321 Strivers by Coach Matt Lengkeek

321 is a ratio of time dedicated to an individuals development. 3 is the alone time spent working on skill specific training. 2 is the time spent at practice within a team. 1 is the time spent playing as a team. In theory for every 1 hour playing in a 'game', 2 hours will be spent in 'team practice' and 3 hours spent alone on dedicated deliberate individual skill and fitness development.

A 'Striver' is a person who has an end goal with dozens of smaller and medium specific stretch goals  to propel them.  Strivers recognize that they alone develop the skills to become great. Spending time is isolated skill development when a coach or adult is not watching or demanding it. Strivers excel in skill mastery by repetition and timed or max rep training.

Our Elementary School program goal is to introduce players to skill specific basketball development. Teaching language, technique and execution of specific skills is our priority. Enforcing these skills in small sided games to ensure mastery and proper foundation. This focus will prepare them for Junior High Team 5 on 5 Basketball.  During this novice elementary stage we want to cultivate both passion and perseverance without the pressures of wins or losses and trophies. We want them to recognize personal weaknesses and strive to become experts.

I love the descriptive word Striver. I had been using 'grind' but grinding often has an industrial, laborious and mundane feel like a chore. Strivers are passionate and enjoy the effort in deliberate progression. As Grit author Angela Duckworth puts it conscious incompetence becomes unconscious competence. Strivers are doers and have bought into the process of becoming their best.

If a player plays 1 game once a week.  A team should practice for 2 hours. A player should practice on their own for 3 hours. So a player should find 30 minutes a day for specific skill training.

Examples of deliberate stretch goals or drills that quantify validation of skill mastery. Deep concentration is needed to become effortless. 

  • 2 ball dribble drills

  • Maravich hand eye quickness drills

  • Form shooting mechanics

  • Dribbling: Endurance full court back up and backs, Speed dribbling in 20 feet bursts

  • Dribble Attack Moves and Counter Dribble Attack Moves

  • Mikens Series: Mikens, Reverse Mikens, Jump Hooks, Worms, Bankers, Runners, Under hands

  • Lay-ups with Both Hands: Dribble Drives from either side and Dribble Drive reverses.

  • Free Throws:Out of Ten, Out of 50, How many in a Row?

  • Around the World: Jump Shooting Around the Paint, Around the 15 Foot Areas, Around the 3-Point Perimeters

  • Jump Shooting: Shooting off shot fake, shooting off the dribble, runners, off spin-outs, catch and pivot

  • Fitness for quickness and speed: Jumping rope and jumping plyometrics. Push-ups and stretching for flexibility

  • Footwork speed on 4 basketball pivots and jump stops

  • Low Post Footwork and Posy-up Moves: Drops Step, Jump Hooks, Up and Unders, Pivot Face-Up Jumpers, Pivot Face-up Jab Drives