Evolution of the Basketball Hoop

Basketball has been around for more than 100 years, and while even within the past 30 years the game has gone through major changes, what’s really impressive is how much the actual equipment has changed since the game was first invented, in particular how far the hoop has come.

The original basketball hoop was just a peach basket nailed to a 10 foot high track by Dr. James Naismith as a way to create an indoor game for his students to play when it was too cold outside during the New England winters. This “hoop” still had the bottom to the basket and required that somebody retrieve the ball (which was just a soccer ball at the time) after each score.

Eventually the bottom of the peach basket was cut out, but the ball was still too large to just pass through on its own and required a long dowel rod be used to pop the ball out after each score, which broke up the flow of the game, but was still faster than having to manually retrieve the ball after each score.

Eventually in 1906 metal hoops began to be used and a backboard was introduced to prevent spectators from interfering in the game, a problem that had arisen in the past when the hoops were just nailed to the mezzanine level balcony in whatever hall the game was being played in. The introduction of the backboard also changed the game as it introduced rebounds.

Eventually the backboards were moved from being nailed to various balconies and the upright basketball hoops that we know today were introduced. The backboard material itself has changed over the years, moving from the white plastic/fiberglass materials of the past to glass, which in turn gave way to shatter-resistant safety glass not unlike what’s found in cars.

The entire hoop setup went through numerous changes in the last 40 years, in part because of the advent of players destroying backboards with dunks. In addition to the advent of shatter-resistant glass, tear-away rims were introduced that also helped reduce the safety hazard presented by the potential for a slam dunk to destroy the backboard.

More recently, the entire basketball system was redesigned when larger players became capable of tearing down the entire hoop and backboard system, creating a safety hazard no just to themselves, but to the players and spectators around them. The new hoops have several mechanisms in place to prevent them from being torn down, including more pieces that can just tear away in smaller pieces as opposed to bringing the entire backboard down.

It will be interesting to see what changes the sport continues to make to the equipment as technology advances. Will we one day see floating hoops and backboards that eliminate the upright post that can be a collision hazard? Only time will tell, but I for one look forward to finding out.…

Read More →

Volleyball and Basketball – Agility, Quickness, and Vertical Jump

Volleyball and Basketball, two sports so different, and yet so much alike. Both need to focus on a balanced training program, that targets specific groups of muscles. The training needs to ensure that your agility, quickness, and vertical jumping ability are brought to your maximum. You need to begin with your attitude and mental strength towards your regular workouts.

Your attitude and your mental strength will be tested. If being on the top level of competing is where you want to be, then you have to work for it. If your attitude and your mental strength are not focused, you’ll never become all you can be. Your attitude helps you to focus, and your mental strength makes you focus. Only when both are in place, will you excel to your full potential.

Maybe the most important part of any training program is nutrition. What lots of athletes don’t realize is that training isn’t what builds your muscles, the correct nutritional program does. When your nutrition is properly regulated, every part of the body is tuned and injuries are kept down. Short cuts cannot be taken when it comes to nutrition.

A personal trainer that knows what works and what doesn’t is a plus. But not everyone agrees, thinking that doing a few exercises 4 or 5 times a week is all that’s needed. The unfortunate thing is that you can workout on your own and really feel the burn, but you may not be training the proper muscle and fiber groups for your particular needs.

Many promising athletes simply give up pursuing their dreams because of little or no improvement. What many times is the case is that they haven’t been training properly, and its got nothing to do with their ability. There’s more to training than just training, you have to know how to train correctly. And its your responsibility to understand how to train right, and if the program your following is the right one. If it feels wrong, then its wrong!…

Read More →

Basketball Shooting Drills For One Person – 3 Great Solo Basketball Drills

Basketball shooting drills are a great way to improve your shooting accuracy and reliability but a problem with many of them is that they are designed to be done in a team or in pairs or threes. In this article, I will share with you some great solo basketball drills that you can do on your own, almost anywhere.

Bump And Move

Pick 5 spots that are foul line distance from the hoop. Of course, the central spot will be right on the foul line but the others will be slightly in front of it because diagonal shots are automatically longer.

Agree to get a swish before you can move on to the next spot. It can get annoying when you keep failing to get a swish but this is all part of the learning process.

One Handed Flick

Lie back in a reclining chair or on the end of the bed. Somewhere where you can still extend your hand to a small distance behind your head.

