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How A Fat Old Fart Can Fool Young Fit Guys Into Believing He's A Good Basketball Player

Written by Devtome contributor Bomac

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(Pictured Above… Not one of your favorite Devtome contributors, Bomac - but it might as well be - except for the fact that Bomac is older.)

At the time I'm writing this, I”m 58 years old and weigh more than 250 pounds, at a height of merely 5'10”.

If you are a 20 year old young man, in shape, and you see me approaching you on a basketball court, you are not likely to consider me a competitive threat. In fact, you'd probably smile a little bit and think, “Look at this fat old guy coming here on my court. What a joke.” Yet, if we were to play, I might be able to trick you into believing I'm a worthy opponent.

Christmas Came Early For Me But Sadly, My Hop Is Long Gone For Good

As it turns out, a new basketball court was put up about a mile or so from my house several weeks ago. I started going just about every day. What a Godsend. I feel so lucky, so blessed.

I had not even shot a ball in years, and had hardly spent any time on a court for a couple decades. In my youth, I could take a running leap from my right leg and reach up with my left hand and catch the rim with the top of my fingers; but now, I'd be lucky if I can get more than a inch off the ground.1) A few years ago (in my early to mid 50s) I lost some weight, getting down to 205 pounds (from 285.) I was hoping I would be able to jump again at that point, so I went to a basketball court and gave the rim a shot.

I could not even touch the bottom of the net. I'm afraid I didn't even get close to the net. Talk about a disappointment! About a decade before that, again, coming off a period of weight loss, I had gotten down to 197 pounds (from 265.) It was almost at the turn of the century, so that would put me in my early 40s. I tried jumping to touch the rim then, and, almost unbelievably, I could jump at least as high as I could in high school. (I think I actually jumped a few silly millimeters higher.)

I didn't know it, but that would be my last hurrah in the leaps department. Perhaps, if I had realized that the human ability to jump takes a gi-normous cliff dive in your 40s, I would have made an effort to maintain the weight loss and enjoy my hops for as long as I could have kept them. 2)

YoYo Weight Issues

Sigh… Such was not the case, and, as usual, I did not maintain my weight loss for very long at all. I quickly regained the weight, and more. (So what else is new?) It would be more than a decade before I oh so briefly got down to the 205 mark, described above, to discover that my leaping ability was simply a memory, at that point.

So now, I find myself much older, with almost zero ability to get off the ground at all. I seriously think I have about a 1 inch vertical leap. And while I'm down 60 + pounds (so far) from my all-time high of 315 pounds, I'm still about 100 pounds overweight, according to many weight charts.3) Yet, the group of 20ish year old, in-shape guys I”m playing basketball with, who I've met at that new court in my 'hood, are somehow, some way, under the impression – much to my utter amazement and delight – that I'm basically one of them.

How Is It Possible I've Fooled Them?

Perhaps you've heard of Jenna Marbles, who became a YouTube star when her first video, How To Trick People Into Believing You're Good Looking, went viral… (currently at 61 million views.) I guess you could say the title to this post is an homage to her, but the difference is, she's actually good looking, whereas I'm, unfortunately, not a good basketball player.

Despite whatever ridiculous insecurities she may have about her looks, she really doesn't have to trick anybody for people to see she's super attractive. I, on the other hand, have managed to fool a bunch of trim, athletic guys in their early 20s that I'm their equal, when it's clearly obvious to me that I'm not even close.

(A quick aside on Jenna can be found in this footnote.4)…And yes, I've seen her lately, since she got away from veganism and quit dying her hair. She's still good looking.)

Junior Varsity Try Out

I've had conversations where some of those guys ask if I played on my high school team. I told them I couldn't even get past the first cut on the junior varsity tryouts. They said that my school, then, obviously had a great team. I tell them, well, not exactly. We won only 1 game when I was in 11th and 12th grades. They can't figure out how this could be, but they chalk it up to me making a lot of improvement since then.

Hacks For Fellow Over-The-Hill Fatties Who Would Like To Learn To Fake It In B-Ball

To an extent, they are right. In recent weeks, I not only got my shot back, but due to spending up to a couple hours a day in practice, virtually every day, I have probably developed more accuracy in my shooting than ever before. I feel something is going on in that department that in time could develop into me becoming an awesome scary good shooter, but even if that were to happen, a killer shot, by itself, does not a good basketball player, make. It makes a good horse (shooting game) player, but that's a far cry from being a good basketball player.

The 2 Main Components To This Charade

1) Better long-shooting ability than most of the other players.

