Playing on either side of a blowout

In your basketball career, you will undoubtedly be a part of a few blowout games on one side or the other.

We hope that you will always be on the winning side, but that will likely not be the case. Sometimes you will be on a team that is heavily outmatched; maybe things just were not clicking for you at all.

Being down by so many points can be disheartening. No one wants to lose so badly in front of their fans and peers. The desire to not let this happen though is an important piece of competitive spirit. We are not saying that avoiding getting blown out should be top-of-mind entering a game, but if it starts looking that way, then it should probably click.

"Blown out" sounds a little subjective. It could mean different things to players at each level of the game. For the NBA it may mean 20 to 25-plus points or so. For NCAA, more like 15 to 20-plus, since the game is slower-paced. High school ball is played at many different levels, but that 15-20 range likely is not too far off depending on how early it happens.

What to do if your team is getting blown out

If you find yourself in this situation, there is no need to panic OR hang your head. Large deficits happen frequently, and occasionally, they are overcome. Check an example by the OKC Thunder earlier in the NBA Playoffs. The Thunder were down 25 in the third quarter.

The number one thing that you can do for your team in these situation is to continue playing hard. The fans will see it, the coach will see it, and your teammates will see it. Set an example for the rest of your team by playing through and attempting to come back.

Who knows, you may just pull an upset. Wins like that are often the most memorable, so do not pass up such an opportunity.

What if you are the team that is applying the beatdown?

Basketball is at its best when played between two evenly matched teams that take the contest down to the wire. It is more entertaining and more fun (though comebacks are pretty great).

When you are doing the thumping, how to proceed is usually dictated by the coach. Are the teams so mismatched that you could pour it on at will? Is the other team a threat to come back and needs to be kept a arm's length?

Continuing to play hard in a blowout is not a bad thing, but it is a better opportunity to play right. If you are up by so much that it ceases to be fun for either team, it is a great time to focus on fundamentals and run through your playbook in a game-time situation for excellent practice. Never pass up an opportunity to improve.

For more on the sport we all love, keep it locked to Yanders Law and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Happy Mother's Day from Yanders Law!

Happy Mother's Day from Yanders Law!

None of us would be here without mothers, so let’s take a moment to give them our appreciation!

Yanders Law wants to give a shoutout to all mother figures, but of course those mothers, grandmothers, and other guardians of basketball players in particular. Often unsung heroes, we see these special ladies giving so much to their players to put them in the best possible position to succeed. We see you, and we appreciate you.

Biological or not, every special lady out there that has stepped up as a mom (also men that have filled the role of father and mother) deserves more praise that any little article can provide. Everyone, make sure to thank the mothers, grandmothers, and any other special lady in your life today.

(Probably shoot for others days too)

Happy Mother’s Day from your friends at Yanders Law!

Training and skill development vs. shooting around

Anytime you have a ball in your hands is an opportunity to get better. Be sure to make the most of your time with The Basketball Movement.

The most successful players make plenty of time to get up shots, work on their conditioning, and hone their craft. Almost any time that can be spent with the sport of basketball will improve your game, even if it is just an imperceptible amount.

There is a big difference however between shooting around in the driveway, park, or gym compared to structured and intentional training. You can get a lot of free throws in at the park near your house, but what if your elbow is too wide from your body or you are not bending your knees enough?

Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.
— Vince Lombardi

Nothing beats supervised, disciplined training when working to improve as much as possible. This is not to say that messing around in your driveway at home or just playing "21" after school are not good. Basketball is a game after all, and doing anything active and fun is time well-spent. Just remember when it comes to improving, there is such a thing as time best spent. 

Step up your game with The Basketball Movement

For the ultimate in training and skill development, The Basketball Movement is the leader in maximizing your time and efforts in the game of basketball.

With The Basketball Movement, you can get group or even one-on-one time with coaches dedicated to making you the best you can be. The facility is completely centered around player development, with low-impact, basketball specific equipment and full-sized courts.

There are some things that you cannot achieve on your own, practicing out in the driveway. The Basketball Movement provides the full basketball experience for players of all skill levels. Even if you can just get in on the occasional open clinic on Saturdays (2nd to 8th grade), you are taking steps to pass your opposition.

