Category Archives for Basketball

How to Deal with Reluctant Students and Refusal to Participate

Fear in children isn’t always expressed with wide-eyes and tears, particularly with older teens. In school, fear of failure at an activity or standing out in a bad way can manifest as refusals to participate.

When faced with a child or teenager’s refusal to participate, it can be tough, but these are children feeling fear. It’s up to you to role model bravery and provide safety.

Source of Fears
Not every child in a PE or After School Program is an expert in sports, so some may struggle to learn. For them, aiming at the net in basketball but throwing an air ball in front of everyone may feel humiliating.

From dribbling the ball right to remembering the rules, these children see nothing but opportunities to fail when playing basketball. So, they avoid it all together; they refuse to participate.

What Can You Do?
When someone is feeling fear, it’s like they are backed into a corner. Pushing them will only cause them to feel further penned in with no choice other than digging in deeper. It’s time to be creative and show them a way out of the corner.

1.Don’t Fight Them. They will seem angry and obstinate, but remember, they are scared. Don’t fuel the fires of their anger. Show them bravery by staying calm in the face of their adversity.

2.Acknowledge Their Choice. Give permission to skip the game. Tell them you understand they don’t want to play, so let’s do something else that’s less threatening and helps build self-esteem instead of tear it down.

3.Redirect the Energy. Introduce fun games and activities that focus on skill development, like Basketball Skillastics®. Pull from these to give them small challenges that they can win. Focus on the skill, not the game

Making it Fun for All
When you push someone out of their comfort zone, it helps to provide a bridge. That’s where skill development come into the picture. Not everyone will be able to play a game of basketball, but skill development is accessible to everyone.

One of the reasons Basketball Skillastics® works well with a diverse group is because its inclusive and allows a whole class to practice their skills in a fun way all at the same time. Also, you can float the room once everyone is occupied. Now, you can assess everyone’s skill level, provide more support for reluctant students, and allow skilled students to showcase their abilities.
Bridging the Gulf

Develop resources to bridge the gulf to reach and draw out fearful students; you have a real chance to help change their attitudes. We can get you started with Basketball Skillastics®, a resource designed so that all children can have fun learning basketball instead of missing out. Throughout November when you use the code bb2019, you’ll receive 10% off so that you can begin to use this resource right away. Purchase online or via Purchase Order to FAX (951) 279-3957 or email to Suzanne Blair at sblair@sandyspinslade.com

5 Tips for Creating Basketball Lesson that Kids Love

It’s that time of year again! Gyms echo with the squeaks of sneakers as we kick off Basketball Season. During PE and after school this time of year, it’s all about basketball. It’s also the number one choice of recess activity; more basketballs are requested this time of year, and for good reason!

Everyone can play with a ball. But not everyone can or wants to play a sport.

Basketball for All
So, it’s tough to create lessons to teach basketball; how do you include students who are good at basketball and want to be challenged as well as students who have very little interest in the sport?

The solution is to focus on skill development. All students, no matter their ability, can have fun developing their skills in a non-threatening, non-competitive atmosphere.
Creating the Right Environment

By following the 5 tips below, you can make it easier to teach basketball fundamentals to diverse groups:

1.A Ball for Each. Get each student a ball, any ball. If it bounces and fits through a net, it’s great to use to teach basketball fundamentals. If you must share, follow a ratio of two students per ball.

2.Control the Bouncing. Kids love to bounce the ball! They can’t seem to help themselves, despite requests to stop, and it gets disruptive. So, remove temptation. Create a signal word or phrase like “stall the ball!” at which they put the ball between their feet when they hear it.

3.Delegate to Motivate and Engage. If you’re not comfortable demonstrating a fundamental, allow skilled students to take this role. They will love it!

4.Keep Them Moving! Downtime breeds distractions or misbehaving. Keep them actively engaged. Waiting in line? Practice dribbling or ball-handling. Waiting for a ball? Mirror the activity to learn the motions.