If you are willing to put the time into developing an outside shot, you can compensate for a lot of your liabilities. You may not move gracefully or be able to leap for rebounds, and your defense may be atrocious, but if you can hit about half of your long shots, you're going to have teammates that love having you on their side.5)

2) I only play in half court games.

Luckily, the property association that put the court up in that nearby park, only put up a half court. If all the young dudes were playing full court and I tried to join in, it would be all over for me. They would realize I'm all pretender and zero contender. I can't engage in actual running at 254 pounds. When I reach my goal of 215 pounds, I'll find out if I can semi fake-run in a full court game. I'm not betting on it, but, at this point, the fantasy is alive.

The Marino Analogy

You may remember Miami Dolphin quarterback Dan Marino. The only two things I have in common with him are, we both exhale carbon dioxide, and neither of us ever had a reputation for being a fast runner. One of the only problems with his game was he could barely run to save his life. However, he did have some quick lateral movement. He was was actually good at moving side to side, a step or two here and there, to avoid would-be certain sacks. If you saw him with those quick side steps, and if you didn't know any better, you'd think he could run.

Well, in a half court basketball game, I can evidently make people who don't know better, believe that I can run. They don't think I'm fast, but they evidently think I can run. I can fake a few steps to get a loose ball that happens to bounce off the rim and land near me, as long as I happen, by chance, to have position. I even use my, shall we say, body mass, to help me track down the ball.

My backside and general girth gets in the way of competitors trying to get around me and get to the ball before I can get it. However, when you have to run the length of the court, being a fat old guy who can't run becomes impossible to disguise.

Silver Lining For Fat Roundball Players

That's not to say you can't use your weight as best as you can to attain some advantages. You can set some really great picks being overweight. That is when you move yourself into the area of the defender who is assigned to the guy on your team who happens to have the ball. You are not allowed to run into him, or set a moving screen, but you can park yourself in a space he would otherwise traverse in his effort to stay on your teammate with the ball. This will temporarily create a space between your teammate and his defender.

Since you did get in his way, he is allowed a bit of leeway to bump into you and “fight through”, as they say, to try to stay up with your teammate, but if you are big and heavy, it's going to be harder for him to fight through. A lot of people playing pick up games in a park setting, don't really set many picks, so when they see you doing it, that might help to elevate you in their minds, to being a better than average player.

The Roll After The Pick

Hopefully, your teammates realize what you are doing when you set a pick. If so, they will be able to take advantage of the space you give them, and either get an uncontested shot off, or drive quickly to the basket for a layup attempt, or make a pass. In fact, they might even pass it to you, because the other part of the pick process is known as, the roll. After you get in the way of your ball handler's defender, you simply roll toward the hoop, to either be there for a potential rebound if he misses the shot, or to be there for a pass – often a bounce pass – from him.

The Boxout

Another advantage to being heavier than others, is you can often box your opponent out of getting a rebound. When you see that the other team is shooting, you put your fat body right in front of your defender, and even back up a bit, creating some space where the ball might come to you, out of his reach, even though you can't really jump.

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Of course, if you can jump, that's even better, but a good boxout can help you sometimes get rebounds even if you've lost your hopping skills. In the image above, a small guy is boxing out a larger guy. If the ball were to come off the rim to a space in front of them, the smaller dude would be in a better position to get it. If the big guy reaches over the small guy's back to grab the rebound, he will likely be called for an over-the-back foul.

Pass Pass Pass

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Developing the art of passing is another way of getting the people you play with to not focus on the fact that you can't run, play defense or snag airborne rebounds. Being overweight doesn't help your passing, but for the most part, it doesn't hurt it. Most guys that play in the park are more interested in shooting the ball than passing it to someone who may be in a better position to make a shot. In fact, that's a trait that is even shared by some rather talented professional players… (Can you say, Carmello Anthony?)

If you start looking for the open man with the easy shot, it's going to make you look good. The fact that even though they know you have a good outside shot, but you don't mind passing the 'rock' to the guy under the basket, is going to go a long ways toward having others see you as a more rounded – (no fat-pun intended) – player.

The Importance Of Wind

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Wind is important, and I”m not talking about the breeze through the trees in the park you are playing in. As an old fat guy, you are going to get winded sooner than those young thin dudes. Even though you are playing only half court, you can still get winded very quickly. You are going to have to work on that.

It's really important that you do, because, as a fatty, the main thing you have to offer is your shooting ability. It's a fact that when players are winded, their shot percentage drops precipitously.

