The definition of team chemistry

Coaches, fans, and basketball pundits all love to talk about team chemistry. What does it really mean?

At the risk of starting this off like a middle school essay, let’s just go ahead and state the literal definition of the word “chemistry”. The definition is not as clean and simple as we may like. However, you can see how when broken down, it can be simply applied to the sport of basketball.

Google defines chemistry as “the branch of science that deals with the identification of the substances of which matter is composed; the investigation of their properties and the ways in which they interact, combine, and change; and the use of these processes to form new substances.”

To start, we can fill in a few of the terms with basketball jargon: Identification of the players of which a team is composed. Identifying for our purposes isn’t just knowing your teammate’s names. To achieve ideal chemistry, you must know their strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies.

“…the investigation of their properties and the ways in which they interact, combine, and change…” Once you know them as mentioned above, you can begin to anticipate their actions, while also watching them grow as players and teammates.

Finally, “form new substances” is the resulting team. Players that know each other inside and out, on and off the court form the teams that will have what is referred to as great team chemistry.

Chemistry can be difficult for teams that introduce or bid farewell to players such as Yanders Law has to do from time to time. Still, stressing the importance of chemistry allows our coaches and teams to have a working understanding of what is necessary at all times.

We create a standard for how we want to do things and everyone’s got to buy into that standard or you really can’t have any team chemistry. Mediocre people don’t like high-achievers and high-achievers don’t like mediocre people.
— Nick Saban

When a team has good chemistry, it shows. Chemistry happens in the trenches, such as during practices. It also happens off the court, when teams are able to bond on more personal levels.

This is an important area for our teams, and we encourage our players to always stick together. Help your teammates up, give them affirmation in real life or on social media, just… be a friend.

For more on teamwork, Yanders Law players, activities, and everything else, keep it locked right here.

Go forth and lead

In basketball and in life, leadership is highly valuable. It is the goal of Yanders Law to turn out as many leaders as possible.

Every individual is made up of unique skills, strengths, and weaknesses. Society and teams are at their best though when leaders are able to step up and guide groups in ways that benefit everyone. Yanders Law teams make sure to do our part in creating as many leaders as possible.

On the basketball court, it is easy to point to a team’s leading scorer or point guard when picking out the leader. This of course does not have to be true. Leadership is possible at all positions.

A player that always makes sure to be a positive presence on the bench is a leader. Players that work to foster off-court relationships with their teammates are leaders. Players that outrun everyone else during practice are leaders. Players that hold teammates accountable in the classroom are leaders.

You can still have the classic leaders as well; The most vocal defender, the offense initiator, or others that lead by example.

Leadership can be a difficult aspect of life to hone. To be a leader means to be one step ahead of others by taking initiative. That can be a bit scary sometimes, and it may occasionally strike a nerve with those around you. The key is to be confident and understanding of the sacrifices it takes to help a team succeed.

If you’re going to be a leader, you’re not going to please everybody. You gotta hold people accountable, even if you have that moment of being uncomfortable.
— Kobe Bryant

Yanders Law understands that leadership can come from anywhere, so we make sure to empower all of our players to step up as leaders in their own way. Leadership in basketball is just one of many lessons that we want our boys or girls to take away from time with our program.

Those of you that are leaders already - Go forth! Spread your gift in any way you can that helps others, on the court or off. As our players apply their Yanders Law lessons to their high school teams and other aspects of school, we wish them the best and hope they continue to hold themselves to our high standards.

For more on Yanders Law, you are in the right place, but can also follow along with us on Twiter @YandersLaw

Max Preps early top 25 rankings

Prep basketball authority, MaxPreps has released their first national rankings for high school boys basketball for the young season.

Of course things around here are really focused on Yanders Law teams - one of the top grassroots basketball programs in the Midwest. With school ball underway though, we are going to shift our focus for a moment to high school ball on the national level as we examine the top teams in the country.

MaxPreps is the most diligent site there is for tracking prep sport movement. Their lists like this one are still largely subjective, but also serve as one of the best indicators we have for the top teams in the nation.

It is early in the high school basketball season, but this will still give you a good idea of who sits near the top in the nation for school ball.

All of the teams listed are undefeated, showing the margin of error that exists at this tier. Teams that have picked up losses and fallen off of the top 25 list are Mountain Brook (Birmingham, Ala.), Guyer (Denton, Texas), Norcross (Ga.), South Garland (Garland, Texas), and defending champion Shadow Mountain (Phoenix, AZ).

Below is the full list per MaxPreps.com:

  1. Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)

  2. Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)

  3. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)

  4. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)

  5. University (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

  6. DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.)

  7. Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)

  8. La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.)

  9. McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.)

  10. Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.)

  11. Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)

  12. Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.)

  13. Memphis East (Memphis, Tenn.)

  14. Belleville West (Belleville, Ill.)

  15. Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah)

  16. Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)

  17. Ranney (Tinton Falls, N.J.)

  18. Gonzaga Prep (Spokane, Wash.)

  19. Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)

  20. Federal Way (Wash.)

  21. Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.)

