WNBA Draft

Sta Up To date with the latest on the 2013 WNBA Draft

1Phoenix Mercury (7-27), Brittney Griner
2Chicago Sky (14-20), Elena Delle Donne
3Tulsa Shock (9-25), Skylar Diggins
4Washington Mystics (5-29), Tayler Hill
5New York Liberty (15-19), Kelsey Bone
6Seattle Storm (16-18), Tianna Hawkins
7New York Liberty (15-19), Toni Young
8San Antonio Silver Stars (21-13), Kayla Alexander
9Indiana Fever (22-12), Layshia Clarendon
10Los Angeles Sparks (24-10), A'dia Matthies
11Connecticut Sun (25-9), Kelly Faris
12Minnesota Lynx (27-7), Lindsey Moore

1 (13)Atlanta Dream (19-15), Alex Bentley
2 (14)Minnesota Lynx (27-7), Sugar Rodgers
3 (15)New York Liberty (15-19), Kamiko Williams
4 (16)San Antonio Silver Stars (21-13), Davellyn Whyte
5 (17)Washington Mystics (5-29), Nadirah McKenith
6 (18)Seattle Storm (16-18), Chelsea Poppins
7 (19)Washington Mystics (5-29), Emma Meesseman
8 (20)San Antonio Silver Stars (21-13), Diandra Tchatchouang
9 (21)Indiana Fever (22-12), Jasmine Hassell
10 (22)Los Angeles Sparks (24-10), Brittany Chambers
11 (23)Connecticut Sun (25-9), Anna Prins
12 (24)Minnesota Lynx (27-7), Chucky Jeffery
1 (25)Washington Mystics (5-29), Shenneika Smith
2 (26)Phoenix Mercury (7-27), Nikki Greene
3 (27)New York Liberty (15-19), Olcay Cakir
4 (28)Chicago Sky (14-20), Brooklyn Pope
5 (29)Tulsa Shock (9-25), Angel Goodrich
6 (30)Seattle Storm (16-18), Jasmine James
7 (31)Atlanta Dream (19-15), Ann Marie Armstrong
8 (32)San Antonio Silver Stars (21-13), Whitney Hand
9 (33)Indiana Fever (22-12), Jennifer George
10 (34)Los Angeles Sparks (24-10), Alina Iagupova
11 (35)Connecticut Sun (25-9), Andrea Smith
12 (36)Minnesota Lynx (27-7), Waltiea Rolle

Im excited and cant wait till the next time... keep ballin girl, the games not over yet! Coach Sykes


NCAA Womens Championship Game

Sending congratulations to UConn Huskies! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Championship - New Orleans, La.

Im excited and cant wait till the next time... keep ballin girl, the games not over yet! Coach Sykes


Good Luck this Holiday Season!

Many girls basketball teams across the land will be playing in games during the holiday season! I wanted to wish you all the best of luck and hope you all play each game aa if it were your last! Enjoy time with family, friends, teammates and coaches! Ill be keeping track of high school girls basketball, NCAA basketball abd of course the NBA .


Coach Sykes

sheCANball Apparel Coming Soon!

sheCANball Hoodie for saleDo you know a young girl who has truly shown the potential to be a great basketball player?  Do you know a star MVP player on your team who has showcased leadership qualities both on the court and off the court? Do you know a player who should be rewarded for improving a certain skill? Do you know a player who should be recognized as a player?  Our New Apparel Line is the perfect gift for ANY basketball player.

We're excited to share our new Apparel for sheCANball. These Apparel items will feature our sheCANball logo with a basketball emphasis for Basketball season! Our Apparel store will Launch soon! We will release the date during our next blog! Be on the look out for a secret code word for a special deal on our Apparel.

sheCANball T-shirts, Hoodies, Crew Necks, Tank Tops and more are perfect gifts for

Young girl basketball players, junior high school players, girl high school basketball players, Womens Leagues basketball players,  Most improved awards, Most Valuable Player Awards, Player of the Week Awards, All Team Awards, Participation Prizes, Tournament Prizes, League Prizes, Championship Prizes, Christmas Gifts, Birthday Gifts, Graduation Gifts, Encouragement Gifts, Holiday Gifts and many more reasons to give a girl a shirt that shows the world that sheCANball. It's fun and exciting to give!