I develop my fat man wind through 3 different ways. First, when I practice by myself, I run (or fake run as best I can) to fetch the ball so I can quickly shoot again, every time I miss. I push myself a lot harder than most people you see practicing their shooting.

There are a number of benefits to this. The faster you get to the ball, time after time, the more shots you are going to get off during whatever amount of time you've allotted yourself for daily practice. The more shots you take, the better you will get, if you are paying attention – especially if you are being mindfully aware of what you are doing and how you are doing it, so that when you make shots, you are able to duplicate the mechanics again and again.

If you consistently push yourself, running for the errant balls each day during practice, you are going to develop surprising levels of wind to go along with your half court game, in spite of the fact that you are a fat ass. You may get to the point in games, sometimes, where you realize you're not that much more winded than your trim opponents and teammates. Again, the half court game allows you this charade. If you were trying to do full court, fast break sprints, you'd be exposed rather quickly, when trying to keep up with people you outweigh by up to 100 pounds.

The second way I develop my wind is riding bikes in a hilly area. If you live in a flat area, then you would have to do some bike sprints instead of riding hard uphill.

The third way is I jump on a bungee cord rebounder virtually every day, generally for at least an hour. (A steel spring rebounder will suffice, but a bungee model is so much better on so many levels, it isn't even funny.)

You don't have to do an hour's worth, and it doesn't all have to be at once, but it definitely helps develop your stamina (along with many other amazing benefits. Rebounding is, by far, the single greatest exercise you can do for your general state of health and well being.

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Multitasking Rebounding

I always multi task when I rebound. I will watch various videos or listen to various audio programs. A lot of it is educational in nature, but I also do some pure entertainment multitasking.

I admit that there is so much that needs to be done to help save ourselves from the New World Order6) shit storms that are underway and being planned, that we should not be wasting a lot of time on bread & circus diversions. But, I don't feel as bad about viewing entertainment videos (films, TV shows, etc.) if I am simultaneously getting the incredible health benefits of rebounding.

Everybody should rebound at least 30 minutes a day, no matter how much other exercise you may get. Even if someone is unable to actually jump up, off the mat, they will still get massive benefit just from rocking down and up on the mat, while holding on to the stabilization bar. It circulates your all-important lymph fluid, while bringing your white blood cells out from your bone marrow, and it stimulates every one of the trillions of cells that comprise your body.

Practice Shooting Hacks

The most common mistake when it comes to practicing your shooting pertains to distance. Everybody wants to practice their long ball. It's just more fun to make long shots. There is a tremendous feeling to be had every time you take, say, an 18 to 25 foot shot where the ball swishes through the rim, hitting nothing but net. (It's the sweetest sounding 'string music' imaginable.)

You don't even have to swish it to get a good feeling. As long as it has some distance to it, you could rattle it through the rim, bounce it off the rim or backboard, or have it drop in after going around the rim a few times. It all feels awesome, and the further away you are from the basket when you shoot it, the more satisfying the feeling.

In a game, you probably don't want to chance it, by shooting way outside of your range, but in practice, most people simply want to shoot long shots. After all, there is no pressure if you miss, and besides, how are you supposed to get any good with long shots if you aren't taking advantage of practice time to focus on them?

Get Good With Short Shots First & Foremost

I'm convinced that the single greatest hack to help anyone to become a better shooter is by taking a systematic approach that ignores long shots entirely, until one becomes really accurate & consistent from 10 feet out and closer. As babies, we learned to crawl before we walked. We walked before we ran. Why would we think we can get great at 20 to 30 foot shots while we're only able to make 1 in 4 layups?

There are various motions, movements, logistics and mechanics involved in making a successful shot, including shots a mere few feet from the rim. If you practice enough short shots, you will be able to get to the point where you make most of them without taking much time to get the shots off.

You will find a muscle memory situation developing. In a manner of speaking, your arm, wrist and fingers will remember what they did when the shots went in. Sure, you should use your mental powers to focus on duplicating your body's movements on your successful shots, but when you take hundreds of shots on a daily basis, it can become almost automatic.

Well Wouldn't The Same Apply To Long Shots?

So the question is, if this is true with short shooting, wouldn't it be the same for the longer shots? I've found that if I first establish my short range shots, then yes, the process is similar. I can remember and duplicate my shooting mechanics on successful longer shots. However, if I'm not able to hit the majority of shots from the shorter range, then the longer shots are nothing buy a crap shoot.

