Good read below on a tradition that has become a part of the Miami Heat’s culture. Before each home game, the Heat reserves gather to play pick-up games of either 2-on-2 or 3-on-3. In the article, the players talk about these games allow them to experiment with new moves, maintain their conditioning and give them game-like reps in the absence of real playing time. I think this concept could be very applicable at both the college and high school levels. Think about the amount of work your bench players get in the months of January and February when there are more games and practices aren’t as rigorous. While on the subject of pick-up games, check out THIS POST for ideas on how to improve your program’s pick-up. I appreciate Chris Oliver of Basketball Immersion for passing this article along.
The pick-up games have helped Johnson make better and quicker decisions. When playing on the Heat’s practice court, he tries to limit himself to three dribbles before either shooting or passing. “It’s three dribbles, two dribbles sometimes,” Johnson said. “That’s all the dribbles you’re allowed. That also helps you in games to get off the ball. You make a move and it don’t work, get off it. You don’t want to keep pounding the rock.”
For more on the Heat culture/Spoelstra:
-Erik Spoelstra Coaching U notes (LINK)
-Why Erik Spoelstra doesn’t believe in tanking (LINK)
-Spoelstra getting to know his latest challenge (LINK)
-From “The Dungeon”: Spoelstra’s rise with the Heat (LINK)
-What LeBron brought with him from Miami to Cleveland (LINK)