basketball but basketball can't survive without schoolwork. Second, schoolwork allows you to function throughout the rest of your life. Basketball does not.

Also, you've already begun the school year, but make sure you've jumped on your studies right away. Every single semester is a building block toward college. My younger brother had a rough sophomore year in the classroom and now he's left playing catchup, trying to make up for lost time so he can earn admittance to the colleges he prefers to attend. Many classes build upon one another. Do the work, knock them down as they come.

To further reiterate, college coaches are much more inclined to be drawn to a player if they're a great student just as well. Doing well in school while juggling family and sports is tough, but it's necessary. Be disciplined.

3. Diets for gaining mass: I do not have feedback in this regard. I was a 6'4'' 175 pound power forward at a mid-sized high school. I will say, be conscious of the mass you wish to put on. It's very possible to be strong and hold your own in basketball even at a light weight.

4. Best type of protein supplements: I have nothing to provide in this regard.

5. How to get adjusted to VERY physical play( our league is known to be one of the toughest in all of California and I've heard from people that even the freshman teams regularly feature players 6'4 and taller) plus the referees will let a lot of contact slide and what would be called somewhere else probably won't be called by them: I think we have to be real here. In your large league, 9th grade basketball with be a step up but at the end of the day, it's still just basketball. When we talk physicality, there's always going to be limits, because it's basketball. Folks aren't going to be truck sticking you and whatnot.

With that said, I actually think playing pickup basketball can be a good help in this regard. I've found a lot of the non-call hits I tended to take in open gyms or at the park seemed to acclimate me to a game style featuring an above-average amount of contact.

This may be obvious, but never back down and do not shy away from contact. I had an opportunity two weeks ago to see two of my brother's sophomore teammates shrink when they matched up with a couple of big fellas. They spent most of the game needlessly swerving and double pumping on all their layup attempts, fearful of being blocked or hit. One must fight through this.

6. How to get 'into the zone' (I know this is different for everybody but I just want the hear all of your personal opinions). Being in the zone means focusing only on the moment and basically like the crowd, the benches don't even exist it's just you out there feeling unstoppable: I was always extremely conscious of the crowd. Early in the sophomore year, a helpful solution was to tell myself that none of what I was doing on the court really mattered. I could score 23 points and grab 12 rebounds and the girl I had a crush on who was watching the game would forget about my performance by morning. Further, if I played terribly, same story. Classmates will go home and say, "Our team won/lost" and they'll move on.

I also had to fake my own cockiness. Regardless of what I told myself, I cared more than anyone else on the floor, at all times. So I got to a point where I just had to tell myself that I was the man and I didn't care about anything. I developed some mannerisms even that evoked confidence and aloofness, just to convince myself it was all good.

You know what else helps? Believing in yourself. My true, non-faked comfort (or zone) finally kicked in for good during a pre-game handshake my junior year when an opposing coach said, "Good luck, Ryan". The fact a random coach knew who I was (and my first name no-less) finally made me believe in my own skills. As in, I must be doing something right if people outside of my own school know me. This allowed me to play with a feeling of, "Someone's going to have to stop me, because I'm good enough to make things happen." It would have been easier had I just believed in myself in the first place though.

7. Tips on perimeter defense especially on how to not get caught with fakes/jabs( players will constantly change between shot fakes and actual shots or various counter moves/hands-up moves): Quick feet, agility, being in great shape, staying on your toes. People always say defense is effort. And that's true, but it's not just about the effort happening at that very moment on the basketball court. It's about the effort you've poured in for hours upon hours leading up to that moment.

Many players approach defense as an interim between offensive possessions. I recommend fighting that urge, particularly in practice. I saw someone post a video on this board from the Lakers practice the other day. One of the most impressive things I took from that clip? Steve Nash picking up at half court and locking down on every possession of a 5-on-5-on-5 drill. Often, high school players get it twisted in terms of what kind of effort is necessary in practice. To become the defender you want to be, you'll have to believe in yourself and know that non-stop hardwork (and failure) is what will pave the way for you to succeed, even if those around you do not share these same beliefs.

