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Tips and Drills
Courtesy:JMUSports.com Release:05/12/2008
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JMU Dukes Sports Tips & Drills



  Basketball           Football   Baseball     Tennis
             Golf   Volleyball     Soccer  






  • Lay-ups
    • Practice beginning your leap with the non-shooting foot
    • When you've reached the peak of your jump, bank the ball off of the top right corner of the box on the backboard and into the basket
  • Free-Throw Shooting
    • Find a routine and consistently do that same routine each time you walk up to the line
    • Line up your foot that corresponds with your shooting hand
    • Fix your eyes on the front of the rim
    • Try and shoot 20 to 40 free-throws a day to really get the hang of it
  • Defense
    • When playing defense on an opponent, limit his or her motion by forcing them to the baseline
    • Be aware of the hand your opponent prefers to dribble with and try to force them in the opposite direction
  • Dribbling
    • Work on dribbling drills blindfolded. Use one hand for 10 seconds, then the other hand for 10 seconds, then alternate hands for 20 seconds
    • Position your body to protect the ball from your opponent. You can use your free arm to guard the ball, as well as turning your body to block the ball
    • Keep your head up to see the rest of the court
  • Rebounding
    • Always assume that every shot is a miss so you are prepared to rebound it
    • Locate your opponent and box them out to put you in a better position to jump up and get the rebound




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  • Catching
    • Run to the area that is called for in the play and try to clear yourself of any defenders
    • Keep your eyes on the ball
    • Extend your arms towards the ball so your hands meet it at the furthest point from your body
    • Make a triangle with your hands, palms facing away from your body, thumbs pointing towards each other and fingers pointing up
    • Catch the ball letting it get about halfway between your hands before grasping it with your fingers
    • Tuck the ball away, under your arm, on the opposite side of the defender
  • Throwing
    • Place your throwing hand on the laces of the ball. Your hand should be closer to the end of the ball that's near you
    • Adjust your fingers so that at least one of them stays on the laces. Try placing your ring finger somewhere near the second lace and let your other fingers spread out naturally on the ball
    • Place your thumb opposite the laces on the underside of the ball
    • Keep your eyes on the target, your shoulders parallel to the target and your pivot foot towards the target
    • Throw the ball once or twice to get an idea of how grip fees in motion. If it doesn't feel comfortable, try placing your pinky finger on the laces next to your ring finger



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  • Hitting
    • Stance: Comfort, Confidence, & Balance
      • When entering the batter's box be sure to have good plate coverage; players often tap the plate with their bat to see if they are in the same location as they usually are
      • The best stance is a square stance, with your feet parallel to the plate
      • Your weight should be slightly back towards your back leg
      • Your hands will be near the top of the strike zone and slightly off the back shoulder
      • Grip the bat with both hands, however is comfortable. As a rule of thumb, the middle knuckles of your top hand should line up with the big knuckles of your bottom hand
      • Before you begin your swing, be sure your head and eyes are looking directly forward, with your chin almost touching your front shoulder
    • Swing
      • During the whole swing your head should never change position - if it does your eyes will move and it will be more difficult to get a steady track on the ball
      • Your weight will begin to move from the back to the front and your back foot will pivot towards the pitcher and your knee will turn in
      • Your hips will open up which will drive your swing and provide power
      • Bring your hands through close to your body and extend the bat towards the ball just before contact
      • Track the ball with your eyes until it gets all the way to your bat
  • Base Running
    • Drive out of the box as if you were stealing a base
    • Run every ball out as hard as you can
    • Run through first base
    • If the ball looks as if it is going to make it past the infield, get ready to round the bag. Touch the inside corner of the bag as you turn and be aggressive
    • Look and listen to your coach to tell you if you should continue to the next base or stop running



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  • Hitting
    • If you are right handed, stand with your left foot in front and vice versa
    • Hold the tennis ball in your non-dominant hand and the tennis racket in your dominant hand
    • Drop the ball onto the ground lightly and when it comes back up, hit the ball over the net keeping the racket face perpendicular to the ground
    • When the ball is returned, keep your eye on the ball and change position if needed
  • Serving
    • Hold the racquet in your dominant hand facing the net
    • Plant your feet into the ground and line your shoulder up with where your are aiming
    • Drop your racquet and bring your racquet behind you in an arc-like motion while simultaneously throwing the ball in the air about 5 inches in front of your
    • Drop your racquet behind your head and then bring the racquet forward slowly. Then hit the ball with as much speed as you can while keeping control
    • After hitting the ball break your wrist downward to help the ball land in the court


Tips from Coach Maria Malerba, head coach of the JMU Women's Tennis Team:


"Practice hitting a ball against a wall of backboard. It will always return the ball back to your and it will give you great practice in a short period of time."


"Watch tennis on TV. The French open will be starting in late May and it's a good way to see the best players in the world compete!"




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  • Swinging
    • Stand with back slightly bent and bend your knees shoulder width apart
    • Without breaking your wrists, twist your shoulders on your back swing
    • Once you get to the top of your swing your hands should create a triangle and move left hand down first followed by left hip, vice versa for lefties
    • Follow through so your belt buckle is facing the target, your club is across your neck and you are on your left foot with the right foot up and toe down showing all of the cleats
    • Swinging too hard will make you slice the ball
  • Putting
    • Visualize the putt
    • Practice putting
      • Practice a straight putt about 4-6 feet from the hole
      • Even your weight amongst your feet which should be shoulder width apart
      • Bend the upper part of your body over from the hips without locking your knees
      • Make sure the putter head is going straight back and straight through
      • Make sure your putter face us square to your line at all times
      • Set a goal number of putts your can make in a row
    • Avoid using your hands for putting. Instead use your shoulders and arms
    • Aim just past the hole. This ensures your ball will not come up short and will go into the cup instead


Tips from Coach Paul Gooden, Head Coach of the JMU Women's Golf Team:


"Learn to hold the club with the proper grip. This will help the other parts of your body work together correctly."


"Learn the proper posture and alignment. Be athletic in your stance."




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  • Serving
    • If you are right handed, place your left foot slightly in front of your right. The opposite is true if you are a lefty
    • Hold the ball with both hands and toss it in front of your hitting hand
    • Swing your right hand forward and contact the ball with your whole hand
  • Passing
    • In a stationary position with your knees bent, your weight forward on the balls of your feet, your arms extended, anticipate the pass
    • Hold your palms up and open, laying one hand over the other and folding your hands inward
    • Create a platform with your arms and extend your platform toward the target allowing the ball to bounce off of your forearms



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·        Dribbling

o       Learn to use the different parts of your feet to control the ball, instep, outside and heel

o       Practive weaving between a line of objects (like cones) using alternative feet

·        Defending

o       Keep your eyes on the ball and do not be misled by the body movements of the attacker

o       Always try to keep your body between the attacker and the goal that your are defending




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