Im excited and cant wait till the next time... keep ballin girl, the games not over yet! Coach Sykes

It's Basketball Season!

It's officially Basketball Season! Teams across the land are now able to practice, train, and play scrimmages or pre-season games and regular season games. The NBA has set the tone as the WNBA starts in May, yet Junior High Schools,  High Schools, Junior Colleges, Universities and most Euro leagues begin in the fall. It's an exciting time of year as many have gone through the steps of getting to this point. Whether it was condition, trying out, working on mistakes, building grades or simply making it to the next round the season is here and if you made it, Great! If not don''t quit keep practicing and try again next year.

Okay so you have turned in your physical, you have officially made the team, you have a minimum of a 2.0 gpa, and you can now focus on a new venture. OFFICIAL PRACTICE. Practice now has a different tone. You are learning plays, new drills, and learning game situations. You probably have played some 5 on 5 before but now you are learning the coaches way of leading your team to winning some games, if not all.

This is the time you find out where you fit on the team and how the coaching staff will utilize you. This is the time where you ask questions, step up and be involved in drills, go hard, and work towards getting a chance to play in a game this season. This is the time that coaches look at your attitude, your improvement and your skill development for your position. Here are a few tips that will help you get on the court this season.

1. Practice like you're in a real game. You want to go hard in practice so that playing in a game is simple not matter the competition level. If you are lazy in practice it will show in your games and the struggles you may run into. If you set your mind to play like your playing against the toughest teams or players you will not only make yourself better but your teammates better as well.

2. First in Last Out. Begin coming to practice earlier and be on the floor shooting, warming up, stretching, jump roping etc to get. You don't want to rush into practice without warming up, working on things on your own and just getting the mindset early to have a great practice.  The same with rushing in, you don't want to be the first person rushing out the door. Stay a while longer, shoot around some more, go over in your head or even with your coach or teammates what you just learned in practice. There is nothing better than extra practice and If all your doing is running home to watch some tv then you need to rethink your commitment to becoming a better athlete.

3. Have leader qualities. If you showcase qualities of being a leader your coaching staff and teammates will recognize that and will be in your best interest to have you on the court because you are a motivator, work hard, and push your teammates to be better. Please take note that I am not trying to get you to be "better"than anyone or "bossy". I mean reminding your teammates to not talk while the coach is talking, or clapping for all your teammates, saying "Great Job ladies"and being a vocal presence on the court. Work hard in all the drills, hustle, hustle hustle ( Coaches really love hustlers! )

4. Have FUN!! Through this all you want to enjoy the game. Have fun! Give your teammates high fives, smile, be happy even while losing encourage your teammates to keep trying down to the last second. People will recognize our enthusiasm and support for your team.

These tips are just a few ways to get your coaching staff and teammates to notice your excitement for the game and it will become contagious. It's time to play ball and you can work your positive magic and enjoy this beautiful game of basketball.

Have a comment? Leave one below!
Im excited and cant wait till the next time... keep ballin girl, the games not over yet! Coach Sykes


Staying healthy

Hey ladies! I wanted to give a few tips about staying healthy when it comes to playing a sport, ANY sport. Here are a few great tips to staying in shape all year long!

Eating Healthy- I''m sure you have heard this all over the television, in magazines and on the internet. Yes its true, eating a good serving of fruits and veggies is essential to having a healthy diet. Good carbs are great to have as well especially 2-4 hours before practice and a game. Eating foods like pasta will help boost your energy naturally! Fruits are always great, but remember to eat fruits on an empty stomach so that you can absorb all of the nutrients, other wise burgers and other fatty foods will just make those fruits sit on top and you wont get the good stuff.  Please be weary that NOT eating enough or Eating too much will most certainly affect your ability to play hard and focus. So eat right and always DRINK PLENTY OF WATER OR Sports drinks!

