After watching last year’s Final Four I vowed not to watch college ball again, but here I am watching it because there is no NBA. Nothing has changed at the college level a bunch of athletic kids running around with no idea how to play. There are quite a few pro’s in the same boat. Just watched Kentucky against Old Dominion. Kentucky is ranked number 2 in the country. If they are the number 2 team in the country it is going to be a very long winter watching hoops. They have trouble shooting Free Throw’s once again and have a ton of turnovers. That is not a very good combination to have, if you expect to be a contender. Listening to the announcers they continually talked about Kentucky’s length and athleticism. Length and athleticism are GOD given. Skills and fundamentals are honed through hours of repetition from hours of work in the gym. The lonely hours. When is the last time an announcer said that the guy is a “gym rat.” Just playing games will not make you a better shooter, better ball handler or a better passer. You have to be sound fundamentally. Yes, guys are gifted with there height and athleticism but how about putting some time in the gym and being able to knock down a free throw. Have some pride in your game. Now watching another game and the announcers are talking about both teams having trouble scoring the basketball. WHY? How about going into the gym and working on hitting a fifteen foot jump shot. There should be no excuses in this day and age of players not being able to shoot with all of the things that they have available to them. If you go to college the chances are your team has a GUN or DR. DISH. Use the machines and shoot 500 shots in a short period of time, do this several times a week. You will get better, try it and see. If you do it more than a few times a week you will improve more. Try it and see for yourself. Please make the college game pleasant to the human eye. It just amazes me that there were not more players at my college shooting camp with the poor percentages that are being posted. I’ve seen enough for the day, I’m off to the YMCA to make shots, something not seen enough in the NCAA. Since the NBA season looks lost I will also spend my evenings watching High School basketball. Will have my thought and insights on high school ball shortly. Take care and sing the GOOD LORD’S PRAISES in all that you do.


In order to improve as a basketball player you need to train, work on your weaknesses and practice correctly. If you do not put the time in to work on your game you will not improve. It’s really quite simple. Kids would rather play games than go to a basketball camp that would make them become better at playing the game of basketball. If all you do is play you are not developing as a player. If you can’t dribble with your left hand and you don’t practice it, when are you going to be able to dribble with your left hand? It’s not going to happen in the game. Kids wonder why they can’t make shots in games? Well you don’t even practice and when you do practice you don’t have a clue as how to practice properly let alone how to shoot the ball correctly. When is the last time you saw a kid at the park shooting by himself? Now kids have trainers and if they are not with their trainers they won’t practice on their own. So they work with their trainer once or twice a week and that’s it. Then in the fall, spring and summer they play a ton of games in AAU. If you want to become better you have to work at it, put the time, sweat and effort into improving. MAKE SHOTS NOT EXCUSES


      I sure do miss NBA basketball. To get my fix, I’ve been watching NBATV and seeing all of the old classics. MJ, Kareem, Bird, Magic, DR. J, etc… it sure brings back some memories. The thing with the classics is that I already know who won and in most cases know what happens next, because I’ve seen the games before: several times. Just not the same as watching a “live” game on TV where you don’t know the outcome, the winner, the loser, the hero, the goat. The talks seem to be going nowhere, even after they brought a mediator in, nothing seems to have changed. I thought for sure that something positive would’ve come out at that time. Boy, was I wrong. Now it seems as if another two weeks of the season are down the drain. College basketball will be starting soon and I am afraid that a lot of NBA fans will be getting their hoops fix by watching the college game. I wonder if all the guys that left school early are happy with their decision now. My hat goes off to the players that stayed. The one and done needs to be done away with. Let the kids come out of High School if they think they are good enough.  When the kids stay in college longer it improves the college game as well as the pro game. Last year’s NCAA FINAL UCONN and BUTLER was not enjoyable to watch, to say the least. One of  reasons being there was only one sure fire pro on the floor Kemba Walker. Better players on the floor equals a better product to watch. UCONN has some future pros from that team but right now only Kemba is an NBA player. On BUTLER’S team Shelvin Mack was a second round pick, so he is not guaranteed an NBA contract or roster spot. If you go back to the NCAA FINALS of previous years, I’m sure there were more future NBA players on the floor than one. With the lockout going on, we have seen players go to CHINA, EUROPE, etc.. where else are they going to play. During the summer there was no Summer League in Vegas. Eventually there was the  IMPACT basketball league, which was a joke, no defense, no stars, no crowds it looked more like a glorified AND ONE game. The other games that the players play in is the same thing.Nobody wants to watch basketball that isn’t real basketball. We need the coaches, players, GM’s and all the story lines that go with the season. We shouldn’t be talking lockout, we should be talking about Dwight, LeBron, Kobe, KD and who has the best shot at winning this year. I’m tired of hearing about BRI, hard cap, soft cap, flex cap. I want to hear about pick and rolls, jumpshots and even dunks. Both sides need to get real and in touch with what is happening in the world and in the US with our economy. Thank the Good Lord for our health and for having a job that we love. NBA BASKETBALL I LOVE IT!