The One Rep from Glory training videos can give you the next best thing. The series includes tips and tricks on ball handling, separation moves, finishing moves, shooting off the bounce, and catch and shoot tips.

Contact us to find out how to maximize your basketball abilities. Don't forget to check out our YouTube channel too for some more drills.

The little things add up

Never underestimate the power of the little things. Set hard screens, make sharp cuts, and communicate.

If you have been around Rob Yanders or the Yanders Law program for at least a few practices, you have already learned about the little things. As a true basketball mind, Rob appreciates full effort on a back cut as much as he does a pretty jumper. A hard screen is as likely to get him out of his seat as a ferocious dunk. If you are putting full effort into everything you do, you will be a standout.

To succeed at the little things in the game takes dedication. For starters, you need to know what you are doing. Pay attention in practice, study the game, and learn from your mistakes. Repetition is huge - often times, doing the little things just comes down to muscle memory. For all of those little things to become muscle memory, you will likely have to be a pro. Until then, it will take frequent, conscious effort.

One of the best things you can do to hold yourself accountable is to remain engaged. Don’t ball-watch, but remain in constant motion on offense. Be active off the ball. If you are driving hard, the ball will find you. If you are setting good screens, you will be a better teammate and improve the whole offense.

When it comes to defense, stay low, but make yourself big. That sounds tough, but just make sure you are always in the stance and staying strong. Keep your arms out (or into the opposing player) and your eyes wide open. If you are doing your best to be ready for anything, you are probably doing the little things.

To work on the little things that make basketball such an intricate, special game, you have to get in the gym. Repetition is key, but only if you are doing things the right way. Get with a trainer or coach that knows what they’re doing and will hold you accountable.

It is difficult to say without being too cliche, but the little things really do add up. All of them add up to a whole that benefits the entire team in a big way. Get after it!

Never too cold or wet for basketball

Poor weather? No problem. Indoor court, outdoor court, no court - there is always a way to keep working on your game.

Life is always going to be handing you great excuses to not hone your craft. Bad weather, full schedule, no gym, the list goes on. There is nothing wrong with taking breaks or needed time off - life happens. Just remember that the players you are striving to be better than may not be doing the same.

Basketball is of course an indoor sport primarily. If the weather is good enough for you to get to a gym, you can practice to your heart's content. Not everyone has court access (though you can always hit up The Basketball Movement), but there are always things you can do.

Locked in the house with bad weather? Grab a basketball. No, we're not going to tell you to dribble around the house. Do some around the worlds to keep your handles and the feel of the ball fresh. Lay flat on your back and get some shots up. Not hitting the ceiling, just watching the rotation of the ball to check your release and flick of the wrist.

Sharpen your mind

Whether you are a player or even a coach, there is always studying to be done on the game. Watch game footage. You do not have to have tapes of opponents or anything like that. Watch some NBA. Watch some college hoops. Get on YouTube and watch some of the greats to learn footwork and where to be on D.

Visualization can be a big part of the game. The same way pros visualize the ball going in the hoop at the free throw line, you can put yourself in the shoes of the players you see on the screen. Keep your eye out for players that you think you can model your game after.

Not everyone can be LeBron James, but there are things to be learned from any player that has made it to college or the NBA. Work on your weaknesses, but also focus on your strengths to become elite.

If the weather has you cooped up, keep these things in mind. Also, check out The Basketball Movement on YouTube for the podcasts and drills you can replicate for when you can get back out there.

For more motivation, team news, and everything hoops, keep in locked to Yanders Law!

Road trips: Traveling to games

Home court advantage is nice, but half the time or less (during spring and summer) , you will be traveling to play ball.

Traveling to games can often be the worst part about game day. Different teams and players approach this aspect in diverse ways, but it is certainly something that everyone has to deal with one way or another. Traveling short distances is nice, but you may want more time to get in the zone. Traveling long distances is the most challenging, because your mind can wander, you could stiffen up, or frankly, you could get bored.

The time and distance between you and your destination can seem insignificant next to the game, shootaround, practice, and so on. While the order of importance of these things can be debated, the travel time is still just one more thing that you must prepare for.

It’s not the will to win that matters. Everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.
— Paul "Bear" Bryant

Some coaches encourage quiet trips to games. They see chit-chat, laughter, or what have you as distracting from the task at hand. Others may take no issue with it, as it may be seen as camaraderie that contributes to team building. As usual, when in doubt, do as coach says.