5.Play the Game Last. At the end of the lesson, avoid playing a game of basketball. Modify the game to highlight the skill learned in the session.

Resource for Skill Building
To modify the game or learn other skill development ideas so all children enjoy the sport, consult resources like Basketball Skillastics®. Motivated by the desire to create an all-inclusive and whole class learning environment, Basketball Skillastics was designed to practice skills in a fun way together.

For this month, let’s make the most of the sport by getting the most children involved through skill development. Celebrate the start of basketball season with a 10% discount on Basketball Skillastics® throughout November for After School and Physical Education Instructors with code bb2019. Online, or Purchase Order. https://skillastics.com/product/basketball-skillastics/

Basketball Tips and Ideas – Focus on the Present

I remember the first time I performed at the halftime of a Boston Celtics game. What a thrill it was to perform on a court with so much history associated with it! When I started the dribbling routine of my performance, my mind started to wander – here I was standing on the Leprechaun, thinking about all the historical games that were started with a jump ball right here. I was thinking completely about something else other than thinking about what I was doing in front of 20,000 people at that moment! I made a slight mistake, which shocked me back into focusing on the present and then I finished the performance successfully.

Have you ever felt your mind wander during an important moment in a game? We’ve all experienced this at one time or another in our lives, and it’s easier said than done to “snap out of it” and get back to focusing on the task at hand. Below are 7 Keys to Staying Focused in the Present:

  1. Refocus – Become aware of the slip of attention, and then choose another focal point or direction of attention to turn your mind to.
  2. Use Task Goals – Concentrate on the specific challenges of the event. This may include technique or strategy points, executing plays, or simply being involved in the game.
  3. Keep it Simple – Do not become overly analytic in your desire to take an “active mind” approach to performance. Do not fill your mind up with so many thoughts.
  4. Plan for the Competition – Planning well in advance of the event involves working out where to focus at different parts of an event. By preparing mental plans in advance, you are free to carry out the plan during performance.
  5. Make Back up Plans – These are developed by preparing responses, or refocusing strategies, to use in adverse competitive situations. Of course, you can’t plan for all possible scenarios, but working out in advance how you would respond can facilitate an appropriate response being made when the “heat is on.”
  6. Practice Concentration – Here is a meditation exercise. Sit in a comfortable position. Take a note of the time on your watch. Close your eyes and focus on one thing (for instance your breathing). Pay attention to your breaths in and out. Do this for as long as you maintain this focus. Open your eyes when your focus moves and note the time on your watch. Continue to try to increase your focus time.
  7. Direct your attention – Dissociate the emotional content from the noise of the crowd. Know that the crowd is there, but don’t let it affect your feelings.

Some information in this tip comes from: Flow in Sports: The Keys to Optimal Experiences and Performances.

Build Self-Confidence

Recently I’ve been receiving e-mails from athletes confiding in me that they have lost their self-confidence. They were doing so well and then it seems like they can’t do anything correctly on the basketball court. They wonder, “What went wrong?,” “How can this happen when I was doing so well?”

First of all, I’m here to tell you this happens to EVERYONE! All the greatest athletes in the world have felt this way at some point in their lives. “Slumps” are a normal part of athletics. The key is how you handle that slump and what steps you take to get yourself out of it! Below I’ve outlined some steps to take in order to get out of a slump and build your self-confidence back. Whether you’re worried about making a team, or just feel like you’re in a slump with your practicing — applying these steps will help you regain that self-confidence and get you back on track.

1) Recognize that ALL athletes have slumps. If you understand that this is a part of being an athlete, you won’t think, “Something’s wrong with me.”

2) You can grow strength and confidence out of physical hardship, frustration, deprivation and failure. Recognize these uncomfortable situations for the CONFIDENCE-DEVELOPING opportunities they are and seize them. Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?”