Now, toss the ball vertically upwards and catch it again in your hand. This will get you better suited to the weight of the ball. This is extremely important because a good shot is not just about hand-eye coordination. It is also about knowing exactly how much force to apply because you know the characteristics of the ball so well.

Layup To Free Throw Drill

This drill is really fun because there is a lot of variation involved.

Start at the foul line and do 5 layups with your favored hand. Then do 5 layups with your other hand. Finally, shoot 10 regular free throws. You must score at least 7 of them or else you will have to start all over again.

This drill is great for simulating realistic conditions and also getting you to become more natural with your non-dominant hand. Too many players are only one-handed. If you develop your ability to shoot almost as well with your other hand then you will be a great asset to any team.…

Read More →

The Everyday Athlete – LASIK Eye Surgery and You

Many people are under the misconception that LASIK eye surgery demands a long recovery where exercise, training and strenuous activities aren’t possible. However, this is a myth; most people are able to return to work the next day and certain levels of exercise are possible shortly after. Now that summer is officially here and people are working and playing outside, this article discusses how LASIK eye surgery benefits the everyday athlete in you.

Running After LASIK

Whether you’re a weekly jogger or marathon veteran, the everyday runner athlete can quickly resume their routine. In just two days after LASIK eye surgery, runners can resume their normal running routine, not even missing half a week of training or body conditioning.

LASIK eye surgery can provide runners with great benefits by eliminating the:

  • Need to clean and find your contacts or glasses before going to the gym or outside to run
  • Burning, stinging and itching symptoms associated with sweat mixing with contacts and contact fluid
  • Difficulty glasses cause when trying to exercise or run
  • Need to stop and clean glasses due to sweat and condensation
  • Risks of breaking or losing your glasses during exercise and training

Swimming After LASIK

Swimming after LASIK eye surgery requires a two-week hiatus after procedure day. It is important to keep water out of your eyes and not submerge your head in water in order to maximize protection from infection and allow your reshaped corneal tissue to heal. Keeping your eyes free of chlorinated water for 14 days also reduces chances for unnecessary dry eye. Ocular dryness is a common post LASIK eye surgery side effect that should be addressed proactively by your LASIK eye surgeon.

Long-term benefits of LASIK for swimmers include:

  • Minimized risks for eye infections, as chlorinated water can cause infections in contact wearers
  • Clear vision while swimming for those who wore glasses and were not able to wear contacts
  • Eliminated expenses for high priced prescription goggles
  • No more lane guesstimation; greatly improved ability to see swimming lanes clearly

Contact Sports After LASIK

Contact sport athletes represent another category of individuals who can quickly regain their playing ability after LASIK eye surgery. However, this category of the everyday athlete does require a little additional care. First, all all-laser, blade free LASIK is particularly important for the contact sport athlete. The reason for this is that a corneal flap made with a laser has a better adherence versus one made with a blade. This is one reason why the military does not allow blade LASIK. After LASIK, in as little as two days, people who like to play contact sports such as racquetball, tennis, volleyball, soccer, basketball, football and baseball can pick up their rackets, knee pads and cleats, as long as reliable protective eye wear is worn. These protective goggles should be worn for an entire month after LASIK, as it is imperative to protect your eyes from sudden jabs, bumps and acute trauma. However, with such durable protective eyewear, LASIK eye surgery patients …

Read More →

Spirit’s Seasons, A Series – Basketball, Episode II

SPIRIT USUALLY LET the boys shoot around and play one-on-one for a few minutes at the start of practices. Then he directed them to assemble into three abbreviated columns, two deep. He instructed the boys in their stretching exercises, then defensive waves, and passing drills, “Okay you yokels, two lines, ten feet apart, ball in the left lane, run the length of the court getting as many passes as possible, faster, faster. Now, three lines, 3-man weave, quickly, quickly, this isn’t golf.”

Practices were going well in Sinkiuse. All six players were adapting to the change from the gridiron to the court. Spirit worked the boys hard and primarily emphasized running, passing, lateral and diagonal slides, rebounding position and technique, defensive closing, defensive stance and positioning, and help-side defense. He did not think shooting was that important in practice, especially since these boys spent much of their extra time shooting throughout most of the year. And with three seniors, one sophomore, and two eighth graders on the team, these boys would have to be in great shape… they would have to be smart enough to refrain from fouling too.