8. How to fight through moving screens that don't get called: This is sort of a survival tactic. It's very helpful to know whether the person you're guarding is someone you're going to want to go beneath a screen on (and risk letting them take a jumpshot) or someone you want to go over the screen on (limiting jumpshot possibilities but maybe encouraging a drive).

Illegal screens are going to happen. You're going to want to be aware of the court space around you and be hopeful your teammates are vocal in letting you know when a screen is about to occur. Your teammate is often very integral in the results of a pick or screen situation. Is he going to hedge to allow you to recover? Is he going to trap the ballhandler? Switch? It's helpful to have a game plan when it comes to playing through screens. If nothing else, just scrap and fight.

SourPatchKids 10-08-2012 10:09 PM

Re: Preparation for High School Ball
 
Wow Rake, I can't thank you enough taking the time to type all that just for a stranger over the internet. You're the man bro.

One thing I just realized was how being mentally tough and physically tough go hand in hand. Last weekend I just had a tournament and the first game I had to sit out the entire second quarter cause somebody busted my nose up with an elbow. The funny thing is something like that happens almost every game to me it's just that all the other times no blood was drawn so I just had to play through it. I mean it's not like I was scared to play physical, more of scared to seem like a dick to my opponents or the parents watching up in the stands. Like after a hard foul I would always help the guy up and I even used to have a habit of apologizing to me. But as the second half started both teams were playing man and my coach told me something that surprised me: "If he's going to body you up like that then elbow the shit out of him, bloody his lip or something". Something sparked inside me and I felt like I could play the game with more freedom. I wasn't exactly say in the zone, I missed a couple of spot-up 3's I normally hit but down low in the paint me and my man were going at it like we were worst enemies. But after the game was over( we lost by 2) and we were shaking hands me with my busted nose and a couple of other scrapes/bruises and him who probably got kneed in the thighs and took a crapload of forearms courtesy of me acted like nothing happened and turns out he's a real nice guy off the court.
I'm still working on it but I realized if i ever want to play at a higher level I can't be a nice guy once I step on the court.

SourPatchKids 10-08-2012 10:21 PM

Re: Preparation for High School Ball
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ZenMaster
What position do you play?

What are your expectations for making the team? Do you expect to make it as a fringe player, or as a regular rotation player?

I played forward mostly in AAU and middle school but in high school I'm only big enough to play guard. I'm working with a trainer who trained Jason Kidd and he said that instead of trying to develop advanced guard skills I should polish up my fundamentals(like throwing a crips two handed chest pass). So now I'm working with a lot of two-ball dribbling drills, correcting inconsistencies in my jump-shot form, and getting rid of wasted motion in my footwork/pivots. So to answer your first question: anything from 2-4

As for your other question the breakdown is like this: top 1 or 2 freshman play jv, next six best go on the A team, next 12 go on the B team, and the worst 6 go on the A team. The good thing is not a lot of guys can play post and guard fairly well so I think my shots of being a starter on either of the freshman teams are real good. If I was benched than I would rather be on the A team because then I could practice with the best in my grade and prove myself so I could maybe work to become a starter by the end of the season.

solar.hands 10-09-2012 05:56 AM

Re: Preparation for High School Ball
 
getting into the zone?
my fav thing to do is go to a corner, relax, put in my headphones listen to any song and sing with it in your head. even at the game/on court try to play that song in ur mind so u wont over think, and put pressure on urself. some guys think too much of the game and fck up on the court and make really bad plays. esp for a guard like u.
and shoot free throws until u get that form that u wanted.

solar.hands 10-09-2012 06:22 AM

Re: Preparation for High School Ball
 
tips on d:
watch lots of kobe/mj post up vids. put a body on ur guy hands up and it really really helps a lot when u have quick feet.
if he didnt keep his dribble close him out and try to shadow the ball but dont reach in. let him shot fake for all he want just raise ur hands and dont try to block his shots, if he forces the shot thats good d.
if ur guy is quicker and can make that pull up j, ur good as dead. bcos if he's quicker ull give him space.

tip on fighting on screens: Leave an elbow, most of the guys will hate u for flopping. what i do is tell ur team mate to show up on screens and position my self to the direction where the screener will roll to block his path.