3) Physical Preparation. The foundation of confidence is neither glamorous nor mysterious. It’s boring, grueling, dirty, and monotonous. It hurts and it is very lonely. It requires constant sacrifice. If you want to feel like champion, then start training like one. Your secret to self-confidence is a four letter word: WORK.


4) Strengthen Your Weaknesses. Everyone loves to practice something they are good at. Because we succeed. The true test of a person’s character is if they work on their weaknesses. For instance, if you are really good at dribbling with your right hand and terrible at dribbling with your left hand, start practicing dribbling with that left hand. Before you know it, you’ll build confidence in using that left hand.


5) Set Up Your Training Environment to Boost Self-Confidence. Motivational signs should be up in your bedroom, reminding you to stay focused and help keep you motivated. My book, Off The Rim: Thoughts and Observations of the Game, was written for this purpose. Just reminding and reinforcing all the positive things about basketball. If you have a favorite saying or poem, hang it up in your bedroom or in your locker. Read it every night. Surround yourself with positive things!


6) Catch Yourself Doing Things Right. Keep track of all the gains you’ve made in your journey toward your ultimate goal. By focusing on the things you’re doing right, instead of dwelling on the things you’re doing wrong, you will begin to see that you have, AND are making progress.

*Some information excerpted from Sports Slump Busting by Alan S. Goldberg

Dribbling Through the Alphabet

How’s your basketball unit going?  Ready to try something new?  Here is an activity that integrates basketball fundamentals, basketball terminology and spelling in one!  First, Copy each of the 26 letters of the alphabet on 26, 8 1/2″  x 11″ sheets of paper.  If possible, laminate each sheet.

Copy each of the 42 basketball definitions on a piece of paper (see below)

Scatter all 26 letters throughout the playing area.  Place a Basketball Skillastics® Task Card under each of the 26 scattered letters.

Scatter the 42 basketball definitions in an area away from the letters.

Every child has a basketball or a ball that bounces.

On the signal, each student retrieves a basketball definition, reads the definition and remembers the word associated with the definition.  The  child can either place the definition back down on the floor or take it with them.

The objective is then to spell the word.  When he or she finds the letter (dribbling the ball to that letter), they look at the Basketball Skillastics® Task Card under that letter.

The student does the activity the number of repetitions that were determined prior to play (blue, red or green).  When the student completes the repetitions, he or she then searches for the next letter in the word they are spelling.

When a student finishes spelling the word, they jog back to the “word definition” area, replacing the last word spelled and retrieves another basketball term to spell and repeats the process.

The length of play is determined by the instructor.

Competitive Option:

  • Appoint teams

o   Each team is told to spell a word (each team has a different word, but has the same amount of letters in the words.  For example, assist and center).

o   The first team to spell the word first and dribble to a designated area, wins.

 

Basketball Terms:

Assist – A pass to a teammate who scores a basket immediately or after one dribble.

Air Ball – An unblocked shot that fails to hit the rim or backboard.

Alley Oop – An offensive play in which a player throws the ball up near the basket to a teammate who jumps, catches the ball in mid air and immediately scores a basket.

Backboard – The rectangular platform behind the rim that supports it.

Backcourt – The half of the court a team is defending.  The opposite of frontcourt.

Bank Shot – A shot that hits the backboard before hitting the rim or going through the net.

Baseline – The line that marks the playing boundary at either end of the court.  Also called the “end line”.

Block – To tip or deflect a shooter’s shot, altering its flight so the shot misses.

Carry – A penalty when an offensive player is deemed to have held the ball excessively while dribbling.  Also referred to as palming.

Chest Pass – The ball is passed from the chest

Center – one of the three standard player positions.  Centers are generally the tallest players on the floor.

Double-Dribble – To dribble the ball with two hands at the same time.

Dribble – To bounce the ball continuously with one hand.

Dunk – to score by putting the ball directly through the basket with one or both hands.