Whenever Spirit wanted to scrimmage his team he brought in his two nieces, and Ella Kamiakin and Scout Ford. Those four girls lived for basketball so they considered the extra gym time as a bonus. Also, those girls could hold their own against most of the boys. The girls’ coach, Karen Kanaskat, was pleased that those ad hoc practices improved her team as well.

The Bobcat boys’ team included Larry Lillooet at the post position, Sylix and Swift, the Skosum brothers, at guard positions, Tyee Tulameen as the wing or shooting guard, and, one of Spirit’s nephews, either Junior or Five at the other wing. Larry had excellent post moves. Swift and Sylix were competent shooters with great dribbling ability and cagy defensive skills, but Tyee Tulameen was the team’s best shooter. He could shoot the lights out and he got most of his scoring from well beyond three-point range.

The first game of the season was at home against Smohalla High School. Since the Sasquatch played soccer during the autumn season the Smohalla boys were always speedy, in great shape, and free of injuries. Spirit greeted Coyote Chilcotin, the Sasquatch coach, and gave him the locker room key. The coaches had a long-lasting friendship since they had either played or coached roundball against each other since junior high. They respected each other’s athletic abilities, knowledge of the game, and coaching expertise.

Spirit regrettably related that the team and school had low numbers. Coach Chilcotin responded, “We have the same situation at Smohalla but ours is perhaps worse. We couldn’t field a volleyball team or a full soccer squad either. But we forged through with soccer season… five boys and five girls, although we had to forfeit all our matches in order to play 10 on 10.”

“Wow, I thought we had it bad, but next year we might have to …

Read More →

How Did Michael Jordan Become the Best Basketball Player of All Time?

Michael Jordan was not only the best basketball player, he was also considered as an American icon in different ways. Jordan was one of the leading basketball figures during mid-80s until the late ’90s, and remained as one of the most prominent sports figures until now. But the road His “Airness” took, was never an easy one.

All of us have experienced disappointments and rejection, Michael Jordan was no different. Jordan tried out for the high school basketball team but was rejected because he was considered short to play for the varsity level. But Jordan did not back down from his dreams. He joined the junior varsity squad where he showed his basketball skills. Eventually, he moved to another level during his junior and senior year in high school.

Early in his life, Jordan showed his tenacity in being the best basketball player he could possibly be. This was the first lesson that Jordan taught us, how to recover from failure and rejection. There are other college and professional games which tested his resolve, but he continued pushing through until he was able to etch his name on athletic history journals.

Jordan’s recipe to become the best basketball player was actually simple and essential lessons in both inside and outside of the sports world.

• Responsibility. Jordan took responsibility for his actions, both inside and outside the basketball court. This is obvious from one of his popular quotes, “some people just want to make things happen, others hopes it happens; while the rest make it happens.”

• Taking risks. Jordan is not just known as the best basketball player, but he was also a known figure in different fields. He is also known as an Olympic athlete, actor, and a business man. Jordan would have never excelled in this field if he did not take the risk just played in his comfort zone.

• Commitment and dedication. Jordan was an epitome of hard work and practice.

• Enjoy the game. The reason why there are people successful in their chosen craft is because they love what they doing.

• Humility. Star players or athletes would often forget their humble beginnings and would sometimes display an air of arrogance.

• Goal setting. Goals motivate both adults and children which is why it is essential to set achievable or workable goals.

• Seizing the moment. Jordan believed in doing things that he can do now. Opportunities should never postponed, rather it grabbed with both hands.

Amazingly, what we thought were just spectacles in Jordan’s life were important life skills/ lessons which we tend to forget or underestimate. Michael Jordan’s recipe for success was not really a secret, rather it was a concoction of determination, hard work and passion.

Of course, Jordan has skills that we may never possess. We may never be able to make that same vertical leap or same speed, but when we do something we are good at or something we love or passionate about, then we can certainly …

Read More →

What is the Difference Between Lifetime Basketball Double Shot and Spalding Basketball Pop-a-Shot?

What are the Lifetime Basketball Double Shot and Spalding Basketball Pop-A-Shot Arcade Games?

These games are meant to bring the carnival-style arcade games into your own home. Both of these games allow 2 players to go head-to-head in a timed basketball shoot-out. These systems both feature smaller-than-standard basketball rims and several mini basketballs. The game begins when a player scores a basket on either side of the game; a timer then begins a count down and the players try to score as many points as possible before the timer runs out. While a single player can play the game, it is much more enjoyable to try to beat out an opponent.

