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Basketball is my Passion

Anticipation: Theory and practice to be ahead of the game

Anticipation is one of the keys to be successful at what we do best in life. We all want to win and in order to be leading the game you must develop your personal intuition skill called anticipation. To literally be one or two steps ahead of the rest of the players will give you a treasurable advantage.

Anticipation sometimes is thought to be the same as prevention, even for some dictionaries these two words show as synonyms. They could be for a single meaning of the words but in basketball, anticipation as opposed to prevention, involves making a move forward to gain an advantage on the court. It is acting with energy before another has had time to act. It could be applied playing offense or defense. It is almost like predicting the future for something that is about to happen. Prevention on the other hand, is more like being on a guarding position, playing defense only; it lacks the full initiative force. It means just to keep something from happening, and it is usually already running under your anticipation mode.

Dennis Rodman used to be the leading rebounder for the Chicago Bulls during their last three championship seasons: 1996, 1997, and 1998. In fact, he led the whole NBA in rebounding for a record seven consecutive seasons. He holds the record for more offensive rebounds in a finals game with eleven, twice. He knew where the ball was going and he was there to grab it because of his extraordinary anticipation ability. Current basketball superstars like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Kevin Love, have been able to develop the art of anticipation besides their physical basketball talents.

Before you can get to the practice of anticipation on the basketball court, you need to work on the following issues:

1.      Get in Shape

You are going to need to be strong and fast. You have to develop speed and quickness for your feet and hands. You may have certain ability to shoot the ball and run; anybody can do that, right? But to be in a better physical condition than the other player besides you will give you an edge. So be as persistent as Bruce Lee to get in your optimal physical condition. Your nutrition and staying healthy is also important to keep in shape.

2.      Observe, broaden your sight

This is a special sense you need to develop to better anticipate during any game situation. Become aware of your surroundings paying attention to detail. Always know where the ball is and where it might end up being in the next 3 seconds. How are the other players moving and running; if they are accelerating or slowing down, if they look tired or excited, etc.

3.      Experience will make you wiser

Keep practicing and before you know it, you will have a better understanding of the game. You will know your teammates better and be able to expect where they like to be on the court, and when they would like to have the ball. Become familiar with the coaching staff and the plays and styles of the team and you will be able to perform better.

Consider the three advices above and put them to action. Learn to anticipate with enthusiasm and passion for the game and you will stand out from the crowd. Do not be surprised and disappointed while others are being anticipated and motivated. Soon enough you will be surprised at yourself of the things you are able to do, when you want to.

Develop your footwork speed, quickness and coordination with a jump rope. It is a fun way to get in shape. Please consider buying the following product from Jason Otter’s school of Basketball. It is great for your personal training, for your coaching arsenal of tips, or as a gift.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Excelent comments! I think you should read this articles to the “panteras” team… I’m sure that’s be great for the motivation that we need.

    Thank you

  • Moisés Cruz.

    great tips!