Everyone Hates A Ball Hog But They All Love A Scorer

08.28.12 6 years ago

Because my job title reads Dime Magazine, coaches and trainers are always reaching out to me. They all have slightly different perspectives, all have concentrations on certain aspects of the game. For the truly great player, basketball becomes simple. But for everyone else? You have to work at it. The best ballhandlers must spend hours dribbling by themselves; the best coaches must spend hours studying game tape; the best defenders must be unbelievably disciplined. But what about the best scorers? Coach Koran Godwin of JumpStartHoops.com says he has the recipe for success.

Between Godwin’s website – which hosts dozens of instructional videos – his book – which is aptly titled “Everyone Hates A Ball Hog But They All Love A Scorer” – and even his t-shirt – which bears the same memorable phrase – he delivers on his promise: to educate young players on how to become more efficient, more effective, and ultimately, the best scorers they can be.

Growing up, I ate up every piece of information I could on the game. Godwin was the same way, and eventually became the all-time leading scorer at the University of North Florida. He was an explosive scorer and athlete as a teenager who learned the secrets to evolving once he made the transition to the next level (college).

Some of his videos on both the DVDs and his website seemed to take something simple – like a one-dribble pull-up – and add in small variations to make it more difficult.

And while his DVD series also features a lot of interesting and unique drills to help develop the fundamental skills necessary to dominate at every level, it was his book that had me immersed. His book is easy to read and explains the game of basketball rather simply, and there were five things that stuck out for me:

5. The Godwin Theory
-This focuses on dividing the game into small segments, and setting scoring goals for each. Eight points in a half, four in every quarter, everyone wants to score big numbers but many young players lack the right mindset. It seems like a lot of younger kids have this problem.

4. Film Watching
-I can’t stand listening to people who say Kobe “stole” Michael Jordan‘s game as if that’s a bad thing. That’s what EVERYONE should be doing. I’m surprised so many young kids don’t grow up taping games and studying their favorite players. But Godwin helps show them how, and even dives into his one-time obsession with studying Wally Szczerbiak.

3. Changing Speeds
-Probably my biggest regret was never mastering the ability to change speeds. Godwin offers some pretty interesting triple threat moves that’ll have you blowing by people on the regular.

2. Finding Points
-During his career at every level, Godwin was always one of his team’s top scorers, and in a few of the book’s chapters, he gives a few pointers on how to overcome the double-teams, the box-and-ones and the added defensive pressure (like how to box out someone playing a box-and-one for easy offensive rebounds).

1. Developing Go-To Moves
-Godwin tells everyone they should master the step-back, the jump hook and the swing through. Out of those three, growing up, I was never able to get the step-back down. I wished Godwin had gone into details on how to comfortably shoot it, especially since it’s a shot that can get younger, weaker kids to fall away. But having two or three go-to moves that work for you every time is often an overlooked aspect of the offensive game for a lot of young players. Sometimes, that’s all you need.

I can’t speak for how effective his coaching is, but I thought there were multiple things in the book that really opened my eyes, especially since they came from someone who excelled at almost every level. It’s all about gaining different perspectives on how to achieve success, and Godwin has a fresh take.

What’s the most important part of learning to become a great scorer?

Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.

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