So, I now will spend up to the first half my practice time shooting a few to several feet from the basket. It's true that while shooting shorter range shots afford me less opportunity to work on my wind development, but that's alright. I'll have at least half my practice time, shooting long shots, where the missed shots bounce off the rim harder and need to be chased down.

I always practice my short shots, and my intention is to keep it up, no matter how consistent and accurate I may become from the shorter range. Intuitively, I feel this is a fundamental protocol that should always be adhered to. You should expect big dividends if you follow it.

The Subconscious Bonus From Short Shot Accuracy

There is another aspect to developing short shot accuracy that is intangible, yet perhaps the most important of all. You will be as good a shooter as you believe you are, at every level of your consciousness. If you can't imagine yourself making, say 10 or 15 shots in a row, since you have never come close to doing that, then your mind and body is likely to prove you right.

Before the 4 minute mile was broken in the world of track and field, people assumed it could not be done. Yet, as soon as the first person did it, suddenly lots of runners were able to do it.

By shooting and making lots of shots close to the basket, you are sending a message to your subconscious mind that you are a capable shooter. Making a lot of shots in a row is not a huge deal for you. You expect to make most of your shots.

You view yourself as an accurate basketball shooter. It's normal. It's a part of who you are. You are building the psychological foundation for becoming good at medium range shooting by becoming adept at the short ranges. Then, as you become adept at the medium range shots, you are psychologically setting yourself up to do the same at the longer ranges.

Mental Blocks

If you find that you can't ever seem to hit 10 simple short shots in a row, (like 2 or 3 feet from the hoop) you most likely have a mental block that is a governor to your success. (I mean, like a governor on a motor that limits its ability for speed. The motor itself has the power to go faster, but the governor prevents it.)

If this is the case, you will likely be able to notice a doubtful thought or feeling once you string together several shots. Trying to reject the negative vibe might not work, because you are giving it focus by resisting it. You might find it best to acknowledge it. Smile, and see if you can move past it.

Logically, you know there is no reason you can't repeat the exact some mechanics of the previous several shots. Just keep at it until you get past 10, even if it takes you an hour or more. (…Heck, even if it takes you dayns.) Once you break 10, you can move it to 15 or 20, etc. Remember, we're talking about really short shots here. 10 in a row is very possible. Once you are able to do it, you can increase the distance, progressively. You should be able to get to the point where you can sometimes make 10 shots in a row from the free throw line.

Did you know that in the early 90s, a 71 year old man, Dr. Tom Amberry, set the world record for the number of made free throw shots in a row. He got to 2,750 successive shots from the foul line. He actually did not miss shot # 2751. The workers at the gym wanted to go home, so they kicked him and all the witnesses out of the building after 12 hours.

Short Shots Count The Same As Longer Shots That Are Inside The 3 Point Line

Except for shots that are past the 3 point line (which is usually a minimum of 20 feet from the rim), short shots are worth the same. They just happen to be a lot easier. It's silly to not practice them. (Plus, when you consider that most playground games are scored by single points, and there is no point difference regardless where the shot is taken from, this truth is amplified even more so.)

Regardless of the level of play, professional, collegiate or high school, a very large percentage of shots are taken from the areas close to the rim. This is called, low post play. Layups fall into this category. They are an integral part of the game, and with practice, you can get to the point where you make the large majority of your layup attempts. You do need to practice them. They are not automatic. It's not all that uncommon to see NBA players miss uncontested layups.

Hooking, Banking And Hook Banking

Most layups are bank shots. That is, you bank them off the backboard, before they go through the rim, into the net. When you get good at banking in layups, you should work on moving a few feet away out, while using the same style of shooting. As you get further away, it will not be considered so much a layup shot, as a hook shot that you bank in. With practice, you may get to the point where you make the majority of these shots, even during games, when a defender is contesting you shot.

Since it's a hook shot, it is the hardest shot for a defender to block. That is because you are not squared up, directly facing your opponent. You are at a 90 degree angle to him. Your non shooting arm (and shoulder) is at his chest. Your entire body is basically in the way of your other arm and hand, which is going to be shooting the ball, hooking it up over your head. You do have the use of your other hand to help aim the ball. Plus, there is more arm involved and less wrist than in traditional shots.

For all these factors, it is a significantly more difficult skill to develop. Even at the professional level, outside of the close up layups, hook shots comprise a very small percentage of shot attempts, let alone, shots scored.

The hook shot is the hardest shot to block, but that doesn't take away from its difficulty factor. It takes a lot of practice to get to the point where you have the control that is required to make the ball go precisely where you want aim from the hook style of shooting.

