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Learning to Forget

You've all heard the term "Its just like riding a bike"

It refers to the fact that once you have learnt how to ride a bike, you never really forget how to do it. I big part of this is because to ride around safely on your bike, you get to a point where you aren't thinking about How to ride the bike, your paying attention to your surroundings. The skill of riding a bike at this point is subconscious and effortless. This same concept applies to our basketball skill development.

Do you think NBA players are consciously thinking about how to dribble the ball, or shoot the ball whilst they are playing?

No, of course they aren't. Their reading the floor, looking for little mistakes in the defence to take advantage of. They have practiced their fundamental skills so much, that the skills become second nature. And that right there, that is the ticket. But just knowing that isn't enough. How do you apply that in practice? It takes time, to learn a skill to the level it becomes second nature but there are a few steps that will help you understand the timeline.

  • First you must learn the movement pattern, 1 step at a time. (peddle, balance, steering, breaking)

  • Next you must learn why we use the movement.

  • Then you learn what counter-movements there are, and what the reads are for them to happen. (Avoiding an obstacle, steer around, stop)

  • Finally you must get a high volume of purposeful repetitions with reactions to obstacles (cones, poles, people)

In amongst that journey MUST be competitive experience. This is vital in being able to apply all your hard work to your performance when it matters. Once you work the whole way through the process with a skill, you will reach a point where you no longer have to consciously think about your movement. Your mind and body will make the reads naturally, increasing your reaction time during competition along with high level execution of the skill.

Within the game of basketball, you must learn how to dribble the ball to the point you can forget about it when playing, you must learn how to shoot to the point your not thinking about it in game. This goes for all your fundamental basketball skills and movements.

So get out there, and work towards mastering your fundamental skills.

Coach Out



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