DAY 64: 50’s

I’ve been off a couple of days…but we’re back! The 90 Day Improvement Plan continues…

Day 64 – Dribbling

I made up a drill that I have players do all the time.

I call it ’50’s’.

It’s a dribbling drill and its real simple.

Get in a stance, left foot out in front and start with your right hand.  Dribble the ball very low 50 straight times without stopping.

Switch hands and do the same with your left hand, right foot out in front.  50 low and hard dribbles.

After the right and left hand work on 50 crossover dribbles.

Go at your own speed.

Remember to keep your head up and don’t lose the ball.

Good luck!

-Coach Finamore

Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore


The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics tipped off the 2010-11 NBA season last night. Today, in our 90 Day Basketball Improvement Plan I discuss playing time.

Day 63 – M.P.G.’S

Last night LeBron James played 42 minutes in the Heat’s 88-80 loss at Boston.

To me, he needed to play 48 minutes.

Yes, I said 48 minutes.  The whole entire game!

That is of course, if he gets into foul trouble or gets injured he comes out of the game.

I know for a fact the 6’8″ 270 pound extraordinary athlete from Akron, Ohio did not need to get any splinters last night at the Boston Garden.

In the 4th quarter, with 9:07 to go in the game the Heat were down 65-61 (this after scoring 9 points in the entire first quarter). James was replaced by D-Wade… At the 7:23 mark, James checked back in the game with the Heat now down 9. Did he really need that rest?


I don’t care what anyone says…you stay on the floor until you can’t go; especially in a huge game like last night. (Yes, I said HUGE game)

Mateen Cleaves, formerly of Michigan State University once said, ‘leave it all on the court.”

First game of the season at the age of 25, you don’t need a rest.

During the 1961-62 season, Wilt Chamberlain played 48.5 minutes per game for a whole season; look it up. And just so you know, an NBA game is 48 minutes long. But wait, there’s more.  During that entire season, Wilt only rested for 8 minutes total!

-Coach Finamore

Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore


A few weeks back I was at a coaches clinic and an assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons, Pat Sullivan mentioned that Richard Hamilton, the shooting guard of the Pistons is ‘thirsty’ to get the ball.  In other words, he wants it bad.

Day 62 – Thirsty

Today, in our 90 Day Basketball Improvement Plan it’s not about how much water you want to drink; it’s about how active you are in going after the ball.  How bad do you really want it? Are you shooting the ball in rhythm?

Tight story from Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe on the Celtics who are thirsty.

Coach Doc Rivers will tell you that Pierce and Allen are “thirsty scorers,’’ their appetites for the ball constantly needing to be fed. Garnett, on the other hand, can be painfully unselfish, to the extent that young point guard Rajon Rondo will yell at him to “shoot the damn ball!’’

You need to want to get the ball and shoot it.

-Coach Finamore

Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore


How do you handle success?

You have been playing well as of late and people are starting to pat you on the back; starting to take notice of your improved game.

Have you changed the way you treat people?

Day 61 – Handling Success

When a player is just average, not many people notice.  But when you improve, and get a lot better, everyone sings your praise.

Be careful how you handle that.  Don’t get a ‘big head’.

Take it with a grain of salt and keep working hard.

When you are on top, everyone is going to give you their best. Recruiting services rank players and if you are good enough to get your name on one, be careful, there is someone out there who printed the list and circled your name.  They are coming for you.

Maybe you are getting a couple of letters from a college – they have a small interest in you, don’t let that go to your head; keep working hard.

Don’t brag about your accomplishments.  Stay grounded.  Be well liked – no one likes a guy who boasts about how many points they scored or which college is recruiting them.

Don’t tell anyone about your victories to make them more meaningful to you.

Let your game do all the talking…

“A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.”

-Benjamin Franklin


I love reading about the NBA guys who play the right way.

Day 60 – Distribute the Rock

Came across this article from the Detroit Free Press on Will Bynum of the Detroit Pistons. He makes a lot of sense.

“We need to be unselfish; I don’t think we’ve preached that as much as we should have preached it in this training camp,” said Bynum, who’s on the mend from a slight hamstring injury.

