"Practice doesn't make perfect, it makes permanent..."


GAMETIME Basketball is excited and appreciative for the opportunity to play a part in co-hosting the very first ISA Charity Basketball game in Northern California. Come join us on Memorial Day, May 29th, 7:00pm at Wilcox High School, in Santa Clara. This event commemorates Asian Pacific Heritage Month. Come cheer on some of your favorite GT coaches and favorite Asian personalities who will take to the court including; Wong Fu Productions, D-trix (Quest Krew), AJ Rafael, Steven Lim (Buzzfeed), The Sudarso Brothers, Jubilee Project and many more! Looking forward to seeing you all there to support a great cause!

On our quest to be the best version of ourselves, we got to be hungry and perform as if we're in pursuit of something. It starts with our commitment, leadership, perseverance and staying together as a unit. It's especially necessary when things aren't going your way. There's no test of true character when you're ahead and times are great. It's when you're down, the odds are stacked against you, and so tired you can't even breathe, think or see straight. You look at the clock counting down and all four walls are closing in around you. What then... what will you do? You going to back down, quit, makes excuses... or you going to give it everything you've got to fight back? You cannot buy a championship, or approach as if you're entitled to be a winner. There's a poor misconception that success comes from just being positive, giving the pat on the back, etc. It's not that simple, nor is it realistic in the world we live in today. You cannot be afraid of confrontation, the honest truth or being told something you don't want to hear. Someone has to be willing to say, "this is what we're going to do... you're either in or out". You got to learn to be comfortable with un-comfortability. If not, one day you'll come across a team, or leader, who has that level of mental toughness, and I guarantee you... whatever you do, whatever you say, they're going to beat you...

- GT Basketball


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(Former) Ohlone Coach John Peterson Talking Basketball

A look back to December 5th, 2013... Loyola Marymount University Men's Basketball Assistant Coach, John Peterson, speaks on his experience as Ohlone College Men's Basketball Head Coach during his 2013-2014 campaign. We hope you enjoy...!   - GT Basketball

It's the nature of the beast that community college basketball rosters have a high turnover rate but it seems especially so for Ohlone Coach John Peterson. That's because a large number of his players move up after a single season. 

Yet he again quickly melds together a set of newcomers into a unit each season. 

Getting 12 to become one is approaching some sort of magical alchemy.

So how does he get this synchronicity to take place?  

Recently, we had the opportunity for a Q-and-A with Coach Peterson about this subject plus more.

Q - In your recruiting, what are the traits you look for most in prospects and why?

JP: Character, desire to want to be coached hard and work to get better, ability to shoot/pass/dribble (must have two of the three and shooting is one of them), competitive spirit. First and foremost, we have completely gone away from recruiting guys who we don't think will fit what we want in terms of attitude, which includes a myriad of things. So we have elected not to recruit some very good players because we would rather have to deal with them twice a year (if they end up playing against us) on game night as opposed to 365 days year. Not to say we would have gotten them anyway, but the older I get the less nonsense I want to deal with that doesn't relate to winning and getting better. And it has allowed us to spend more time coaching and less time babysitting, which benefits everybody in the organization. And at the end of the day I want to be happy with who I am spending the majority of my day with. 

Q - The term 'high basketball IQ' is tossed around a lot -- what does that term mean to you? If someone came to you and said 'I want to have a better basketball IQ' -- what would you suggest?

JP: I think our current group has a relatively high IQ…know how to read counters, know how to recognize defensive tendencies and adjust, understand and embrace the formula we establish for winning (and why you lose), know what the right decision is on the floor and when to make it, understand time/score possession, understand the concepts of space as they relate to offense and defense, etc. For us the greatest teaching tool is practice and game film, both of which we watch daily. But most importantly, if you don't have an open mind to learning and adjusting your game as you move up the ladder, it becomes difficult to become a smarter player.

Q - Say I'm a 6-foot-3 freshman guard in high school and 'evaluators' say I have college potential. Very broadly, what would you advise me to focus on, an action plan of sorts -- in the next few years

JP: Learn how to shoot. Every coach wants players that can make open baskets, and they find a place in the rotation for those can that do it well. I watch my own kids play in aau events in the elementary and middle school level, and everything is about getting to the rim. Fundamentally, as a whole, great shooters are few and far between. And it is difficult to find people that can teach shooting. Parents want skill trainers, and a majority of skill trainers spend their time on ball handling and not enough time on how to shoot, how to score, how to create separation from your defender, playing 1 on 1 or 2 on 2, how to use both your feet to your advantage, etc. I see a lot of skill work against a set of cones, but you don't get the luxury of having a cone defend you on Friday nights. My suggestion is to find a trainer or a coach that can teach you how to shoot and score…that is money well spent.