The exception is layup shots, which technically are little hook shots which are usually banked in off the backboard. I always felt that it is possible to shoot the ball very much like a layup, with the exception being that you are quite a few feet, (up to 10 to 15 feet) away from the rim. It's quite rare to see someone attempt such a shot, but if you can figure out where the ball needs to hit the backboard to go through the rim, it is easier to hit that spot, than it is to get the right trajectory and the proper amount of arc, to hook it directly through the rim from the same distance.

Most people don't develop any kind of long or even medium range hook bank shot. If other people see you make a few of these shots several feet (or further) from the rim, it will likely impress them, since it's not only fairly uncommon, but it also just looks cool. It's just so hard to block, and it happens so fast (since there is no arc involved), it's sweet to witness some make – let alone, to be a person who does it.

To Bank Or To Swish

In general, you should develop the ability to bank shots in. You don't need to bank shots when you are directly in front of the rim, for instance, shots around the free throw line. Bank shots are most effective when you are angled toward one side or the other of the rim and backboard.

You should practice both styles from those angles. That is, you should shoot directly for the rim and also shoot to bank it off the backboard. Sometimes, while you are actually in the process of shooting, you will get a feeling as to whether you should swish it in or bank it in. Go with your feeling.

The Art Of The Arc

A lot of (possibly most) playground basketball players do not put enough arc on the ball when they shoot for the rim. Players who have what is known as, shooter's touch, tend to have a good arc on their shots. This helps when the shot is somewhat off, in that it may land on the rim and bounce up, and then down through the rim. (Or it might bounce around multiple times on the rim before falling through it.)

Moreover, their are scientific, physics ramifications of a high arc in relation to shooting accuracy. There is a lot more area available for the ball to go through when your shot has a nice arc on it. When you shoot with a less arcing trajectory, you basically are forcing yourself to shoot with more pinpoint accuracy, because less rim space is available for the ball to fall through.

I remember in junior high school, when my friend showed me the rim that would soon be on the basketball goal on the backyard court his father was building. He compared it to the size of his basketball. The rim was basically twice the size of the ball. He said, when you see it like this, you really wonder how anybody can miss at all.

The rim is 18 inches. A full size ball is 9.5 inches wide. You could almost tape 2 balls together, and have them go through the rim without one being on top of the other. There are slightly smaller balls that many people prefer to play with, that would definitely go through, side by side, taped together.

That is a lot of space to get one ball through. When you put a nice arc on the ball, you are taking advantage of all the space. That is why, once you get the hang of it, you will be playing all kinds of sweet string music… much more so than most people. They'll be wondering how come you are able to swish in so many of your shots where you hit the net, the whole net and nothing but the net, so help you God.

Players who tend to shoot that way are individuals who have truly developed the mechanics of shooting. They are often referred to as, pure shooters. If you can make the ball make the aforementioned, sweet string music, you will likely improve the way other players feel about your basketball ability. In other words, you could potentially get others to think you are a much better all round basketball player than your really are.

Dealing With Wind... The Other Kind Of Wind (Gusts & Breezes)

If you are playing outside, as opposed to inside a gymnasium, the wind can have a real effect on your shots. On windy days, your high arcing shooting style can work against you, because it keeps the ball in the air longer, prolonging the possibility that a strong burst of wind is going to cause the ball to veer off target.

There are two things you can do to downplay the possibility of wind interference. You can shoot with less arc. You should practice it so you will be able to switch to that style when it is needed. The other action you can take, is you can shoot bank shots, (providing you are positioned at the proper angles, of course.)

Bank shots do not require much in the way of a pronounced arc. Generally they are like geometrical calculations utilizing straight lines. You must first know which spot on the backboard to aim for. Then you provide a rather straight shot to the point. The lack of the arc helps to reduce the opportunity for the wind to alter the ball. You can put quite a bit of force on it as well.

When I mentioned how cool a long layup style shot – a hook bank shot from 10 or 15 feet out – can look, I was referring to these logistics. It's a forceful, direct, quick, non arcing one handed toss of the ball to the backboard, which then, careens directly & quickly through the hoop.

If you develop the ability to make that shot, it is a good one to use on windy days. Of course, for that matter, traditional low post (close up) layups are perfect for windy days. When you are playing defense when the wind is wreaking havoc on long shots, try to trick your opponent into taking outside shots. You do that by backing off a couple feet, giving him space.

