There is something taking place everyday these days in gyms across the country. There are kids working hard and grinding. There are putting the time into their games. Except there is one problem…many of these kids are becoming drill masters not better basketball players.

I have noticed a trend these days and it is becoming a big trend. Players are spending way too much time focusing on mastering drills and not the game. I’ve seen kids on video doing drills for example with cones. It looks impressive and any parent would be impressed as well. But the problem is many of these kids the moment you put a talented body in front of them, they struggle. Many of these kids simply can only play at the level of their talent. This is where all the problems start. Training should allow you to play above the level of your natural ability. Recently I’ve watched a number of talented babies in the gym. Most struggle to even get a shot off against older, stronger competition. It is a real issue these days with young ladies. They seem to want to be good for their age…not good for any age. It really goes back to their training. I can tell right away if a player is good at drills or playing the game…the moment you see them against talent equal or better. I know if they have been training against live bodies or drilling or playing against the same level of competition daily in practice or games.

When a player is simply doing drills there is no competition involved except against themselves. There is no winner or loser and worst no consequences. Some players do not develop a competitive nature because of this. I know a large number of kids who do not attend NBS because they feel like 2nd class citizens. They want to be on the main courts because they are a junior or senior or really good for their age. They do not want to earn it. I can’t begin to tell you how many kids come to NBS and then leave never to be seen again because they feel disrespected by their matchup or an assigned court. Rather than work their way up they prefer to protect their pride and ego. So they are go find a less competitive environment and convince themselves it’s for the best. These kids are not developing a competitive nature. When I am at Core Skills Training or NBS,  95% of what will do focuses on  competition. We always want a live person in front of players. We also have winners and losers. We play one on one, two on two, three on three and 4 on 4 and finally 5 on 5…we want competition. We want kids to understand the value of winning and the disappointment of losing. Drilling while fun and does serve a purpose does not teach a kid how to win and compete.

The hardest thing for players to do, is show up everyday

The hardest thing for players to do, is show up everyday

I don’t do personal training except for a few kids. In fact over the years I have only trained 4 players not counting my daughter. Do you know why? I believe in most cases it too expensive to really pay off in the long run. The players I do train one on one, I do not charge. I have only one rule with the one player I currently train. You must show up everyday, now that may sound easy. But it’s the number one reason I don’t do personal training. Because most kids cannot show up everyday. It’s those rare few that can, that I have given my time too. I do not believe working with a trainer for one or two hours a week really makes a deep change in somebody’s game. I believe one on one training must be consistence, it’s no different that practicing everyday. I run an after school shooting program everyday. There is no charge for this program, do you know why? Because I know shooting is the one skill set a kid must have in their tool kit to be successful. I do not believe a kid can play this game anymore without the ability to shoot. I also know if you charge a kid, that kid again in most cases will only show up at best once or twice a week. But when there is no charge, if a kid really wants to get better, the door is open for them. The bottom line is the kid has to show up. The ball is in their court!


I am watching seeing more and more kids who don’t embrace competition. I see more kids who prefer to train rather than play and train against elite type competition. There are freshman that I know will be successful this season. How do I know this? They love playing against older ELITE competition. I have watched them in the gym play with fire and no backing down. It goes to their competitive nature. But there are far too many talented young players who are very happy being thought of as good players for their age.  I see too many kids crushing weak competition. They drill and drill and drill. Then dominate their age group or destroy weak competition. These kids I’m sorry to say will not develop into killers. Most will be nice players but will never reach their full potential.

My message is simply, you have a choice become DRILL MASTERS OR BALLERS… the choice is yours. But you must be willing to change!



4.30- 5.45– Grades 3rd-6th

5.45pm- 7pm—grades 7th-8th

Related Post