Q - Individuals possess different learning strengths and weaknesses, with some able to understand what is being taught through oral instruction (verbal) while others need to see it on paper (visual) first and still others learn by doing (physical) and, of course, there are combinations of all these learning styles. Is this something coaches take into account in teaching concepts?

JP: I think good teachers do, and there are a lot of them out there at the high school level in particular. The best are able to recognize a weakness (or strength), correct it through whatever method the player understands best (kinetic, visual, auditory, etc.), and then repeat it until it is mastered. It's an arduous process, but often times the process of becoming great is monotonous. 

Q - In my experience, community college coaches generally want to keep a player for two years (the best thing about freshman is that they become sophomores) if possible but it seems the majority of your guys are able to move after one year. Is that something you and the player decide on ahead of time or just the way it has worked out?

JP: My responsibility as a JC coach is to prepare and move guys on to the 4 year level. And of course I want to win while we are trying to do that. And the kids we get all want to move on. JC was never the first choice for any of our players on this level. If we have a guy that wants to leave after one year and is academically eligible, we do everything we can to make that happen. It makes our job as coaches harder because of the higher turnover rate on our roster, but this isn't about us. Casey Norris is a great example…he could have left for any one of about 10 D2 offers at the end of last season, which we would have been fine with. But he elected to return to try and get a D1 offer, and hopefully that comes to fruition for him. If it doesn't, at least he can say he gave a complete effort to get it done. We are not caught up in how many guys we have go to D1. To me that is irrelevant…our job as a staff is to make sure they get their school paid for and have a chance to play and win at the 4 year level. I've been fortunate to coach on both the D1 and D2 levels prior to coming here, and without question the experience of the guys I coached on the D2 level was better than those I coached on the D1 level, in large part because we won a ton of games. If a player says he wants to go D1, we try to help that become a reality. But there are a ton of factors that go into being good enough to play on that level, most of which we as JC coaches don't control. The majority of JC kids that go D1 were already D1 caliber players before they showed up on campus. It's very rare for a kid with a low skill set to go to JC and turn himself into a D1 player…it happens, but not often. If my own children ever get the chance to choose between going to D1 and winning 10 games versus going to D2/NAIA/D3 and winning 80% of their games and playing in the postseason, I would hope they choose the latter. Winning is way more enjoyable. The scholarship money is the color green regardless of the level. 

Q - One of the most difficult things to achieve is getting five to play as one yet you annually accomplish it -- you have 11 new guys this season yet have started out 7-1.This is probably a question you could write a lengthy college thesis on but how do you go about getting your newcomers up to speed with what you want them to do offensively and defensively? Are there certain techniques or processes, on and off the court, that aid in quickening the learning process?

JP: The winning is in the picking…we are fortunate to have really good players (and very passionate, knowledgeable assistant coaches). High character/high IQ guys that go to class, show up on time, allow me to coach them hard, understand that the better we do as a team the better everyone does in terms of scholarships (very few 4 year guys want to scholarship players from losing programs) and are highly competitive. I think competitive spirit in a vastly underrated skill set. There are guys that want to win, and there are guys that need to win. We have a lot of guys that need to win. Big difference. And because we have so few distractions, we are able to spend our time working on getting better. We spend a lot of time in the preseason together off the floor in competitive environments (softball game against our softball team, bowling tournament against our women's hoop team, kickball, water polo, etc.)…anything to get them to compete together outside the gym. And they appreciate the fact that the guy in the locker next to them is not a turd, which helps the overall experience. And the collective high IQ allows us to take our time and teach slowly in a competitive environment on a daily basis. They embrace the fact that everyday is another opportunity to get better and improve their chances of winning and moving on when they are done playing at Ohlone.

Leadership can be a lonely existence. If you're going to be a leader, you're not going to please everyone. You got to hold people accountable - even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone. It's nothing personal. It's simply doing what's necessary to be successful. You're trying to get the best out of yourself and from those around you. In the moment, others may not understand. Nonetheless, a leader is willing to accept that and continues to stay the course. It's a place where few people have the courage to go...

- GT Basketball


Helpful Hints For Beginning Coaches

By Ralph Miller

1)  Don't over-coach

2)  Be firm, fair, and consistent

3)  Don’t practice too long (especially late in the season)

4)  Develop some kind of coaching philosophy and readjust as the years go by

5)  Keep the lines of communication open

6)  Explain "why" you do things

7)  Encourage suggestions and give credit if used

8)  Develop a sense of humor - insert some humor in each practice

9)  Should have some part of each practice that lends itself to good, clean "ribbing"

10)  Try to balance criticism with praise (often conscious of one and not the other)

11)  Learn to work with players individually (they appreciate the extra time)

12)  Be yourself - don't emulate some successful coach. His methods may not fit your style.