As a general rule, it is probably okay to chat with your teammates, but you need to try and keep it in the realm of basketball. Talking about your strategy, plays, or opponent/scouting report are all great ways to pass the time. Even talking about basketball in general, be it NBA, WNBA, NCAA… you are still thinking about the sport you are about to go play.

Another good way to pass the time is listening to music; the genre or artist is of course up to you. For some, it may be beneficial to listen to something a bit more relaxing if you tend to get nervous or worked up before a game. For many, something that elevates your adrenaline a bit like rap or rock is preferable. Find something in your sweet spot and stick with it.

Stiffening up on a long road trip can be a tough issue to avoid. Stretching is important here as it is in so many other aspects of basketball. Even if it is rotating your ankles, straightening out your back or legs, or rotating your neck, it isn’t a bad idea to maintain a little movement on the way every so often. Once you’ve arrived, remember that it is never too early to start stretching out.

Some road trips will be extra long. Sometimes you may even travel to a distant town and not play until the next day. In those instances, it is perfectly fine to relax a bit. Listen to what you want, joke around, so on and so forth. As much as possible though, stay locked in on the task at hand and stay mentally ready to do your thing come game time.

For more tips, team news, and more, keep checking back right here!

Maintaining a "next play" mentality

Basketball is unique from other major sports with its non-stop action. It is important to keep your head up at all times.

In football, when the person with the ball gets tackled, you regroup and set up a new play to try again. After so many attempts, you either score or give up the ball to head to the sidelines for a while. In baseball, you strikeout or hit, then get a lengthy break.

Basketball is different.

If you miss a shot in basketball, you either need to attempt to rebound your own miss or be ready to sprint back on defense. There is not always time to regroup after a miss and especially not after a turnover.

Let's say you have back-to-back turnovers; is there time to hang your head and feel bad for yourself or feel embarrassed? I think you know where we are going with this.

Keep your head up and move on to the next play

Shooting slumps happen. Consecutive lapses in judgement happen. That is just part of the sport of basketball. When these things affect your mentality or your hustle, that is when you actually have a problem on your hands.

It may be tempting to hang your head when things are not going your way. There are a few big problems with that. Your teammates will see that and lose trust, your coach may see and pull you out, or the other team may see and gain confidence.

I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.
— Michael Jordan

The best thing that you can do is instantly focus on the next play. Just stay in the zone and play the game that you have been practicing and practicing. If it results in a defensive stop, you will regain some confidence. If you work to get a layup, it may breed confidence in your shots from every range.

The "next play" mentality is relevant at all levels of the game. You will miss a lot of shots in your career, which will allow lots of opportunities to bounce back. Stay ready and seize those opportunities.

Reminder: Keep your cell phone away from the court

Even with some upsets, one of the oddest takeaways from day one of the NBA Playoffs was a player on the bench looking at his cell phone.

In the very first game of the 2019 NBA Playoffs, there was a strange moment in which the camera captured Joel Embiid and Amir Johnson looking down at Johnson’s cell phone. This didn’t happen pre or postgame, or even in the locker room. This occurred on the bench during the game with their 76ers squad trailing the lower-ranked Nets.

Amir Johnson was listed as “inactive” for the game. Embiid was “doubtful” to play, but still showed up and had some decent numbers despite poor shooting. The Nets did go on to upset the Sixers in Philly, taking game one.

Whether he was active or not, Johnson violated the NBA Operations Manual for “Use of Technology”. After the game, Joel Embiid stated that he looked at Johnson’s phone because his daughter was extremely sick. That makes the situation more understandable, but Johnson clearly didn’t alert the team, which fined him for having his phone after the incident.

No-matter the circumstances, this incident serves as a good reminder for our squads that cell phones have no business around a basketball court. During practice or games, attention needs to be on the task at hand. There may be instances that a phone is necessary to have a link for important things happening off the court. In those situations, a coach needs to made aware of the necessity.

In the age of social media and tech, phones and other devices are ubiquitous. They have become an unavoidable part of society. That said, there must still be boundaries and a basketball court is certainly one of those.

It is okay to be plugged in, but not at the expense of a team or moments that demand full attention.