I have been training basketball players for over twenty years and I have been blessed to work with players on ALL levels, both boys and girls and men and women. One thing that I have ALWAYS done is teach players how to play the game and CORRECT mistakes that they make. Whether they are ten years old or on their way to becoming an NBA all star, a trainer needs to teach and correct. NEVER stop coaching! Recently I have had the opportunity to observe some “trainers” in action. One guy was actually sitting down in a chair while the kid did some drill work. Another guy spent twenty minutes of the hour having the kid stretch and run laps. Then there are other guys that do busy work and don’t correct anything. I saw the player make the same mistake everytime and the guy never corrected it or mentioned it. The boom in trainers has gone off the charts in recent years. There are some guys that have never played or even coached, that call themselves “trainers”. Then there are  a million shooting coaches out there. Some of them have the craziest ideas on shooting and are so confusing that they turn off the player. I feel that I know a little something about basketball and shooting but after talking with some of these guys I feel like I just spoke to the leading heart surgeon in the world. Keep it simple, so you don’t confuse yourself or more importantly the player. You would not believe the number of requests I get from people that want to be an NBA shooting coach. Like I have some magic formula to make that happen. The point is that there are a ton of people that are now trainers and they have no training on being a trainer or any coaching background in that sport. Some trainers think that the more bizarre some drill is that it will make that player better, when it has no relevance to that sport. I get all kinds of emails from trainers that they have the “secret” to shooting and the “tricks” to up your points per game by 10 -12 a game. If that was the case everyone would be doing that and improving that much. The reason why there isn’t more improvement is because it takes a lot of time, effort, energy, sweat, to do things correctly and then y There are others that claim if you do certain exercises you will NEVER get hurt. Can you believe that NEVER get hurt, why wouldn’t every team hire that guy, if he can prevent injuries. It amazes me that parents spend money on these guys and they are just stealing money, turns out that they are very expensive babysitters. If you want to get better you need to work on the fundamentals and when you master the fundamentals you need to go onto improving your weaknesses, from there you start adding to your game. Too many trainers throw so much out there to a kid and the kid can’t even get his footwork right on a straight line jumpshot and they have him trying to do a stepback jumpshot. Then there are clinicians that claim during their two hour clinic they are going to show the player how to do twenty different things. They will show twenty different things to do,  but is the PLAYER going to be able to DO any of those things after two hours of drill work. Probably not, they will walk away with a bunch of drills to work on while not being able to master anyone of them. All that I can say is that they must be UNBELIEVABLE teachers, trainers, coaches to do all of that in a short period of time. There are NO secrets, tricks, shortcuts on becoming a great player. The player must be passionate and have the desire to become better. If you want to be a GREAT shooter you need to shoot the ball hundreds of times every day, you must do form shooting, shooting off the catch as well as off the bounce. Then you need to work on coming off screens, one on one moves, flares, fades, stepbacks, etc.. Then you need to practice your FREE shots from the line. Can you believe there are guys claiming that they can make SUPERMAN a 90% or better shooter from the line. I know there are people that can make him better but 90% is not realistic for Dwight Howard. He has struggled for so long and for him to increase 30% points is not going to happen. It may happen for a game or two, but it will not happen for an entire season. There are good shooters that can’t shoot 90%. It’s great to have confidence in your teaching but you have to be realistic too. Parents if you hire a trainer make sure the trainer teaches and corrects, isn’t that what you do to your child while they are growing up. Expect nothing else and accept nothing less.