Exercise- Although playing a sport is great exercise by its self, running , push ups, sit ups and even weight work outs will keep you strong and healthy as well. Be sure to consult a doctor and often times a trainer before you go off and do these great work outs. You certainly don't want to hurt yourself and want to make sure your body can handle all of the pressure that extra working out can put on your body.

Stretching- A good stretch is key to preventing injuries. When you stretch your muscles you make them long and flexible, so when you make certain moves on the court your body will be able to handle the different angles that your bones and muscles may go in. Women are prone to having tears in their knees more often than men because of the structure of a woman's hips and body in general. So please be sure to get a good stretch in for approximately 12-15 seconds for each stretching move. Always warm up before you stretch and be sure to stretch after practice, after you work out and after a game. You will ease the tightness that your muscles will make when you stretch and will prevent soreness later on down the line.

Yoga- Yoga is a great way to stay healthy both for your body and your mind. Some may think that yoga is easy but its not as easy as it looks. If you are able to take some yoga classes I encourage you to do so. You may also look online for some beginner yoga moves that will stretch muscles that you never knew you had. Again stretching is essential for the prevention of injuries!

Swimming - Swimming is one exercise / sport that works out every single muscle in your body, from your lungs, to your legs to your brain. Swimming is also great for the prevention or healing of injuries as it has less stress on the body versus running on concrete or working out in the gym. There are many athletes that choose swimming over other types of exercises, and they do it daily for a few hours. If you have access to a pool and can swim 10 -20 laps a day you will be in great shape after some time.

                                                                          Join a gym- If you are able to join a gym and get training from an expert then I suggest that you do.It may be a bit costly but it is well worth it to have someone who is trained to show you the proper way to lift weights and give you advice on other ways to strengths your body and prepare you for some hard core playing. You can join name brand gyms such as 24-hour fitness or LA fitness or you can go to your local YMCA or find other small gyms in your area. Its always best to have access to fitness equipment and of course consult a doctor before going to any gym.  You can even get a good workout from video games such as Wii fit or Kinect games on XBox 360. Staying active will do the trick!

Preventing injuries- Injuries happen, from a tweaked ankle to a torn acl. Sometimes injuries just can't be avoided. For instance if you fall on top of someone or are elbowed in the face and suffer from a busted lip.. Just member to play hard but play safe. No one can take your hustle away from you, but it you can try to stay away from running into other players or jumping into chairs or stepping on someones shoes then try your hardest to play safe. If you do wind up becoming injured please consult a physician IMMEDIATELY! Always follow your recovery program and rest as often as possible. When you are able to get back up and work out, be sure to take your time and dont over strain your injury. Not recovering 100% can lead to even worse injuries and CAN stop the healing process and keep you off the court longer than you want.

These are just a few tips, I suggest you research more on great ways to stay healthy. Of course staying away from drugs, tobacco, alcohol and fried or some fatty foods will be your first step.

My teammate wont pass me the ball!

Are you having an issue with your teammates passing the ball to you. Do they look your direction and give a turn away and pass the ball to someone else? 

This could be because your teammate is either a ball hog or doesn't trust you on the court. Id like to say its a trust issue. Are you involved in practice? Do you call for the ball when you are open? Does your coach realize what is going on? If not then you need to look at a few things before you become upset. 

#1  Communication is key. If you ever feel neglected on the court then you need to speak up. If you feel that you have been practicing on your game and you're confident enough to handle the ball whether its to dribble drive, shoot, or pass to another teammate then  you need to speak with you coach about the chemistry on the team . 

Sometimes athletes whoa re a little more seasoned feel they have the need to have total control over the basketball. But it is fact that you NEED 5 players on the court and as a team everyone should be able to touch the ball at least once. 

If your coach felt confident enough to put you int he game, then you certainly deserve a chance. If you are silent and hang your head low then you are heading in the wrong direction. While in practice you must learn to call for the ball with confidence and let your teammates know that you are ready and available to handle that ball. Dont be afraid to speak up.  You never know, maybe they just think you dont want to be too involved. 