When he shoots, keep your body in front of him to help box him out of getting his own rebound. If he's smart, he'll be taking bank shots to keep the wind from hurting his chances. If he is making most of them, then you should quit giving him the uncontested long shots.

However, if he has the ability to blow by you at will and get to the hoop where he makes the vast majority of his layups, then you should continue to back off him and give him the outside shots. One of the reasons for this is because you are going to get winded, trying in vain to stop his layups. Then, when you get the ball, your shooting accuracy will be quite bad, because even the best professional players shooting accuracy declines dramatically when they are exhausted. That is a huge reason why every player gets rest time on the bench.

It's All In The Wrist

Serious players develop the classic one hand shot. Their dominant hand shoots the ball with a flip of the wrist. Their other hand is placed on the side of the ball, to help aim it before you release it. The further out you get from the rim, the more difficult it becomes to get the ball to the hoop using just the wrist.

That is what I call your range. If you find that you are having to put more of your arm muscles into the shot, rather than just the wrist muscles, you are out of your range, and the percentage of success will drop accordingly. (The more you have to use your arm, the less chance you have of making it.)

The way you increase your range is to simply keep shooting more and more shots within your range. It develops your wrist strength. You can use a light dumbbell to increase your wrist strength on your shooting hand, but I would recommend to use 2 dumbbells to increase the strength of both wrists, even though you only shoot with your dominant hand.

Ambidextrous Shooting

If you can shoot with either hand, you will be in a rare minority of basketball players. It's a nice luxury for a number of reasons. Moving the ball to your other hand could help you avoid a blocked shot, at certain times. If you were to injure the hand you usually shoot with, you could still be effective if you have the ability to shoot with your other hand.

I'm a leftie. I'm a complete klutz with my right hand though. The exception I make is with layups, those one handed, low post (close to the basket) mini hook shots, that usually bank off the backboard. I have found that I can actually make layups with my right hand, especially if I include them in my practice drills.

Underhand Shooting

Sometimes, when you are fairly close to the hoop, there is nobody in between you and the basket. The quickest route for the ball to take to the hoop is if you toss it underhanded. It is unorthodox, and can really catch your defender off guard. I highly recommend practicing it so it becomes a natural part of your repertoire.

You can often surprise your defender by going underhanded on a layup. Sometimes it will involve switching the ball from your dominant hand to your other one. With practice, most people can develop the ability to shoot layups of all varieties (overhand, underhand, reverse and normal) with either hand. (A reverse layup is when you go under the rim, from one side to the other, and shoot it behind you.)

Underhanded Free Throws

Rick Barry's 89.9835 free throw percentage held up in the NBA for about 2 decades after he retired. Steve Nash's 90.4085 percentage now has the honor. Barry shot his free throws underhanded (using both hands.) As a playground player you probably will not have official (and officiated) games that utilize free throws anyway, but just for your information, Barry says that everyone can become at least an 80% free throw shooter if they would take the time to practice that style.

I have yet to take him up on that offer, but then again, as a playground player, I don't actually play in games with actual free throws. The exception though, is 21, aka hustle, so perhaps I should go for it.

The Art Of Faking

Even if you become known for your underhanded ability (therefore losing much of the surprise aspect to it), nonetheless, it gives your defender something extra to worry about. You can even fake it underhanded, since they are watching out for it, and then change it to an overhand shot.

Faking in general can be quite beneficial. A head fake can fool your defender into thinking you are moving in one direction, but then you go another, or pull up for a shot. You may be able to fake a behind the back dribble, where the defender moves to meet what he believes will be a change in direction, which allows you to move past him in the same direction you were going when you actually don't make the behind the back dribble.

You can fake a shot, that gets your defender up in the air, going for the blocked shot, when allows you to move around him to drive to the basket or at least to move in for a closer shot. Or you can fake a shot that opens up a nice pass. Your teammate's defender might be looking to go for the rebound on the shot he thinks you are attempting, thus leaving your teammate open. You then pass it to him for an uncontested (or late contested) shot. Similarly, faking a pass can sometimes create some space from your defender, allowing you to get a step on him as you move to the hoop.

Behind The Back Stuff

I recommend developing the ability to dribble behind your back. You change from dribbling the ball from one hand to the other, but you do it behind your back. This move is very helpful for allowing you to change direction unexpectedly, and create some space away from your defender.

It's a also a good idea to develop the ability to pass behind your back. The image of the women's basketball game I placed in this article is that of a player utilizing a behind the back pass. It's almost always unexpected, and therefore unguardable. You can practice the behind the back dribble alone, but you basically need somebody practicing with you to work on your behind the back passing.