Fast Break – An offensive tactic in which a team attempts to advance the ball and score as quickly as possible.

Field Goal – A shot made from anywhere on the court, does not include free throws.

Forward – One of the three standard player positions.  Forwards are primarily responsible for scoring and rebounding.

Foul – Violations of the rules.

Free Throw – An unopposed attempt to score a basket, worth one point, from the free throw line.

Granny Shot – An underhand shot taken using both hands, usually as a free throw.

Guard – One of the three standard player positions.  Guards have strong ball-handling and passing skills and are typically used to run the offense.

Halftime – The end of the first of play.  The interval between the two halves.

Jump Shot – An overhead shot taken while jumping.

Key – The free-throw lane.

Lay – Up – A close-range shot using one hand to bank the ball off the backboard.

Man-to-Man Defense – A defense in which each player guards a single opposing player.

Offensive Foul – A foul committed by a  member of the team playing offense.

Overtime – When the score is tied at the end of regulation play, the teams play a five-minute overtime period.

Palming – Referring to the habit of an offensive player to hold the ball under the ball while dribbling.  It is a violation.

Pass – To throw the ball to a teammate.

Pivot Foot – The foot that must remain touching the floor to avoid traveling.

Post Up – To go in or near the key, turn so that you are facing away from the basket towards a teammate who has the ball, and try to establish position to receive a pass.

Rebound – to obtain the ball after a missed field goal attempt.

Set Shot – A shot taken without leaving the floor.

Shot Clock – A timer designed to increase the pace by requiring the ball to either touch the rim or enter the basket before the timer expires, resulting in a loss of possession.

Sixth Man – A player who does not start, but is generally the first person off the bench.

Swish – A shot which goes through the net without hitting the backboard or rim.

Technical Foul – A foul assessed for unsportsmanlike non-contact behavior.

Three-Pointer – A shot, worth three points, attempted with both feet behind the three point line.

Travel – To move one’s pivot foot illegally.

Turnover – A loss of possession.

Violation – An infraction of the rules other than a foul, such as traveling or a three-second violation.

Zone Defense – A defense in which each player is responsible for a section of the court to defend.

 

Making The Team

The team roster is posted. You quickly glance at the paper, hoping your name is there… Coach said he or she would call if you made the team. So you hang around the phone hoping you’ll get “the call”… Sometimes your name is on that list, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes you get “the call,” sometimes it never comes.

Whatever experience you may have, the bottom line is trying out for a basketball team is stressful. All you want to do is your best, and hopefully show the coach that you deserve a spot on that team. What can you do to stand out? What will give you the edge? What does the coach really look for?

The logical answer of course is your skill level. Can you play the game? This is the number one factor. But I have known athletes who were excellent basketball players, and didn’t make the team. Why not? Because of their attitude. After skill, having a positive attitude is the second most important factor in determining whether you make the team. Attitude is everything. If you really want to make the team, take a good look at yourself to determine your attitude under the following conditions:

1) You turn the ball over or miss a shot. Do you:
A. Get mad at yourself
B. “Shake it off” and quickly get down the floor and play defense.

2) The referee calls a foul on you that you feel is unfair. Do you:
A. Argue with the ref
B. Accept the call, realizing referees can make mistakes and that it’s just a part of the game.

3) You accidentally knock an opponent down. When play stops do you:
A. Walk right pass the person you knocked down
B. Do you help them up.

4) Your teammate just gave you a great pass. Do you:
A. Ignore that teammate, thinking it’s about time I get the ball
B. Do you “high five” your teammate, thanking him or her for the pass.

5) A timeout is called. Do you:
A. Take your time walking to the sidelines
B. Run to the sidelines to hear what your coach has to say.

If you answered B on all the questions, you’ve got a great attitude. If you answered A to any of the questions, take a moment and think about how you can change your attitude to make it better.