Talk to your teammate who you think might be over looking you. Let them know that you can do it and that you are ready to play in this great game of basketball with them. After time they will see that they can trust you and will knowledge you more often on the court. 

If its a team chemistry issue then your coaching staff most certainly needs to recognize that there is an issue with sharing the ball on the court. Even if you have superstars on your team if you belong on the team, t hen you deserve to be apart of the game. 

I personally have always loved to pass and get my teammates involved and as a coach I am sure to remind my players to pass the ball around so that the defense moves and we can get a good easy shot versus one person throwing up a crazy shot because they feel they are better than their other teammates. Its really difficult to have good team chemistry if the ball is rotated and touched by every player, even the post. 

I cant stress it enough how important it is to communicate with your team and your coaching staff. Speaking up will work wonders for you and your team. So get out there, open your mouth and be ready when its your turn to touch the ball. Stay focused, pay attention in practice, stay active and involved and volunteer yourself when the coach asks for players to step on the court.

Wishing you the best of Luck as always!!




Junior High Basketball

Junior High Basketball is the time where most young athletes begin to play in a structured, organized game of real basketball. Although many players will be new to the game, this is the time to learn the fundamentals of basketball. 

In Junior high school the game is taught with fun, and love and also learning the basics of the game. In junior high you will learn the technicalities of the game such as, dribbling, shooting, jump balls, out of bounds , sportsmanship, team work and so many other details of the game. Usually younger athletes are allowed to make more mistakes than more seasoned players. But over time you too will become more advanced, although on a smaller scale, if you continue to practice and work on the basics. 

Often times you will see junior high school players shooting free throws on a closer line than high school an d above, but don't fret, some junior high schoolers can ball, and have raised the bar with the knowledge and skills they have because they may have started at a very young age. 

Mostly all the players are shorter and slower than high school players, but that doesn't stop you from improving your skills so that you can have an opportunity to try out for your high school team when you reach that level. 

I encourage all young junior high school players to visit high schools and watch the games when season is in session. There is nothing better than to learn visually and to see the potential that you can reach, or even surpass. 

Here are a few tips for you junior high girls out there who are anxious to start the new season. 

#1. Don't be discouraged. There are many athletes with different levels of skills, this is the time to work on your skills and become a better player. Don't expect to play like Lisa Leslie or Tamika Catchings at this young age.  You will have time to improve, so just go out there and enjoy yourself. 

Tamika Catchings

Lisa Leslie

#2. Stay focused on having fun. I know that a lot of young athletes become frustrated when they miss baskets or forget a play. That is okay. Now is the time to really learn the game, especially if you were lucky enough to have a good coach, but even if you don't, the goal is to learn and have fun. 

#3. Work on your game daily. If you have the opportunity to have access to a court, or even have a ball with you, don't forget to add some extra workouts or practice on different skills in your backyard, or at the park when practice with your team is over. Individual skills are important to this team game and if you are not working on your  own time, you will miss o ut on that extra practice that could boost you to the next level. 

#4. This game is just a game. Don't get caught up in parents going over board or an over zealous coach who is pressuring your team to focus on winning. If you find yourself in this situation you should talk to someone about it. At the ages or 11-13 you should be focusing on improving and not trying to win a WNBA championship. So go out there and have fun. It'ts only a game! 



Believe you CAN

More than just a logo, it is real, it is true, it is life. YES YOU CAN

It is highly likely that I will sound like a broken record when it comes to your belief system, your attitude, and the way you think about your self ( YOUR SELF ESTEEM). Your entire world can change once you change the way you think about yourself, your skills, your abilities, your school work, your family, your friends the list can go on and on. If you have a desire to achieve something, you have already begun the first step in believing in yourself.

