Category Archives for Tips

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.

Let’s Move in School – An Initiative for ALL of us!

I’m sure most all of you are aware of the “Let’s Move in School” initiative that was started by NASPE and AAHPERD.  If you haven’t signed up to be a part of this great project, I encourage you to do so by going to  There are numerous resources that you can access on the AAHPERD web site to help get you started with implementing a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program in your school. 

If you look at the CSPAP logo, you will notice that the star at the top is “Physical Education”.  The reason for that is two-fold.  First, a quality physical education program is the cornerstone to a successful Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program.  Physical education is not the same as physical activity and this initiative is not intended to take the place of a quality physical education program taught by a certified teacher.  Second, you as the physical education instructor are the person most qualified to lead this initiative!  Please keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask other people to help!  Quite the opposite!  The more people you have “on board” and helping, the more successful the program will be.  With that in mind, over the next few months, I’ll discuss the other components of CSPAP and give you some ideas for how to get other people involved, and provide some activities to consider implementing in each area. 

I’ll start “Staff Involvement” this month.  The LMIS web site states:  “High-level support from school administrators is critical to a successful comprehensive school physical activity programs. Staff involvement in school-based physical activity provides two key benefits:

  • School employee wellness programs have been shown to improve staff health, increase physical activity levels, and be cost effective.
  • When school staff are personally committed to good health practices, they are positive role models for students and may show increased support for student participation in physical activity.”

With that in mind, and with the holiday season here, it’s a perfect time to invite your staff to participate in some type of “healthy challenge”.  These could be started now or after the first of the year.  If you are waiting until January, send out some “teasers” to get people excited about participating!  You might consider implementing one of these ideas:

  • “Exercise = Less Stress” (provide a chart for people to record how many minutes of physical activity they get each day during the month)
  • “Maintain, No Gain Challenge” (provide ideas for healthy eating tips during the month and a weekly “weigh in” sheet)
  • “Healthy Treats for Happy Feet” (encourage people to walk during their lunch hour and bring healthy foods for their lunch)
  • “Biggest Loser Challenge” (make this fun and non-threatening to get more involvement!)

Keep in mind that healthy staff members will serve as good role models to your students so don’t keep their successes a secret—share what you are doing with your students!  It will let them see that the adults in their school (not just you as the physical education teacher) care about their health and wellness and understand the benefits of being physically active and eating right!

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