    It’s hard to believe that the summer is over with. On one hand it seemed like it was very long and on the other it seems like it flew by. I don’t know if that makes any sense to you, but it sure does to me. Was in China with NIKE on the annual ALL ASIA CAMP in June. Had three weeks of my over night camps in the Pocono Mountains. Just finished up the last one and Hurricane Irene didn’t stop the campers from getting up jumpers. This summer I also did camps in Florida, California, Connecticut, Mass., NJ, NY, Vermont, NH, Oregon, Colorado, PA and Canada. All in all I was at a total of 49 camps. Spoke in front of approximately 15,000 players and coaches. For the summer, during my lectures I made 16,720 shots out of 16,931. That is 98.75 %. As everyone knows my goal is to shoot 99% by the end of the year. Keep in mind that these are only my lecture numbers. This does not include my workouts and warmups that I do in addition to my speaking engagements. I will keep everyone posted as to how my progress is going. From the three point line, this summer I was 400-435 during my beat the pro demonstrations. That is 91.95%. Loved playing some different players during” beat the pro.” Kids get to name the player I am going to play against. Game starts at the one point line (FT Line), I get one point if it goes in, otherwise pro gets 3 points. Then every shot is beyond the arc. I get one if it goes in, pro gets three if it doesn’t pass thru the bottom of the net. Some interesting names came up this year,  Joe Johnson, Kyle Korver, Brian Scalabrine, Jason Terry. Jason Kidd, Rashard Lewis, Danilo Gallineri and James Jones. Of course there was Kobe, LeBron, DWade, KD and Ray Allen. I must say that I still love going in and speaking to the kids as much as I did 23 years ago. It amazes me to see how many adults have seen me when they were younger and that they remembered a certain story or message. And I thought that nobody was listening to me or hearing what I had to say. I would like to thank my wife for supporting me all of the time (she just wants me out of the house) and my daughter who was my traveling partner for awhile. Special thanks to everyone that hired me to speak at their camps and all of the people that were so good to my daughter throughout the summer. Most of all I would like to thank the GOOD LORD for all of my blessings and for getting me to and from my camps safely. Now it’s back to school and it’s time to hit the books and hit the practice court. The basketball season is right around the corner. Make shots, not excuses. Remember to ALWAYS keep track of your shots. You need to see yourself getting better. Numbers don’t lie. Buy my app iHopla at iTunes or on the Droid Market. You will get better and your confidence will grow. When you get the app send me your numbers from the workout and let me know how long it takes to complete. i would love to hear from you.

AAU Basketball

Arrived in Charlotte today and checked into my hotel. While checking in I see a bunch of kids and parents wearing the same T-shirts. I asked one of the parents what they were in town for. The lady told me that her son was playing AAU basketball. She told me that they had a game over at Carolina Courts. I asked what grade her son was in and she said the fourth grade. It shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did. When I was in the fourth grade I was playing little league baseball in Keyport, NJ for the Braves. Mr. Ditmars was my coach, his full-time job was a painter. We played at ATCO field against other kids that lived in Keyport. There was the Bears, Cardinals, Raiders, Yankees and Reds. If you were good enough you were chosen to play All Star. The All Star team consisted of players from the Keyport teams. Now we would play other towns until we lost. Once we lost it was over, there was no loser bracket. Kids are traveling all over the country playing other kids from other cities and states, staying in nice hotels. What type of jobs do the parents have where they can travel with their kids? Spoke to a young player and he said that he is playing all the time with his AAU team. I asked him how much do you practice and he replied that they only play games in all these tournaments all over the country. I feel sorry for these kids because they are growing up too fast. We aren’t allowing them to enjoy their childhood. Parents, let your kids be kids. They need to practice more and play less. How do we expectkids to improve if they don’t ever practice. When is a kid going to improve his or her shooting if all they do is play? Then the behavior from most coaches and parents is notacceptable. They rant and rave about everything, screaming at officials and coaches. The parents think their kid is going to be the next Michael Jordan and the coach thinks he is going to the NBA. The kids see adults behaving poorly and then they complain about every call and blame a turnover or missed shot on the official or teammate. They think they never make a mistake. There was a time when kids improved during the summer. I see so many kids with natural talent and they fall by the wayside because they never developed a jumpshot or worked on their fundamentals. Kids enjoy your childhood because you can never get it back. Parents let them.