We all have dreams, some are big some are small, but the size of the dream doesn't matter if you don't believe in them. When we allow our thoughts to turn into dreams, desires, wants, and wishes it changes who we are, it puts us in a place to create something out of nothing. The world began as a blank canvas, and no matter how you believe we came to this point in time just know that something, someone somehow , said it, believed it and did it. Now I'm not saying its even possible to create a world in our solar system, but you can create your own world right here on earth by using the strongest muscle in your body. YOUR BRAIN

The moment you began to think, hey I want to play basketball, your brain began to create the you that you are now. You began to eat, sleep and think of nothing more than basketball. Then you started to figure out how to play, may you started in a park, maybe in the backyard, but you put action into this notion, this though. Then shortly after you began to feel good enough to try out for a team and surely enough you made it! NOW WHAT? Dream more, dream bigger, be specific, and take actions often. If you dream of touching the net, well work on it. Think, write it down and do it. Thats all this game is about. Putting your thoughts into actions and achieving your goals. No matter what your goal is, you can do it. If you want to play for your high school team, its possible, but its going to take work. You're done the easy part, now the hard part is being consistent and faithful to your goals. 

If you don't believe in yourself, it will be tough for others to take you serious and believe in you as well. You are your best friend, stop being your worst enemy. A majority of the time we ourselves are the reason we dont accomplish goals. We stop short, we give up we get down on ourselves and say I CAN'T. D o just the opposite and see how the quality of life changes for you in every aspect. Believe in you.

Heres a mental drill for you. 

Think about where you are and where you want to be within the next year. Be realistic as always, because you don't want to overwhelm yourself. 
Write down 5-10 things you want to accomplish this season.
Everyday do something to get closer to your goal. 
Talk to your teammates, your coaches, your family and your friends. 
Make it a point to get in extra practice, make it a point to say, I CAN DO THIS. 
Never let anyone tell you that you CAN'T because that is just a lie. 

Here is an example.
  • Improve lay-up shooting
  • Improve free throw shooting
  • Increase vertical jump
  • Run faster, be quicker
  • Improve 3 point shooting
  • Improve ball handling skills
  • Get more assist
  • Get more rebounds etc. 

All of these things are certainly doable, but you must believe first and take actions second. 

If you get stuck with anything, you can leave a comment or e-mail and I'll see how we can get your brain unstuck and get you on the path to greatness! 


My Coach is Picking on Me!

Have you ever had the notion that your coach was picking on you, yelled at you more than your other teammates, had to run extra for no apparent reason or picked you out of the bunch to demonstrate but it makes you feel like they are attacking you? Well I have a secret, they aren't.

If a coach is paying extra attention to you, it is highly likely that they see something in you that you don't. They also want to make you a coachable player, meaning you most likely have a certain type of attitude towards the team, coach or even yourself that reflects that you don't have the time or capacity to listen  to or believe in anyone. Most coaches used to be players and they know what it takes to make it to the next level. They generally want to push you to your maximum limit and train you to be prepared for the best. 

I remember a time when I despised my coach. I felt like she always want to make an example out of me, or make me feel like I was being punished for not being as good as my teammates. After time, alot more ups and downs with not only my coaching staff, teammates but myself as well, I began to understand that my coach was only trying to get me to stop being so negative, clear my head and focus on basketball, especially when I am on the court.

A poor attitude will definitely get you extra attention and often times its not going to be good attention. If you focus that negative attitude into positive and keep your head up after a missed shot, or run the extra suicide because your coach knows you CAN! Never limit yourself, always know that you WILL get better, especially after lots and lots of practice. Here are a few things to remember.

  • Your attitude = your attention - a positive attitude will bring positive attention
  • Everyone misses shots- Never get down on yourself for that ever!
  • Hustle changes your game-  Every coach appreciates a player who hustles. 
  • Focus on listening and learning-  Trust me, YOU DO NOT KNOW EVERYTHING. Listen and learn. 


Become a GREAT free throw shooter

Free throws are an important aspect to the game of basketball. It takes extreme focus and a great body memory ( from LOADS OF PRACTICE) to have a great free throw shot.

It's amazing to me that the free throw seems to be one of the easiest shots, yet is one of the hardest shots to make for many basketball players of ALL levels. EVEN THE NBA AND WNBA! Just think about it, you are there, all alone, the pressure is on, everyone is watching you, lined up on the sides of you, fans in front of you, fans on the side, fans behind you, and the ref hands you the ball, your face is dripping with sweat, you are breathing hard from that last foul the opposing player landed on you and suddenly you zone in, hear your heart beat and remember the B.E.E.F.F. Remember you have 10 seconds to shoot the ball, so take your time and relax.

