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Monday, January 5, 2009

Balance

I have started to read Pete Newell's "Playing Big" guide to post play. One of the first things he talks about is balance. If anyone has ever worked with a young, big man then you know they usually lack balance as they haven't gotten used to their height yet. Balance is crucial to post player. Defenders are usually pushing and getting away with it. Therefore the post player must have a solid base to retain balance while finishing the play.

Teaching what balance feels and looks like is the starting place. Most players don't know how to start off balanced so how can they keep balance if they never have it to start with. The head dictates balance. If the head is leaning forward or to the side, the body will usually follow soon after that.

Once the balanced stance is taught then you can practice retaining balance. The way Coach Newell describes to teach this is to have the player get into a balance stance and then reach out one hand to shake the hand of a coach. Then the coach can pull on the player and player should try to remain still throughout the pull.

A player will struggle until they have great balance. Some referees let basically everything go in the post area so taking contact is critical. Balance should be worked on everyday even once it appears the player has mastered it because it is something that can be lost.

1 comment:

Drop Step Dunk said...

Another way to see if the player is balanced is to push him. If all of his weight is back then he will fall backward.

I don't know if it was Coach Newell that said this but it's a whole lot easier to play defense if your head is lower than your opponent's head because you are more on balance and have a lower center of gravity.