Other Factors coaches look for in determining whether you make the team:

1) Get to tryouts early. Don’t show up late.
2) Ask the Coach if he or she needs any help (sweeping the floor, getting the basketballs out, etc…)
3) Before tryouts start, don’t goof around with your friends trying to shoot the ball from as far away from the basket as possible. This is the time to warm up. Work on your skills.
4) Always look at the Coach when he or she is speaking. Not paying attention will not sit well with the Coach.
5) Run, don’t walk to the next drill. Coaches like to see hustle all the time.
6) If you don’t make the team, ask the coach what things you need to work on to help you make the team next year.
7) Have fun!

Become An Offensive Threat

Happy New Year! What a wonderful time to recommit yourself to becoming the basketball player you know you can become! And it’s really so simple, something you, and only you can do…that’s practice. The key is not how much time you spend practicing, it’s how you spend that time. So many times I’ve seen young athletes practicing with good intentions; however, the way they practice is completely wrong. And what they end up doing is developing bad habits (which are so hard to break). Why not practice all the basketball fundamentals the RIGHT way, so you won’t have to spend so much time later correcting them?

So, with this idea in mind, I want to talk a little bit about becoming an Offensive Threat. And the way you become an Offensive Threat is to develop into a fundamentally solid player. One of the unique and exciting features of basketball is that all players handle the ball. No matter what position you play, you must dribble, pass, shoot, and rebound.

The best way to prepare you to gain your first offensive advantage once you have the ball is to start in the triple threat position. You can use this position to become an offensive threat in three ways — passing, shooting, or driving to the basket. The option you choose depends on the defense and how your opponents are playing you. And the key is reading your defense and being able to react immediately in one of three ways.

Putting the Triple Threat to Work

Once you make a decision to pass, shoot, or drive, you must execute your option.

  • Jab and Shoot – Step or jab violently at the defense with your front foot (Jab step about 1 foot in front of you), while keeping the pivot foot stationary. If the defense reacts and takes the fake by backing off, explode up for a jump shot. Repeat this 10 times at 5 different spots around the basket.
  • Jab Step and Go – With the jab and go, your pivot foot must remain on the floor until the dribble starts. Make your first step explosive, because you want to get around the defense. Remember, if you jab step and go to your right, dribble the ball with your right hand. Repeat this 10 times at 5 different spots around the basket.
  • Jab Step and Crossover – This move is good to use when the defense is close. With the ball, jab step to the side of the defense. Then, step across and by the defense with your front foot. If you are right-handed, jab with the right foot. Left-handed, jab with the left foot (it’s good to learn how to go both ways however). Now, you can cross over in the opposite direction. You must protect the ball, taking it from the outside hand farthest from the defender. Quickly switch the ball low from right to left using your right arm and body to protect the ball. The dribble begins before you pick up your pivot foot. The key is to stay low. Repeat this 10 times at 5 different spots around the basket. Go 10 times to the right, two dribbles and shoot and then 10 times to the left, two dribbles and shoot.

How do you teach the Triple Threat Position?  Help others by sharing your comments below.

Basketball Skillastics® Review

Product Review:  Basketball Skillastics®
Courtesy: 5 Star Hoops
Reviewed by:  Jim Waite

 

This Is a Game Worth Playing

Sandy “Spin” Slade sent a product for review to the Highway and it comes as no surprise to us that the offering, Basketball Skillastics® like Sandy herself is well organized, and entertaining. Sandy, as many of you know is world renowned for her expertise in handling a basketball and as a motivational speaker, appearing before audiences in excess of 200 times per year during her career. She has performed and spoken at levels ranging from elementary school all the way to N.B.A. venues and is well respected throughout the basketball community.  After retiring as a performer in 2008, Sandy has taken on a new focus, that being physical fitness for children. Citing the fact that in today’s society 16% of children between the ages of 6 and 19 are overweight, Sandy has begun creating games geared towards ending this cycle.
 Basketball Skillastics® is aimed at children in grades 1-8 and provides fun and fitness in a board game for physical education classes, parks and recreation centers, child care programs, etc. Children participate in 26 physical activities that are “challenging, yet non- competitive”.  This non-competitive angle takes on great importance when you consider that many children, because of a lack of coordination skills, shy away from getting involved in physically demanding activities in an attempt to avoid embarrassment in front of their peers. Sandy’s game takes this element out of the equation giving even less coordinated kids an opportunity to participate with fellow students in a sports oriented endeavor. Let’s take a look at how the game is played.