  • Balance- Maintain a good balance. Locate the black dot on the floor, it's on every court in the world to indicate the middle of the basket. Place your shooting foot ( right foot for right hand shooters and left foot for left hand shooters) centered on the do. Keep your feet shoulder width apart. Get a good rhythm together, every ball player has their own rhythm, find yours. Repeat in your head,"bounce ... bounce..." and clear out all the noise and distractions on the court. 
  • Elbow- Your elbow should be lined up with your shooting foot, remember  ( right foot for right hand shooters and left foot for left hand shooters) and make an L right under the ball. Spread your figers and have some space in between the ball and the palm of your hand. Your finger tips should be comfortably on the ball as well. 
  • Eyes- Fix your eyes on the back of the rim, you should be looking through the net. Shoot towards the back of the rim.
  • Focus- The crowd is going wild, your hearing the boos and the screams from the fans, the coaching staff on both teams yelling our directives and so forth. But this is your time alone with the basket. Focus on all the shooting drills you did in practice and on your own time. Nothing should enter your head except. Balance, "Bounce...Bounce..." Elbow, Eyes, Focus and follow through. 
  • Follow through- Once you have completed the above and taken your relaxed, controlled free throw you should end with your hand looking like a duck bill and slightly leaning forward. 

Here is the full breakdown

  1. Step up to the free throw line.
  2. Pay attention where you put your shooting hand leg. That means, if you are right-handed, line up your right foot exactly even with the basket right on the line. Vice-versa for left handers. This will improve your free throw dramatically.
  3. Set your feet shoulder width apart.
  4. Point both feet forward, squared to the basket. Your toes should point in the direction of the basket.
  5. Bend your knees slightly.
  6. Place ball in your shooting hand.
  7. Don't use your Non-dominant hand to help shoot. Keep it straight! That hand is to guide and hold the ball in place.
  8. Place the opposite hand on the side of ball for balance.
  9. Aim for the back of the rim.
  10. In one fluid motion, extend and bend legs and shoot with your finger pads. Snap your wrist to put movement on the ball.
  11. Follow through the shot. Your dominant hand should stay up once the ball leaves your hand. Your non dominant hand should be down by your side

Here is an awesome video on proper free throw shooting. 

Expert: DW Walker
Bio: DW Walker, an alumna of Manhattanville College, spent her collegiate career as a varsity basketball and softball player while student training in both the sports medicine and strength and conditioning
Filmmaker: David Pakman


How to Handle a Loss

Throughout my career as a basketball player there was one thing that I totally hated. LOSING. At one point in time I focused more on losing than having fun, playing hard and enjoying the game of basketball. I would cry and scream and be angry with my parents, teachers, coaches, teammates and even my young siblings. I would say it runs in the family, this hating to lose thing, because my mother is one to tell you " Don't lose to night or you wont eat". Sure she was joking, slightly, but that mentality can really make your game pretty sour.


A form of play or sport, esp. a competitive one played according to rules and decided by skill, strength, or luck.

And it should be played as such, especially at high school levels. I do understand that winning maybe spoken about often during practice and in the locker room before a game, but winning or losing is not the most important thing in the world, or even in basketball. Having fun and enjoying yourself is most important. Learning new skills, meeting new people, and of course crossing someone over so clean, because you, YES YOU have been working on your game!

Remember, there will always be a winning team, and a losing team. GUARANTEED. And the most talented teams don't ALWAYS win games, but when you look at those teams that do usually win often, they have a different mind frame as a unit. They all want to reach a certain goal, eg. winning more games than losing, winning the league championship or even TAKING IT ALL HOME! The more you play, the better you will get and the better you get at losing, learning from it, and understanding how and why it happened, of course without ever pointing a finger, you will notice that the winner inside you was already there!

great quotes from


Getting off the Bench

Have you ever sat on the bench during a game, hoping you get selected to get in the game but your left feeling incapable, not as good as your other teammates or your coach just HATES you? Do you pout, huff and puff or roll your eyes if you only get to play in the last 2 minutes of the game?

