Remember........ getting better is a CHOICE!

   Nashua Nighthawks holds Tryouts in October and runs

for the regular basketball season with playoffs in March.

3 Crucial Basketball skills to practice:

Remember....getting better is a choice!


The 70’s and the 80’s were the years of the motion offense or passing game.  The primary method of ball movement was the pass, not the dribble.  In fact, some offenses restricted players to one or two dribbles per possession.  The numbered fast break also played a role in diminishing the importance of the dribble.  “Get the ball to the point guard!” the coach used to scream.

All this has changed.  The game of the late 90s and 21st century is “spread and attack.”  Penetrate the paint, get to the hoop, spread the floor and create one on one opportunities are the skills emphasized in today’s game.
The dribble is back “big time.”  Every team needs at least one great dribbler.  A player who can attack the press defense, get through the traps, and create a numbers advantage for the offense will be a strong asset to their team.  Today’s dedicated athlete must make the dribble a high priority.

Develop the ability to use either hand equally well; eliminate hand favoritism.
Pound the ball into the floor---dribble the ball hard.
Use the off arm as a shield not a limp noodle—iron off arm.
Keep your head up, and your eyes on the goal or your eyes in the eyes of the defender.
Change speeds and change directions.  Be unpredictable in your movement.  Do not develop a rhythm.
The dribble ends in a two-foot stop with the exception of running lay-ups and hook shots.

                  #2: PHENOMENAL PASSING
The pass is basketball’s most neglected skill.  I would say that the most important tip I can give you is for you to fake a pass, and then make your pass every time that you pass.  You must be deceptive in your passing technique.  If you “telegraph” your pass, you will turn the ball over.  Grit your teeth when making a pass.  You will be more focused.

Over Head Pass
Cross-Step Pass Left
Cross-Step Pass Right
Bounce Pass Left
Bounce Pass Right.
Hook Pass
Baseball Pass

1-2-Down – Through Pass

The chest pass is not taught because it is rarely performed against defense
1-2-Down-Through is the foundation of all NBC Camps passing.
Palms in, and fingers to the ceiling on all catches eliminates broken fingers.
The cross step pass makes a player three feet taller and beats defensive pressure.
Ball fakes must be strong and deliberate to be effective.
Bounce passes made to bounce waist high (occurs by passing 2/3rd of distance to receiver).
Bounce passes should be made with back spin on the ball.
Passes must be made to receiver’s outside hand.
Receiver must call for the ball and show a hand target where the ball is to be delivered.
Passing in opposite direction of the dribble is not acceptable.

                        #3: SUPER SPINACH
The key to mastering your shot is repetition.  Repetition of the perfect shot.  People, especially people in western civilization, expect immediate results.  When attempting to improve any aspect of our basketball game, we expect to get better NOW.  Asian culture teaches youth to love repetition.  The piano player in Japan prefers to practice one song 1000 times so they can play it perfectly.  Youth in the USA tend to want to play 1000 songs one time without regard to perfection.

T I M E” spells “great shooter.”  “A L O N E” is the necessary discipline to become a pure shooter.  Spinach is an NBC Camp term that refers to the repetition of your shooting motion without using a basket.  Spinach is just you and your basketball.  By practicing your shooting form many times every day you will perfect your form and teach your muscles to shoot correctly.  I can tell you this from experience, the feeling that comes from making a clutch shot in a key game more than makes up for the hundreds of hours you put into your shot.


Focus intensely on every practice shot.

1 position: hand in front of body palm up…index middle finger on seams; V on heel of hand.
2 position: ball in jump shot position; elbow shoulder high; wrinkles on wrist guide hand touches ball and moves about 2” off ball.
3 position: hold your hand in the “cookie jar.”

You must be able to shoot ball in front of you or directly behind you.

Your goal is to learn to have perfect form and shoot the ball softly.

                   (As seen on the Nike Camp website)

 5 ways to increase your Basketball Bravery

Eliminate the fearful story.  Brave people have strong minds. They don’t allow stories of fear to flash across their thoughts.  The mind is lightening quick.  In a matter of milliseconds when you are handed the ball at the free throw line, you can have pictured a fearful story of missing the shot with images of disappointed faces bombarding your thoughts. Keep fearful stories out of your mind. 

Don’t play god. You cannot read someone’s mind. Brave people do not assume others are talking negatively about them, or criticizing them. It’s not on their radar. You can’t know for certain what another person is thinking. You don’t know fully what your coach thinks about you. Don't guess and don't pretend to read minds, use your brain for more productive work.
Practice crucial moments.  All games have crucial moments. Know what these are. Practice for them. Lie in bed and try to imagine the crucial moment as clearly as you can. Repeat in your mind an image of yourself being brave in that crucial moment. Try and do 10 perfectly imagined reps in your mind.
Speak words of power. You are what you repeatedly do. If you find yourself getting nervous, use words to change your world.  Instead of thoughts such as, “I’m so nervous.”  Speak to yourself, “My body is prepared for this moment. I am ready. I am confident.”  Act and speak with bravery and your feelings will follow.
Don’t fear painMany younger athletes fear pain. They are scared to work hard, they are tentative. One great lesson to remember is that no discipline seems pleasant at the time but painful, later on however it will produce a harvest of righteousness and peace for those trained by it. The pain of hard work strengthens us and gives us what we need to play better. Remember...no pain, no gain.

“Just as men become builders by building and lyre-players by playing the lyre; so too we become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.”  - Aristotle

The word bravery came into usage around 1540 and was used to mean daring. It comes from the Spanish word, "bravo," meaning bold.  Bravery is a quality we all aspire to have. We hope that if we should encounter a dangerous situation which requires immediate action, we would be able to act with courage and without hesitation. Bravery is a quality revealed during frightening or serious situations.
We can rest assured that we will meet those intensified life situations well, if we choose to practice the virtue of bravery. Aristotle says, "We are what we repeatedly do."  Virtue, like all skills, are developed through repetition, and though we cannot always practice specifically for serious situations, our everyday small choices of bravery are building in our character the fortitude to meet danger with courage.
Be brave by doing brave acts. Your actions are preparing you for greater moments.

There is no glory in practice, but without practice there is no glory.

If you are serious about basketball, you need to check out NBC Camps at www.nbccamps.com.

Contact the Nashua Nighthawks at: nashuabasketball@hotmail.com.



Players and parents, please check out this very thorough resource on basketball tips and drills.www.ihoops.com

Nighthawks Slideshow

See players past and present in action.

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"I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying,"
                     Michael Jordan

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