The Stress of Traveling

I am not talking about traveling on the basketball court, but traveling by air, boat, bike, bus, buggy, car, hang gliding, horse back, hot air ballon, motorcycle, train etc.. Going from point A to point B. However you travel I am sure there will be some stress involved. Summer started and so has my “busy” season. Once again I will be traveling the country speaking at camps, clinics, corporate talks and workouts. Traveling seems to be worse than ever. Flights are rarely on time, traffic is a mess and there seems to be more and more accidents on the road. I think it is due to cell phones, drivers texting or reading emails. Please do not use your cell phones while driving, that call, text or email can wait. Before I start off on any trip I pray to the Good Lord and ask him to look after me and get me to my destination safely and on time. When I get to my destination I thank him for looking after me. The stress can be overwhelming when traveling and you have no control over any of the circumstances. I always arrive early for my delayed flights, but at least I can do work on my computer or catch up on my phone calls, texts, etc.. Traveling is the toughest part of my job, shooting is easy. Once I arrive to camp I let out a huge sigh and it feels like the world has been lifted off of my shoulders. Then it is time to give my lecture and shooting demonstration to the campers if I am lucky enough and have time I can get a shower before getting on the road again. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate to be late for anything. My motto is “If you can’t be on time, be early.” I only wish my wife would buy into this saying. Today the madness begins as I have to fly all over the place in the next few days. Coming back from China was bad (21 hours late), glad I didn’t have to speak at any camps for a few days. It’s a little different now heading to Billy Donovan’s camp to speak this evening then flying out first thing in the morning back to Newark with a connection in Charlotte. Hit the ground running and I am off to Weston, CT to speak at Mike Evans’ basketball camp. Quick shower and back to Newark for a flight to San Diego where I will speak at the JR Phenom Camp for Joe Keller. Twenty three years of this and every year it seems to get a little tougher, maybe I’m just getting older and losing patience. Although I think I have become more patient over the years, at least I have been told that. Pray for all of those who travel and always tell your loved ones that you love them and how much they mean to you. Have a Blessed Day.

NIKE All Asia Camp

I’m in Canada right now trying to get back home to Maine. My flight was delayed yesterday and I missed my connection. Hopefully everything will go smoothly today. Can’t wait to get home and see my wife and daughter, as I’ve been in China since the 3rd of June. Started out doing the girlls camp and finished up Sunday with the boys. The camp was held at a brand new facility that had eight fullcourts. As always NIKE does a great job with dressing up the building. Besides having the NIKE All Asia banners up they had banners up of LeBron, Kobe, Yi, Dirk, DeMarr DeRozen and Rudy Gay. DeMarr, Rudy and Yi attended the boys camp. Yi showed up at both camps and is a ROCK STAR in China. Yi was a former camper a few years back. All three of the players are good guys. Hopefully Rudy will return from his injury and be better than ever. DeMarr continues to get better and once he improves his range, look out! The coaching staff consisted of Dee Brown, Miles Simon, Jarren Akana, Blair Donovan, Mike Hackman and Rob Beveridge. Over the years of doing this camp I not only have great memories but I have developed lifelong friends. Thanks guys. Congratulations to the MAVS, especially BWood, Caron Butler and DSteve. I had the opportunity to coach these guys while in DC. They all are true professionals and were Champions in my eyes, even when things were not going well. Now all three of you are World Champions. I would also like to congratulate the rest of the players, coaches and entire organization for being NBA champs. Once I get home I start gearing up for another summer of camps, clinics and workouts. There are still spots open for my COLLEGE CAMP in August. Don’t get left out.


Let’s honor and pray for those who are serving our country and for those that have served our great country. Hope everyone has a great weekend. I cannot believe that there is no NBA basketball this weekend. Game one is on Tuesday night. Who made this schedule? It’s crazy. The finals should be very enjoyable to watch just like the playoffs have been. Yesterday I started my 23rd year of summer speaking at camps. Hard to believe that I have been doing this for 23 years. I still love every minute that I’m in the gym. Love teaching the game of basketball. Nothing more rewarding than making an impact on a young person’s life. Camp started yesterday in CO and Mark Sharpley is responsible for making this camp one that I always look forward to. He always gets great numbers and the kids are always very respectful and they want to get better. Mark and I have been doing this camp for about 10 years and we do another in November. Before camp began today I broke my record of 25/25 FTs in a minute, with one ball and one passer. Hit 26/26 and will have it posted on YouTube, Facebook, etc.. shortly. My passer was Jon Sanders a great kid and a great passer. The passer is key when doing this. Good passes lead to good shots. Started camp off on Saturday with my lecture hit 405/412 which is 98.3%. as you all know my goal is to end the year at 99%. have to step it up. July is always my best month because I shoot the most shots and speak at the most camps during July. Hope everyone enjoys the blog. Also follow me on Twitter as well as my new Facebook page Dave Hopla Coach. There’s been a lot of positive response to my phone app iHopla which is available on iTunes.. Thanks to everyone that has purchased it. Praise the Lord and tell your loved ones how much you love them.