SourPatchKids 10-10-2012 12:04 AM

Re: Preparation for High School Ball
 
Any specific brands of whey protein? Should I just look for the ones with the most grams?

Rake2204 10-10-2012 10:37 AM

Re: Preparation for High School Ball
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SourPatchKids
I mean it's not like I was scared to play physical, more of scared to seem like a dick to my opponents or the parents watching up in the stands. Like after a hard foul I would always help the guy up and I even used to have a habit of apologizing to me. But as the second half started both teams were playing man and my coach told me something that surprised me: "If he's going to body you up like that then elbow the shit out of him, bloody his lip or something". Something sparked inside me and I felt like I could play the game with more freedom. I wasn't exactly say in the zone, I missed a couple of spot-up 3's I normally hit but down low in the paint me and my man were going at it like we were worst enemies. But after the game was over( we lost by 2) and we were shaking hands me with my busted nose and a couple of other scrapes/bruises and him who probably got kneed in the thighs and took a crapload of forearms courtesy of me acted like nothing happened and turns out he's a real nice guy off the court.
I'm still working on it but I realized if i ever want to play at a higher level I can't be a nice guy once I step on the court.

There's a lot of truth to your realization here. I went through a lot of similar thoughts myself. When I was in 9th and 10th grade, I used to think about how it logically made no sense to show displeasure with an official's call (because the call is never going to be reversed). I also took into account that no matter how mean opponents seemed, they were likely just playing the game, so I took that in stride.

Basically, I played hard, but I fought myself to never react to an official's call, not get involved with an opponent's intensity and more or less react to virtually nothing that was happening on the basketball court. Logically, it often made sense but in terms of my on-court effectiveness, I hand-cuffed myself by forcibly not letting my emotions run free a bit. Here's my embarrassing example - my teammate scored a game-tying basket with just 1 second remaining and while my teammates were celebrating, I fought every ounce of my body to not celebrate because I knew the game wasn't over yet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cIv4IgLByA.

As you realized, what tends to happen when we let ourselves go a bit, even if it's sometimes illogical, is our adrenaline spikes and our competitive spirit sky rockets. We're able to trick ourselves into believing there's a lot more on the line than there really is, which allows us then to dig deeper and perform with a sense of desire and urgency. Whereas, sometimes if we're always reminding ourselves it's just a game, we may be putting ourselves at a disadvantage.

For me, tapping into that next level meant letting myself fist-pump after a crucial block. Or maybe raising my fist in celebration after a clutch basket. It even meant responding to a poor call by an official, even though I knew nothing would be done about it, only because letting that emotion out will often keep me engaged in the game. It also meant not concerning myself with building friendships with opponents during games. The real ball players understand there's no friendship on the hardwood. As you discovered, those real guys understand there's a difference between "on the court" and "off the court". Let yourself run free.

FreezingTsmoove 10-10-2012 04:50 PM

Re: Preparation for High School Ball
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SourPatchKids
Aaron Gordon


Crazy! Do you ever play ball with him at the park after school or played with him? Thats what everyone used to do to us being on the varsity team. Crazy we never had someone that good

chips93 10-10-2012 08:51 PM

Re: Preparation for High School Ball
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rake2204
Here's my embarrassing example - my teammate scored a game-tying basket with just 1 second remaining and while my teammates were celebrating, I fought every ounce of my body to not celebrate because I knew the game wasn't over yet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cIv4IgLByA.



i loled

you look like you're on pain killers or something

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rake2204
For me, tapping into that next level meant letting myself fist-pump after a crucial block. Or maybe raising my fist in celebration after a clutch basket. It even meant responding to a poor call by an official, even though I knew nothing would be done about it, only because letting that emotion out will often keep me engaged in the game. It also meant not concerning myself with building friendships with opponents during games. The real ball players understand there's no friendship on the hardwood. As you discovered, those real guys understand there's a difference between "on the court" and "off the court". Let yourself run free.


it was always the opposite for me, not that i played at any high level or anything, but when i got irritated by a bad call, or wanted to celebrate after a big play, id force myself to keep it in, and i felt like that tension of holding back, gave me a great burst of energy


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