13)  Don't tie yourself to rules (have an out) - not a compromise, but be realistic

14)  Attend clinics - read books - talk to fellow coaches - learn the game

15)  Tell and explain - Don't show unless you know

16)  Make a practice schedule and stick to it. Do not spend extra time on something just because youare getting poor results.

17)  Make a master practice schedule and daily practice schedule and coordinate the two

18)  Set some realistic goals for yourself and your program and readjust these goals from time to time

19)  Coordinate the total program whenever possible

20)  The game passes kids by - don't let it pass you by

21)  Motivate your players to improve skills by putting in extra time in the off-season

22)  Don't try to do something in a game situation that you have not worked on in practice

23)  Learn to use your time-outs

24)  Know the rules

25)  Reach your players a basketball vocabulary and encourage it

26)  Help players to recognize their limitations and play accordingly

27)  Remember you are the teacher. If you cannot teach, you cannot coach

28)  Get along with your superiors, your colleagues, and those who work under you

29)  Get involved in the total school program

30)  Key word for players is "practice"

31)  Key word for coaches is "work"

32)  Be LOYAL to the school, staff and players


Quick Hitters on Leadership

By Mike Dunlap - Head Coach, Loyola Marymount University

1)  Criticism is a potion for growth:  Best delivered with praise as the partner

2)  Leaders take criticism:  Some deserved, some ignorant

3)  Adversity is like the mailman:  He delivers whether you like it or not

4)  Tough decisions for the few and easy decisions for the many

5)  Leaders suffer:  Sometimes in public and sometimes alone

6)  The art of leadership is surrounding yourself with good people who are frequently more knowledgeable than you, delegating, and then just shutting up and following

7)  Think like this:  The other person has it tougher than me; what can I do to help? How can we bothwin? When you think like that ideas flow and leadership is born.

8)  Energy, enthusiasm, and a positive outlook:  All qualities that every leader must have because the alternative makes you quite ordinary

9)  Problems are WHY you are in the big chair:  First, expect them, investigate them, wrestle with them from both sides, break them down into smaller parts, prioritize those that can be solved quickly, and those that must wait: not all problems have immediate or simple solutions

10)  Nothing is forever:  Humor lightens most heavy loads; the leader sees and delights in sharing thecomical, the ironic, the lighthearted glimmer of hope when all others are fretting


Attacking Switching Man to Man

By John Peterson - Assistant Coach, Loyola Marymount University


- How often do you see it?

- Non conference or conference?

- When do you work it into practice?


- What are they switching, by size? (Small-Small screen, Big-Big screen, Big-Small screen, Small-Big screen?)

- What are they switching, by screen type? (PNR, down screen, up screen, flare screen, cross screen, etc.)

- When are they switching? (Late in clock? EOG?)

- What is your strength? Post Play? Quickness?

- Can you manipulate the switch to highlight that advantage?

- Does your screener have and maintain eye contact with your passer? (e.g. flare screens) 

Thoughts/Options for attacking teams that switch:

- Pass, Cut and play off the bounce:   Huge spacing, quick ball movement and hard cuts.  Must have actions in place for when the ball gets bounced – what do the other 4 guys do?

- Tight curls, curl picks and/or backcuts on all down screens – especially if there is contact on the screen

- Screen your own man out of your sets

- Double cuts - counter (e.g. Floppy/X actions)

- Flare screens – don’t come together, make it a spot or area screen

- Slips and/or step to the ball (if they don’t “touch” defensively on the switch)

- Drive the mismatch to make two commit to the ball (e.g. 1 vs 5) 

- Fake screens and step to the ball/slip out of your motion

- Drive the ball as screening occurs - forces second level of defense to help

- Drag screens off break/early offense

- Arrange your actions to take advantage of the switch

- Get ball moving early in your sets/actions before you screen (false action)

- No Guard to Guard screens, or Big to Big screens - make every screen Small on Big, or Big on Small, to create mismatch opportunities for post play or penetration


GAMETIME Basketball would like to say "THANK YOU" for all your loyal support through the years!  We appreciate the opportunity and proud to have you as part of our GT Family.  Please check our COURSES and CALENDAR tabs for future sessions coming this Fall and Winter.  We hope you can join us for some good fun and hard work.  Call, click or add your name to our mailing list today!  Thanks for visiting and GO GAMETIME!!!