STOP IT!! :-/

If you display negative attitudes on the bench, then what do you think your coach will think you will do on the court? If you practice hard and stay motivated your time will come. You have to remember basketball has strategies, and if you lack certain skills that may keep you on the bench for another year, or maybe even two. But REMEMBER! YOU ARE STILL ON THE TEAM. There are so many who would be honored just to get that status, so chill out for a minute and consider these tips to help you get noticed more in practice, and even on the bench and your coach just might call on YOU! So BE READY!!

1. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. You must schedule a personal workout that involves improving on the skills you lack in the most. Whether it be defensive or offensive skills, you need to work on these types of things on your own time as well as regular practice with your teammates. 

2. ATTITUDE. Your attitude = your Altitude, never forget that. If you miss a shot and you frown and move slowly on defense or do not follow your shot, that is displaying a poor attitude not only towards your coaches, but also towards your teammates, the opposing team, the refs, the scorekeepers , your parents and your fans. Who cares if you missed a shot, hustle back on defense, focus on getting the ball back and try, try again. YOU CAN DO IT! :)

3. COMMUNICATE. Talk to your coaching staff | Head Coach, Assistant Coach, Position coach, to see what you need to improve on, or simply ask what more can you do to get more playing time. Most coaches have an open door policy and encourage student athletes to engage in forms of communication that will help them improve.

4. KNOWLEDGE. Enlighten yourself. Do you know your coaches philosophy? Do you know what your coaches are looking for? Do you know ALL the rules to the game of basketball? Pick up a book on basketball rules, and practice what you have learned. Are you familiar with all the plays or at least most? If not work with a teammate or two, or three or 10 and get those amazing plays your coach has for your squad down pact! Watch the greatest and learn the game from them! Watch some WNBA, NBA, College to see how things REALLY should be done and try to apply the effort everyday. You cant learn everything about basketball over night. Remember its 90% mental and 10% physical so work on your mental game too! That includes Knowledge!

5. STAY POSITIVE. This may tie in with Attitude, but there is a slight difference. I cant stress enough the importance of staying positive in practice, in games and in life general. No one wants to be around a negative minded person. If you are on the bench, cheer for your teammates, smile and enjoy being at the game. In practice be more vocal and give 110 % of your physical abilities  The coaching staff will notice your effort and will remember you when it comes time to playing in the game. 


Too many players in the Junior High, High Shcool and Collegiate level are concerned with Starting a game. Sure it shows that you have been selected by your coach as a star player, or someone who can get things going while others await the game. But there always, always , always must be a player off the bench who can continue the momentum on the court. That person is usually coined the Sixth (Wo)Man.

The Sixth Man is the key player to many coaches strategies as the star players, or starters will need a rest for a few minutes. The Sixth man is the player who takes on the challenge, has no issues coming off the bench, stays focused on the game so that when its their turn, there is no great difference between the star players and the bench players.

If you find yourself coming off the bench and able to average 15 to 20 minutes per game then you should take pride in the fact that your coaching staff and team has trusted you to take the wheel and keep the ball rolling! Dont be upset, be proud that you have been selected to take on such an important role inn this beautiful game of basketball. Remember, Everyone on the team is important, not just the scorers. Everyone!


Defense is a critical element in the game of basketball. Without it, your opponent is sure to score easy baskets. The saying goes "Offense wins games, Defense wins championships." If you don't understand this now, this is something you need to add to your repertoire like yesterday!

Defense is a team as well as an individual effort. For individual efforts you want to be vocal, steadily moving, keep your head on a swivel ( moving back and forth) , point your "guns", fingers should be indicating where the ball is and where your player is if your off the ball, and on the ball you want to have a direct contact with the players waist.  This is because no matter how many shot fakes, pass fakes etc, you will be able to indicate where your opponents next move is.


Fun Drills to practice alone of with your team to improve your defensive skills.