If players score a sufficiently high amount of points by the end of the initial timer, a bonus round commences where a shorter time clock begins and the victorious player or players continue shooting. These bonus rounds will continue if players continually score a sufficient amount of points during the bonus rounds. Another fun facet of the game is that during the final seconds of the game, made baskets change from 2-pointers to 3-pointers, which makes point tallies increase at a far quicker rate.

What are the main differences between these 2 systems?

As mentioned above, the game play is pretty much the same. Where you really see the differences is in the construction of the units.

Arcade Basketball Rim Comparison:

In these games, a score is made when the ball goes through the hoop; the difference comes in how the score is tracked. On the Spalding Pop-A-Shot game, the score is tracked by a plastic component that moves down when the ball lands on it, making a “clicking” noise. This type of tracking mechanism would be considered a traditional design. Where problems come with this type of mechanism is the likelihood of breakage of the plastic clicker due to repeated use.

Lifetime Products tried to improve on this design by removing the clicker all together and using a sensor to detect the ball going through the hoop. This design not only removes the worries of breaking the plastic tracking piece, but also tracks scores more accurately. As the Spalding Pop-A-Shot grows older, the system tends to have more shakiness; thus, when a ball hits the rim without going in, the movement of the system will sometimes track a score inadvertently. The sensor on the Lifetime arcade basketball system effectively eliminates this problem.

Construction Comparison:

Both of these systems can be pretty hard to fit into most homes. This problem is typically caused by lower ceilings. At standard height, the tops of both of these systems reach as tall as 90″. If your ceiling is the typical 8 ft. (96″), that does not leave you with a lot of room to shoot the ball. Lifetime Products tried to improve on this design by creating a height adjustment mechanism that can lower the overall height of the system down to 82″. This ads a lot more space to shoot the …

Read More →

Chase Betting Systems (Also Known As Dog Chase Betting)

If you are an experienced sports gambler you know the old adage, that if you chase your loses you will lose your shirt and be certain to bust your account. It is time to throw all that non-sense out of the window and learn for the first time, that chasing your loses is the best possible scenario. In order to make money using a chase betting system you need three items at your disposal:

1. A decent bankroll (or account balance)

2. A Plan

3. A strong stomach to carry out the plan

The old adage states that: he who chases his losses will burn through his bankroll. This is true, only if you do not have a true plan, a strong stomach and a decent bankroll. Let me explain. The old adage comes from the gambler who bets $100 on Team 1 to win today. Team 1 loses, thus tomorrow the gambler bets $200 on Team 2 to win (he thinks he can not lose twice in a row and plus Team 2 is a sure thing). Team 2 loses, then on day 3 he bets his remaining bankroll on Team 3, he loses and within three days his bankroll busts. The old adage is true, for this gambler…not for you.

You see a chase system uses simple mathematics to ensure that you do not ever lose money. However, you must make sure you bet the correct amount and you must have the guts to follow through with this program. The system is easy to follow regardless of which sport you bet on and regardless of if you are chasing a specific team or a general sport. In 2007, AFSB completed a study of the chase system in the NHL focusing on the Montreal Canadians. The system worked like this: On day 1, $25.00 was bet on Montreal, if Montreal lost, then the next time that Montreal played $50.00 was bet on Montreal, if Montreal lost again, then in the next game $100.00 was bet on Montreal, if Montreal lost that game then $200.00 was bet on Montreal and so on until Montreal wins or you run out of money. Once Montreal wins then the system resets and the next time Montreal won $25 was bet on Montreal in their next game, if they lost then in the next game $50 was bet on Montreal, however, if they won, then in the next game $25 was bet on Montreal.

This simple system made us $1,210.00 in the NBA Playoffs in 2007 (see our Article on Absolutely Free Sports Bets regarding the NBA Dog-Chase System). We again used this system in the 2008 MLB playoffs and picked up a nice $1,373.00.

In the 2010 NCAA Basketball season we are utilizing this system in a more generic manner. We are playing one Dog-Chase and one Favorite-Chase that is not team specific. Click on our Free Picks link to see the details of the 2010 NCAA Basketball Chase System hard at work.…

Read More →

The Different Types of Motocross Racing

Motocross and dirt bike racing is as popular as ever, all over the world. Let’s take a look at the many different types of motocross racing that are popular these days:

Freestyle

Freestyle motocross is sometimes also known as FMX. The main difference between freestyle and regular motocross is that riders try to gain points from judges based upon tricks that they perform. Tricks may include the 360, backflip, underflip, frontflip, carolla, scorpion, tsunami and sidewinder, among dozens of other tricks. There’s also different types of landings and take-offs. One handed, no handed, side saddle, you name it. Famous freestyle motocross riders include Carey Hart and Mike Metzger.