Physical Fitness Can Be Fun

Our game arrived to us in a neatly contained pouch that included everything one needs to get started. This nylon carrying case also serves as a great storage bag for the entire game when finished playing meaning that misplaced pieces of the game will be kept to a minimum as opposed to tossing the contents into a box or volleyball bag. The game set included 1-  5×7 synthetic leather mat (latex free), 6 assorted and colored 3- inch foam dice, 6 assorted and colored 2.5 inch miniature beanbags, 6 miniature game boards for each team involved which are exact replicas of the 5×7 version, and detailed instructions on how to set up and play the game. Fitness instructors, insuring the safety of the children, reportedly approve all drills and 1-100 children can play at any given time. The only equipment needed to get started are enough balls for each child who participates and this can include either basketballs or playground balls such as rubber balls, volleyballs, etc.

Putting The Game To Into A Real Classroom Test
 Though Sandy Slade has a great reputation, like any product reviewer worth his salt, I wanted to put this product to the test. Readers of the Highway certainly deserve quality reviews and Sandy deserves a quality critique of her product consequently I had to go no further than down the hallway of my own home to my wife who is a second grade teacher. My agreement with my wife was this. On her first rain day in which she could not get her kids out of the classroom and onto the playground, I wanted her to try this product and give me some quality feedback. My wife took the product to her school and as agreed upon waited for inclement weather. On her classes first day of rain and unable to get outside to the playground, my wife brought out Basketball Skillastics® and put it to the test with her 2nd grade class. She had her children move their desk back to the walls thereby opening up the center of her room for placement of the 5×7 mat. She divided her 24 kids into 6 groups and assigned each a colored die and tennis ball. The game then began and my wife stated she found out something almost instantly about her 2nd grade class. She observed almost immediately that many of her kids were woefully out of shape! Imagine 2nd graders being out of shape. She stated the kids appeared to have a great time with this game and then she gave me a tidbit testifying to the strength of this offering. She stated that once the game ended, and classroom instruction began again, she found many in her class to be more attentive and alert and not as “wiggly” in their chairs.  Being a runner herself, she could only surmise that the heightened cardio work for each of her kids had helped to relax them and take them to an increased state of awareness. When I questioned her as to why this did not always seem to happen when outdoor recess ended she could only guess that it was because so many kids go outside during the break but never get involved in any kind of physical exertion, instead simply spending time idly talking on the playground or riding the merry-go-round. As a testament to the program, my wife claims that though the next recess day was sunny and clear, her kids asked repeatedly if they could play the “inside” game again.

It Teaches, It Works

 Not to end there, I decided on one more test of Basketball Skillastics® and I took the product to a local after school program and dropped it off. Sandy claims that this game is perfect for after school programs, right? Boy was she correct. In speaking with the 2 program directors, here is what I found.  Having 40 after school participants can be a trying time for even the most skilled of teachers. Kids are full of energy and many are anxious to get home according to the directors. As such, many of these same children can find themselves looking for “things to get into”, even in an enclosed environment such as a gymnasium. Older kids sometimes pick on younger students and keeping up with children who “need to go to the restroom” born out of sheer boredom can become a teachers nightmare. But after letting the directors use the product for just 2 days, they became sold on its benefits.  As the directors told me, because they were able to place the kids in teams, oversight of the students became a non-issue as all wanted to participate and the activity was not only fun but also beneficial from a safety standpoint. Some children I am told, while in the midst of a game, made their parents wait until the game was completed before leaving for home. That’s a pretty solid testamonial if you ask me.