  22. Pinnacle (Phoenix, Az.)

  23. Rainier Beach (Seattle, Wash.)

  24. Carmel Christian (Matthews, N.C.)

  25. Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.)

With plenty of games to go and holiday tournaments coming up, many of these rankings are subject to volatility. It is good to see a few teams on the list from the Midwest - there is a wealth of talent here and it is good to see some recognition of that.

The MaxPreps list on the girl’s side of things is a bit older than the above, resulting in few teams having played more than three games. Even so, that list can be found here.

As high school teams around the county fight to enter the fray on the national level on down to intra-conference play, we will be excitedly watching the basketball goodness unfold.

2018-19 high school and middle school games are underway!

Good luck to all of the Yanders Law players whose regular season school games are starting up.

The boys and girls of Yanders Law typically don’t put basketball out of their mind at any particular point in the year. The sport can be played year-round, so there is always time to get in the gym.

Yanders Law basketball doesn’t take much of the year off either, with many of our teams still currently seeing action. Though the program prides itself on Yanders Law team success, it also takes great pride in individual successes of its many young men and women.

Individual exposure can happen anywhere, but there is also something special about playing for your school’s team. The rivalries between schools (or players), school spirit, and playing with others you have grown up around make playing ball for your school a great experience.

So, as many of our players kick off these seasons for high school and middle school, we want to wish them the best of luck! Our support does not stop when you take off your Yanders Law jersey.

Each of our players are part of a brotherhood or sisterhood that carries over no-matter which court you’re on or which colors you’re wearing.

Don’t hesitate to let us know about your successes for your school either. We love to hear about every accolade on the court or in the classroom. Basketball can’t last forever (as a player) so our main goals are centered around cultivating responsible, disciplined, and driven individuals and teammates in all areas of life.

Many of our players are using this time to prove what they can do on the floor and get noticed by coaches and scouts at the next level of the game. A special shoutout to those individuals as they strive to make their dream of continued basketball a reality. (Read up on one such Yanders Law player here)

Good luck to all as these new seasons start up. We’ll be watching, so make us proud!

Yanders Law's Kalin Bennett grabbing national headlines

Word is out that Kalin Bennett is the first athlete diagnosed with autism to have received a Division I athletic scholarship.

Yanders Law alumni Kalin Bennett is a great basketball player with a big heart. His story is also making him an inspiration for individuals around the country that are held down by limitations they are told they have. Every player has their own battle, and some are tougher than others. Bennett was dealt a tough hand, but is overcoming that with determination, help from loved ones, and passion for the game.

Kalin has signed with Kent State on a scholarship to play hoops. The 6’10” 290lb Bennett is a Link Year Prep product. Link Year has been a great ally of Yanders Law and The Basketball Movement. Bennett projects to be a great rebounder and rim punisher at Kent State.

It is truly inspiring to understand what Bennett has overcome to get to where he is today. He is physically gifted, but it takes more than that to compete at a Division I level. in an interview posted on Twitter by Athlete Swag Kalin described how he never spoke until the age of seven. He credits his Mother, who constantly worked with him and did her best to help him socialize.

Parents - As if you needed another reason to never stop loving and encouraging your children, this is a good one. Helping others to reach their potential is so fulfilling and really does make the world a better place.

His story is being blasted all over by ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, Bleacher Report, etc. With exposure like this, comes responsibility. It is clear that Kalin is embracing this responsibility by striving to be an excellent example.

I want to make an impact not just on the court, but with kids that are struggling with the same things I am... I want to use this platform to inspire other kids with autism and non-autism. I want to let them know, hey, if I can do this, you can do it, too. A lot of times they feel alone and by themselves, and I felt that same way growing up.
— Kalin Bennett

With the physical tools, attitude, and passion that Kalin Bennett possess, he will be a fantastic ambassador for others diagnosed with autism or that are in similar situations.

Life gave Kalin a big hurdle and he has cleared it. We are thrilled to have been associated with his journey and wish him the very best as his career continues at Kent State.

Yanders Law - The process

“The process” is more than just a catch phrase for the NBA’s Joel Embiid. It sums up what goes into improving our players.

The process of improving all aspects of a player on the floor is difficult to describe without famous quotes and buzzwords. The little details behind each and every aspect of player improvement come from time spent on specific skills and lessons.

Though each player and program use their own form of process, Yanders Law is confident that our process ranks with any in the nation. It all starts at the top with basketball mind, our founder Rob Yanders.

Watching Rob work with Yanders Law players is fascinating. The constant movement and improvement is peppered with brief pauses that he takes to pull plays and schemes out of thin air. He will run players through a variation of a play, reposition them, and start over until the play is perfected. The end results are well known in the grassroots basketball community.

Rob’s players pound the dribble more than any I’ve ever seen before, executing 5 on 0 drills and plays with in-game-ferocity. Each player rotates to every position, so they know every action inside and out.

From such run-throughs to the intricacy of each individual jump shot and free throw routine, these players have a true advantage that comes from the Yanders Law process.