“That’s the main thing; chemistry comes with unselfishness, and that’s sharing the basketball and getting everybody shots, because we have a team full of guys who love to score the basketball. Getting those guys the ball and sacrificing, and maybe stepping it up on the defensive end would help our team out a lot.”

-Coach Finamore

Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore


Many basketball coaches around the country at the high school, college and pro level make it a habit to visit other coaches during the pre-season to get some new and fresh ideas.  Well, players do it too.  Dwight Howard made a trip to see Hakeem Olajuwon.  I can’t forget about the ‘Bigs’ in our 90 Day Improvement Plan.

Day 58 – The Low Post

Great footage of Hakeem working with Howard.

-Coach Finamore

Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore


It’s that time of year where many ball players at the high school level are taking part in open gyms (better known as pick-up ball at the high school).

College and pro teams have already started.

Day 57: The Run

Open gyms are going on now at the high school level.  How you play will help determine if you make the team or not. (Sure you can still make the team come tryouts if you have a few bad open gyms, no worries)

It’s a chance to shake off some rust, meet new teammates and show the coaching staff you have improved over the summer.

A few things to keep in mind while you play.

Always play with energy.


Hit the open man.

Take good shots.

Make your layups. Go strong to the basket.

Have a great attitude. Don’t argue or complain.

Always know the score of the game.

-Coach Finamore

Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore


Today, in Day 55 of the 90 Day Development Plan we get a lesson and a few words from the great Pat Summitt.

Recently, I came across a story about her in an old SI magazine and it mentioned that her son was cut from the 6th grade team a few years ago.  She came home and found him crying.  She told him if he goes out and wears out the two basketballs he owned, he would make the team the following year.

Day 55 – Definite Dozen

Pat Summitt, who is entering her 37th year as women’s head basketball coach at the University of Tennessee wrote a book ‘Reach for the Summit’, it should be required reading for all.  In the book she explains her ‘Definite Dozen‘ a system that will help you succeed on and off the basketball court.

Here’s a couple of quotes from an article on Summitt in Success Magazine.

“We always make sure,” Summitt says, “that our plans for the season can be achieved. Setting goals is incredibly important to success. But if you set a goal that seems impossible to achieve— if you go into a year saying your goal is to win the national championship—then you risk losing morale, self-discipline and chemistry if you falter early.

“Set a goal that stretches you, requires exceptional effort, but one that you can reach,” says Summit, the bearer of more championship jewelry than any coach in women’s basketball history. “We might set a goal that we win 20 or so games, that we win a conference championship, that we make the NCAA tournament. If we do those things, the truth is we have a chance of winning the national championship. But I would never want that to be the only goal.”

Coach Summitt is one of my favorites of all-time.  She knows the game as well as anyone.

The only way to ensure you become a winner is to set goals every day, and hold yourself and your teammates accountable for reaching those goals,” she says.

I would advise you to read up on Coach Summitt and her program.  She does it the right way…

“There are some coaches who believe you just let the best players get all the points they can and stop everybody else. Others limit the best player and make other people beat you. For us, we want to guard everybody. But we really want to make sure that we make it hard or at least difficult for that player to continually make the plays.”

-Pat Summitt

-Coach Finamore

Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore


Why do some players give more effort than others on the basketball court?

Where does that start?

How come all basketball players can’t go all-out when they lace ’em up?

Day 54 – Effort

If you try, and fail, make another effort.  And still nother until you succeed.  I read that from a Napoleon Hill book.

As players, we need to give our best effort every time you step on the floor. Nothing else but your best is acceptable.

Dive after a loose ball.

Pursue an offensive rebound.

Draw a charge.

Sprint the court in transition.

High hands on all close-outs.

Sprint to screen.

Day by day, practice by practice and game by game, if you give maximum effort, you will see huge improvements.  There’s not a coach in the world who doesn’t like effort.  You will catch the staff’s eye if you display an all-out effort.

It’s all about effort, enthusiasm and efficiency.  If you don’t have the effort and you’re not enthusiastic you won’t be very efficient.

-Coach Finamore

Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore

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