Working On Your Fat Man Defense

As a slow player, your will find that quick players are able to blow by you a lot of times. It's important to not give up. Try to get better with your defending ability, even if it seems hopeless. You might need to back off your opponent a few feet, and work on your lateral leg motions, so you can hopeully, at least sometimes get in the way of him before he runs past you. Yes, if you back off, you will basically be giving him a mostly uncontested outside shot (if he so chooses to take it.)

Most weekend warrior type players miss most of their outside shots. If he blows by you, he is going to have an uncontested layup, with a much higher percentage of success.

Play 1 On 1 With Better Players

Playing 1 on 1 is awesome for improving your skills and developing your wind. This is especially true when you play people who are better than you are. The more players there are in a game, the less time you are going to have with the ball. With 1 on 1, you are going to have the ball 100% of the time your team is on offense.

Conversely, you are always going to be defending the ball handler when your team is on defense. You have the opportunity to get better defensively & offensively as well as with boxing out and rebounding every time you play 1 on 1. Take advantage of the opportunity whenever you can.

Throw The Ball Off An Opponent

This is one of my all-time favorite hustle plays. It's a classic play you will see from time to time in games of all levels, including the pros. When you are trying to save a loose ball, but it becomes evident to you that you are not going to be able to reel it in without going out of bounds, take the ball and throw it at your closest opponent.

I'm so happy this play is legal. You basically make sure the other team is the last to touch the ball before it ricochets out of bounds off the other player. This is the kind of savvy, heads up play that an old fatass like me can do that helps to trick people into believing I'm a good player.

Revisiting The Subconscious Mental Aspect

There have been group experiments where it's been demonstrated that when people take time to mentally envision themselves practice shooting the ball and making those mental practice shots, it invariably has a most significant and positive impact on their shooting accuracy.

That's pretty powerful data; isn't it? You can improve your shooting by pretending to shoot. Go figure. Wow!

There are many aspects that comprise becoming a good shooter. Practice is huge, as is focus & concentration, as is practicing your focus and concentration. Being positive is also huge. You should always have the attitude and the mental vision that you are going to make the shot you are taking.

Does Your Personality Have A Success Governor?

There is a well known human potential (success) guru named Lisa Nichols. She talks about a distinction that I relate to in my life. She speaks about how many individuals find it natural to limit their abilities and stop their greatness from manifesting.

They may have a sheepish feeling about it, as if becoming great at something is wrong because it could make others who are not great at it, feel inferior. At some level of their consciousness they just want to blend in and be normal. They don't want to be great so they don't have to deal with others who may not be comfortable around their developed abilities.

I can definitely relate to that. When people join me on the court to practice shooting, it's common for them to make self deprecating statements if they start out missing a few shots. This is especially true if I'm hitting some killer long shots. I find myself feeling bad that I'm hitting so many shots in front of them.

If I'm ever to become the really good shooter I have the potential to be, I've got to let that self limiting governor go. I have it for life in general; not merely for my ability to put the roundball through the netted rim.

One of the things I”m doing to work on this is, I listen to an audio program that Lisa Nichols did with Paul Scheele of Learning Strategies Corporation. It's called a Paraliminal.

The name sounds like it has subliminal recordings in the soundtrack. I believe there is something to subliminal recordings, but there are none in any of Learning Strategies Paraliminals. It has entrainment tones in the background that affect your brainwaves, helping you to be in a meditative and relaxed state of mind, but all the verbal suggestions, guidance and instructions are in clearly audible format. You can hear everything that is being said.

What is unique though, is the fact that you will sometimes hear both voices, Lisa and Paul, speaking at the same time. They each speak to one particular ear. It is designed to work at both levels (halves) of the brain.

Sometimes you will find yourself listening to one of them but not the other. Then your focus may switch. Yet other times, you may deal with the combined voices by tuning them both out, and have a seemingly unrelated daydream. Regardless of what happens, you will be getting benefit from the experience.

I would like to share this with you now, so that you can get past various limitations and governors that may be holding you back from various goals, whether they pertain to shooting the basketball or not.

I can't say how long this recording will be available, but if it is still available for you, you will find it here. Whatever your goal, whatever you are trying to improve upon, just state it to yourself, at the beginning of the recording, then follow directions & go with the flow. Please make sure you listen with headphones. Enjoy!

