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Saturday, June 18, 2011

IMPROVING HOW PLAYERS THINK

One of my favorite stops on the internet is www.hooptactics.net ran by Ernie Woods and Bob Kloppenburg.

Here is some great thoughts on developing the brain of your players:

Player Development: Improving Player Motor Skill Learning
Are you aware that HoopTactics.com is an excellent way to supplement and reinforce your on the court instruction? Motor skill learning is vastly improved when mental learning takes place between practice sessions. This is where the Player Development section of HoopTactics.com can become a real tutor and help.

Players on all levels will greatly improve their game, and gain a competitive advantage by using HoopTactics to go way beyond just the hows, and learn the whens & whys of various basketball skills and techniques. HoopTactics will make for a more solid, aggressive and intelligent player, and in the process, increase their self-confidence and playing success every time you take the court. If players want to compete on the highest levels of the game, HoopTactics is definitely for them.

Special Student/Athlete memberships are available for only $19.95. Have your serious minded players signup for Student/Athlete membership now. Click Here

Player Development: Playing Smart

Note: This might be a little too technical in some cases. However, it is the premise that is important.

Was your team in better shape than any team you played last season? Did you win a couple of games each year just on physical conditioning?

There may be much more to being in shape than just gaining a physical advantage. Breaking a sweat on a regular basis can get your players into amazing shape, but new research has shown it can make them smarter too. Physical workouts will not only increase their muscular, respiratory and cardiovascular capabilities, it will also improve their smarts and productivity. Even a 30 minute workout pumps extra blood to the brain, delivering vital oxygen and nutrients it requires to perform at maximum efficiency. Cardiovascular workouts provide the brain with chemicals that enhance functions such as memory, problem solving and decision making. All which are critical to a successful basketball performance.

Working Out the Brain at the Same Time as Your Heart
According to clinical psychologist and memory researcher, Thomas Crook, PH. D, “cardiovascular health is more important than any other single factor in preserving and improving learning and memory. During exercise, all that extra blood bathes your brain cells with oxygen and glucose which they need to function. The more oxygen the brain gets, the better it performs.”

Brain Boosting Benefits of Cardio Exercise
Muscles also send hormones to your brain. These hormones mix with a chemical, called brain-derived neurotrophoic factor or BDNF, which plays a role in brain cell growth, mood regulation and learning. John, Rately, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, says, “BDNF is like fertilizer for the brain. Without it, our brains can’t take in new information or make new cells.” He goes on to state that exercise has another vital role in signaling the release of several key hormones that not only affects learning and attention, but also influences attention, perception and motivation. By elevating these hormones in the brain, it helps keeps us in focus, feeling better and releases tension.”

Importance of Practicing at Game Speed
Intensity of the workout does make a difference. A study in Neurobiolgy of Learning and Memory has found that people learned vocabulary words 20% faster after intense exercise than after low-intense exercising. Those who under take a more demanding exercise, experienced higher levels of BDNF, dopamine and epinephrine in their brains afterwards. Therefore, the more you challenge your body physically, the more the brain benefits. By being in great physical shape, it will not only allow your players to play harder and faster for longer periods of time, but will also enable them to think quicker and make better decisions.