Supermoto

This type of motocross racing began in the 1970’s as a fun side project for motocross racers. Supermoto is a type of race where motocross bikes that are meant to ride on dirt are modified so that they can compete on pavement, as well as dirt. The track for a Supermoto race consists of both dirt and pavement. The bikes must have special tires with specific types of grooves that can handle both pavement and dirt tracks during the same race.

Enduro

Enduro is a type of off-road race with different challenges and obstacles included. There’s often several stages and the bikers race against the clock in a timed trial as well.

Trials Motocross

This is a more straightforward type of time trial race. Motocross bikers race on a dirt track and they are timed. So instead of tricks or jumps, the focus of the race is purely to get the best time or to beat the best time.

Hill Climb

A hill climb motocross event is exactly as it sounds. Riders must go up a hill and try to get the fastest time. In some cases, the race may be to see who gets the farthest up the hill in a certain amount of time. Hill climb motocross is also called hillclimbing.

Supercross

Generally, supercross is a term used to describe an event, usually taking place in a large stadium, fairgrounds or arena that has installed an artificial and temporary dirt track. The track would consist of jumps as well as obstacles. The type of motorcycle used is a very high performance, specially outfitted bike made specifically to handle the high jumps and sharp turns that are typical of the event. Recently, there have been events that used temporary tracks that were modified to take place in smaller arenas such as basketball and hockey arenas.

ATV Quad Motocross

This type of motocross is not for motorcycles but for ATV’s or Quads, also called All Terrain Vehicles. The bike has four wheels and special frames and tires that are built for dirt racing.

Sidecarcross

This sport with a funny name is also called sidecar motocross. A sidecar is attached to the bike where a passenger will stand. The passengers job during the race is to provide a counterweight. The sport has declined in popularity in recent years, however.…

Read More →

5 Basketball Workout Drills That Will Elevate Your Game in a Week

There are different Basketball Workouts you can use when pursing a pro basketball career. Training everyday with various Basketball Workouts will put you ahead of 95 percent of the competition. There are tons of drills to do everyday and you can experiment with different drills to see which one give’s you faster results. That’s what I did and I’m going to share with you today what 5 Basketball drills that will prepare you for a pro basketball career.

One Arm Shooting Warm-Up

When you are training you are usually shooting shots without any goal on how much to make, or where to shoot from. This is not good because you will develop bad habits in your Basketball Workouts that will translate into the game. When I was at a lecture at a basketball camp at the University of Connecticut, the speaker was the shooting doctor who worked with tons of pros like Michael Jordan and Gilbert Arenas. He said before you start your Basketball Workout you should stand three feet from the basket and shoot one-arm jumpers. When you are doing this you should only count the “all-net” shots you make. If it touches the rim it doesn’t count. The shot doctor was very good at this and he had trained all his players to warm-up this way. I decided if the players in the NBA warm-up using the one-arm warm-up shot, then I should add it to my Basketball Workout. The rest of the day I practiced one arm shots and the next time I played, I sure enough couldn’t miss. I put on an unbelievable performance and everyone at the camp said I should try to play for the team. This drill had helped me so much I decided to use it the rest of my career. Everyday I warm-up with 25 makes from three spots one from the middle of the paint and one from the left block and the right block. This is a great Basketball Workout and anyone trying to become a professional basketball player should do it.

“250 to 500” makes a day

After the one arm shooting warm-ups you want to start you’re shooting workouts. I usually begin putting up shots from different spots on the court. My goal is to make 250 to 500 shots using different moves off the dribble. I start from one side of the wing and shoot from each spot until I get to the other wing. After I shoot mid-range shots I will move to the three-point line and repeat the process. Now you can switch your Basketball Workout up and do shots off the dribble, or go to the basket for floaters. Either way you are working on repetition, which is the most important thing when it comes to developing a skill in a Basketball Workout.

Core Exercises

Now when I’m in the weight room I train only on things that will help me become stronger in the game. One of the things I would do …

Read More →