Basketball | How To

1) I'm not sure if I was able to do it the opposite way before I shattered my leg playing basketball when I was 18. I may have been able to leap from my left leg and touch the rim with my right hand. I do know that after two operations and six months in a full leg cast my right leg became the work horse, while the left leg, pretty much went along for the ride. I wanted to see if I could still jump over a tennis net several weeks after getting the cast off. Instead of either jumping & landing with both feet, or jumping with one leg & landing on the other, I instinctively knew I had better leap with the right & also land on the right. I still have a six inch metal plate in my shin along with six screws, and I still favor the right leg. Whenever I will wear a pair of shoes until they get holes in them, it is always the right shoe that gets the hole in the sole first.
2) This is added a few weeks after first posting this. I am currently just under 250 pounds. I decided to document how I still can't get close to touching the net. I tried the way I used to get my best leaps, as described earlier, taking a bit of a running start and bounding strictly from my right leg, and I did not touch the net, but at least I got a few inches off the ground. Then I thought, what the hell. I'm going to try to just get under the net and, without a running start, jump and reach for the net to see what happens. That's the type of jump that you would use for rebounding a ball anyway. To my surprise, I touched a few inches above the bottom of the net. It's nowhere near being able to touch the rim, but still, I was absolutely thrilled, because 5 years ago, when I was at the 205 pound mark, I couldn't touch the net, so I had been assuming that would never happen again, especially since my target weight is 215. It's hardly anything to brag about. It might be only a 1 foot vertical leap, but it's more than 10 times what I thought I could do. I wasn't kidding when I wrote I have a 1 inch leap. I'm fantasizing I may be able to increase it by about 4 more inches, so I can touch the half way point between the rim and the bottom of the net. I have 35 more pounds I will be losing, so hopefully I'll be able to improve somewhat, at least. I can't express how exciting I'm finding this. Whatever amount of hops I have left, I'm going to work at keeping time from taking it from me for a long as possible and really cherish it while I have it. I'm trying to figure out why I could not touch the net when I was 5 years younger and more than 40 pounds lighter. Two possibilities come to mind. 1) I tried using the one leg leap, which I recently discovered is no longer the best style for me. 2) In the past year, I've been “rebounding” (jumping on a mini trampoline, most every day. I may have added to my leg muscles, as a result.
3) I recently saw one chart that started at 132 for an adult male 5'10”. Shouldn't that be the underweight chart? I would love to weigh 185, which is over what most charts say a man my height should weight, but I'm not even going to try, because Dr. Dukan, of The Dukan Diet fame, makes a great point. The more years you have been overweight, the more pounds over your otherwise ideal weight you should make your weight goal. That's because the body has a mind of its own. It will feel like you are trying to kill it if you don't let it have extra fat. Moreover, the more times you have lost weight and gained it back and yo-yo'd back and forth, the more extra fat you must leave on your body, if you want to have a real shot at making your weight loss permanent. So my goal is 215 pounds. I will still be chubby, but on the other hand, I will be relatively thin, down a full hundred pounds. If I can keep my weight at that level, that will work wonders for me. I call it my actual ideal weight, because 185 or less might seem ideal, but if I were to get there and then regain all the lost weight and more, just like every other time, that would hardly be ideal. Dukan though, calls it your true weight. He has you honestly answer a few questions on his website, click to enter, and then you get your results. Go here if you are interested. https://www.dukandiet.com/calculate-your-true-weight
4) She isn't just incredibly attractive. She is outrageously, literally laugh out loud funny. I put her in a tie with Sarah Silverman for being the sexiest, funniest people or earth. Look her up on YouTube. Usually, she simply sits in front of her computer and streams consciousness, telling her viewers how the world works. She goes a mile a minute as it is, but she'll often edit out the breaths she'll take between sentences, adding to the frenetic pace of her awesomeness. Sometimes, though, she'll change things up. One of my favorites is when she and her boyfriend were playing the parts of Miley Cyrus, and her dad, Billy “Achey Breaky Heart” Cyrus. You may recall a magazine photo shoot they did when Miley was still a minor that was suggestive of something inappropriate between those two. There were tinges of that in Jenna's video. MILEY - “Knock knock.” BILLY RAY - “Who's there?” MILEY - “You're nasty!” If you want to have some fun, watch some Jenna Marble videos.
5) Of course it would be great if you can hit more than half your long shots, but the reality is, your team has a decent chance of getting the offensive rebound when a shot is missed. Of those, some will lead to quick points, so if you are good for half your shots, that bodes well. If a professional team has a game where they make half their shots – which includes shorter shots as well – it is a very good night of shooting. NBA teams average in the 40 percents, not the 50 percents.

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