Summary

Folks,  Sandy Slade has made a career out of bringing smiles to the faces of people. Her hands on skills with a basketball are legendary and widely respected. Now she has taken her talents to a new and different level with the invention of Basketball Skillastics®. Not only will this product keep kids entertained, but it will enhance physical fitness with flexibility drills, cardio improvements and an increased self-image. I put this game to the real test with the everyday “foot soldier”, also known by the term “teacher”. If a teacher says a product is good, you can bet that it is and I can assure you that the teachers I spoke with loved this offering.  I rate this product 5 + and would recommend it highly.

 

Overcoming Injuries

Getting injured is part of athletics.  It is rare to find an athlete that is injury free.  If you take me as an example, I broke three bones, sprained my ankles and strained (pulled) muscles too many times during my scholastic, collegiate and professional athletic career.  The thing I learned is the human body’s ability to heal is amazing.  And when the injury does happen, we want the healing process to occur quickly.  Injuries seem to happen at the most inconvenient time!  But the truth of the matter is there is never a good time for an injury and we don’t get to pick the time when to get injured.  One tip to a successful rehabilitation is being prepared mentally.  You must be patient and committed to following the regiment of your athletic trainer, physical therapist and/or physicians, AND work hard to get back into top notch physical condition.  Latly, understand your physical limitations until your medical professional indicates you have recovered 100% or you run the risk of recurring injuries.

A couple months ago, a high school athlete asked me for some stationary ball-handling drills while she was recovering from a knee injury.  I was impressed with her dedication and perseverance, so with her permission, I have included her story of how she dealt with the mental and physical rehabilitation process.  Here is her story.

ACL Injury
In February of this year, I collided with a girl during a basketball game. As I went down, I hyper extended and twisted my knee. I spent the next three hours in the emergency ward only to have the doctor tell me that nothing was wrong with it. He told me I should just rest it for the next couple of days.

I found over the next week that I couldn’t straighten or bend it. We went to see a second doctor who recommended we see an orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon told me that I had almost certainly torn my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), but he would not be able to confirm this without doing an arthroscopy. The ACL is the ligament that keeps the tibia (your shin bone) in the right place relative to your femur (your thigh bone). He suggested I undergo physiotherapy to see what sort of function my knee would return to. He also told me that if I did need a reconstruction of my ACL that I would be out of basketball for 9-12 months. This was not good news to me.

I went through a lot of physiotherapy, and it got to the point where I was beginning to think that the surgeon had been wrong and my ACL wasn’t torn. Within a month I had very good stability in my knee and no pain. I was given an ACL brace to wear during hard activities.

Unfortunately, just when I was getting really optimistic I had a big setback. During a pick up game with friends, I made a move to block a shot and my knee gave out under me when I landed. I was really disappointed. After that I knew that I wouldn’t be able to play without being scared of hurting my knee, so I would have to get it reconstructed.

In April, I had arthroscopic surgery, and the surgeon confirmed that I had stretched my ACL to the point where it wouldn’t function properly in high impact activities and that I would need the reconstruction unless I was willing to change my lifestyle completely. The good news was all my other ligaments and cartilage had not been damaged.

Leaving basketball isn’t an option for me. I can’t ever imagine not walking out onto the court again. The reconstruction is now scheduled and at this time I am still rehabilitating my knee from the scope. It is very important that my knee and the muscles in my leg are in excellent condition for surgery. When they replace the ACL with the hamstring tendons the measurement must be exact or my knee will never be 100%.

This has been devastating and hard to work through but I am slowly finding ways of reinventing my life. I am taking my pilot’s license, working at a rock climbing gym, and doing ball-handling drills to keep up on my basketball skills.

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