Every coach and player is unique, but the methodology is the same - Outwork your opponents and over-prepare for every situation. This mentality can be applied outside the game as well, as we have seen through player academic successes and alumni collegiate and professional proficiency.

The emphasis on this process will be evident not only on the court, but through each player’s life. We think that’s pretty special.

Individuals involved in the Yanders Law process already know what we’re talking about. If you aren’t part of the family yet, hit us up and we’ll talk about it! Player development is key, but people development is paramount, so we are ready to give everyone a shot.

Keep track of the Yanders Law process by checking back in here and following us across all platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and following us on Twitter @YandersLaw

Happy Thanksgiving from Yanders Law!

Yanders Law is like family, so we are so grateful for every member - Coaches, players, parents, and everyone behind the scenes.

Yanders Law and its family have a lot to be thankful for this year. Team successes, victories, recruitments, and more are a few of the most simple highlights. As great as all of those things are though, we are still most thankful for you.

Being a part of Yanders Law means creating bonds for life. Nothing can be accomplished in what we do without the driving force of each individual involved in our program. Without the relationships formed, there would not be success.

Sappy enough for you? It’s all true! There is nothing soft or embarrassing about showing gratitude. A lot of individuals take time to help you achieve, the least you can do is thank them. It is those small acts of kindness that reassures the helpers and makes them want to help again and again. You never know who is in need of reassurance, take the three seconds to make someone’s day.

More on those thoughts here at The Basketball Movement.

We want to personally thank our coaches and staff, who dedicate so much time to bettering not just the Yanders Law program, but the boys and girls involved.

A personal “thank you” too to the unsung heroes: Parents and/or guardians. All the driving, funding, and time that goes into raising an athlete too often goes unnoticed. Thank you for what you do for our kids.

One final thank you to the players that wear Yanders Law across their chest. You are part of something special because you make it special. Nothing we do is possible without you and we want nothing but the best for each and every one of you.

Everyone enjoy the holiday! If you get too full, just run out and get some shots up to burn off those excess calories!

Rob Yanders Founder / Owner

A program like Yanders Law is nothing without its fearless leader. Ours is great basketball mind and former pro, Rob Yanders.

About

Rob Yanders, owner and director of The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law, trains some of the best talent in the country. From top high school talent to NBA players, his training methods are sought after by elite players continually striving to get better. As lead director and head of player development, he has worked with multiple top-100 HS players in the country.

Notable names such as Mike Foster, Patrick Baldwin, Harlong Beverly, Charles Smith IV, Jabari Sibley, Emanual Miller, Anton Brookshire, Isaac Lindsey, Nobal Days, Desi Carton, Jalen Thomas, Chris Hodges, Adam Miller, Xzavier Jones, and Desmond Polk are among the players that look to coach Yanders for help in elevating their game.

As someone who has played at every level, his tutelage is an asset to these young men as they proceed with their dream of achieving the highest level of play available to them.

His workouts with NBA players Monte Morris, Deonte Burton, and Alize Johnson have become stories passed around from training camp to training camp, leading to more and more calls from current and prospective pros looking for help as they climb the ladder of success.

He has consulted with multiple NBA teams (including Lakers, Magic, and Pelicans) as they design and implement their own development programs.

Career

Yanders’ basketball career began in Milwaukee at Vincent High School, where he helped lead the Vikings to three State Basketball Championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998. Yanders went on to play at MSU – West Plains and is their only two time All-American.

Yanders was honored as a member of the 1999 USA National Team that toured New Zealand and was inducted into the MSU – WP Hall of Fame in 2007.

Yanders went on to play at Missouri State University in the Missouri Valley Conference under coach Barry Hinson, earning “All-Conference Honors.” He started every game he played from 2000-2002, averaging 11 points, 5.5 assists, and grabbing an impressive 6 rebounds per game.

He played 12 years as a pro, spending his first seven seasons playing in the BBL. As a pro, he started over 300 games, scoring 4,600 points with over 1,500 assists. He ranked 6th on the all-time BBL list. Yanders was a part of the 2009 Great Britain national team that earned the 2012 Olympic bid. After his first seasons playing abroad, Yanders was invited to the Milwaukee Bucks NBA free-agent camp.

During his time in the UK, Yanders won practically every individual and team honor available in the domestic game. Yanders won three European Championships, two regular season Championships, a National Cup, and Finals MVP. In France, Yanders was also voted team MVP with both VCB and KABCA teams and earned All-Star Team honors in 2012.

The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law

The Basketball Movement is the most explosive basketball training facility in the Midwest. Rob Yanders and his team of skilled trainers have developed a new type of basketball experience for youth on and off the court.

The Basketball Movement offers intense skill development, team training, mentorship, film analysis, motivational speaking, marketing, media coverage, and national exposure. With over four thousand athletes coming through the doors each year, the Basketball Movement has been proven to be the Mecca of basketball training in the Midwest.

Yanders Law was established to use the sport of basketball as a tool to assist young men and women in their athletic, educational, professional, and life skill development; to provide young men and women with a fraternity of brotherhood and sisterhood for life; and to promote good citizenship, discipline, teamwork, and physical health.