Miami Youth Basketball: Why We Love It!

Miami Youth Basketball

Miami Youth Basketball: What’s Not To Love?

Youth basketball is a beautiful game.  It comes at the stage in a young adult’s life where they are playing basketball because they truly enjoy the game.  They love the competition, the friends they make, and what they learn from the experiences of each game.  For spectators of youth basketball, these are the aspects that keep us watching.

Playing for the Love of the Game:

When young basketball players are involved with the sport, they are at an age where they are playing because they love the game.  Their passion and participation stems from the fun they have on the court and the joy that basketball brings to them.

Generally, as basketball players progress through their careers, they encounter exterior motivations for pursuing the game.  When they are an upper classman in high school, the motivation of earning a college scholarship might come into play.  If they are fortunate and diligent enough to make the collegiate level, the absolute BEST players might then be concerned with making the professional ranks and earning an income through their sport.  The best players in the world are the ones that still, despite these other motivations, have a deep desire to play the game because it is the sport they love.  Take into account the feelings Michael Jordan has for the game.

“The game of basketball has been everything to me. My place of refuge, place I’ve always gone where I needed comfort and peace. It’s been the site of intense pain and the most intense feelings of joy and satisfaction. It’s a relationship that has evolved over time, given me the greatest respect and love for the game.” – Michael Jordan

In youth basketball, young athletes are free of these ulterior motives that might enter their mindset as they further their basketball career.  It’s a pleasure to watch kids playing for the love of the game.

Ego-free Basketball:

Another aspect of youth basketball that makes it a beautiful game is that the participants are mostly ego-free.  They are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to play the game and do so with a sense of selflessness that benefits the team as a whole.  On the other hand, often we witness college or professional players exude a sort of cockiness or selfishness on the court that is rarely seen in youth basketball.  For example, they pound their chest with their fist after they make a good play.  Or, they can be seen showing off for the crowd.  These sorts of actions are attempts to draw attention to oneself which brings the attention and focus away from the team and becomes a selfish display.  Youth basketball is relatively free of these sort of distractions that take away from the team, and that’s why we love it.  They appreciate the efforts of their teammates as much as they do their own successes.

Youth Basketball Promotes Healthy Living:

We love youth basketball because it is a physical fitness activity.  It is a fun way to encourage kids to be active and healthy people through sports.  Basketball promotes healthy living and instills the meaning of all that is involved in living a healthy lifestyle.  Youth that are actively engaged in sports see better health benefits as they progress into their later years as adults.  They are less at risk to encounter health concerns such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular problems.  Knowing that by playing basketball kids are also exercising and becoming healthy humans is comforting to a fan of youth basketball.

Why We Love Miami Youth Basketball:

  1. They love playing the game
  2. No egos involved
  3. Health benefits

Miami Basketball Camp

Miami Basketball Camp

Are you looking at all the Miami basketball camp options out there?  Miami Player Development has a different approach than most camps.  We are skills based and work on training your game.  No celebrities, no DJ’s no factory curriculum.  Passionate expertise and skill development!

Miami Basketball Summer Training Camp

It is our goal to continue providing quality instruction while offering flexibility for all families throughout the Summer. Both Full Day and Half Day options are available for boys and girls ages 8 – 16.   We are going to put the FUN in Basketball Fundamentals.  

Miami Basketball Camp Focus: 

  • Mastering Fundamentals      
  • Improving Athleticism       
  • Off-Ball Movement
  • Spacing/Timing                    
  • Reading the Floor                 
  • Decision Making Skills


Basketball Camp Shooting Refinement:

Use of the world’s top training aid:  94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball

Games, Skill Challenges and Video Review will be part of everyday basketball camp activities!

 Miami Basketball Camp Summer

Full Day: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm                               Half Day: 8:30 am – 12:30 pm

Camp Dates:

6/8 – 6/12           

6/15 – 6/19         

6/22 – 6/26                  

6/29 – 7/3

7/6 – 7/10           

7/13 – 7/17         

7/20 – 7/24                  

7/27 – 7/31


For more information, please see the

Miami Basketball Camp Registration Form

or give us a call today!


10 Reasons to Love NBA All Star Dwyane Wade

Top Ten Reasons To Love Dwyane Wade

10 Reasons to Love NBA All Star Dwyane Wade

The Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade is one of the greatest shooting guards to ever play in the NBA, and we LOVE this guy! Along with being one of our favorite players, Dwyane is a multiple time champion, a perennial All Star, and the winner of the 2006 NBA Finals MVP Award. He was the star of one of the most exciting Finals series in recent memory in 2006, and he was responsible for helping bring the city of Miami it’s first ever championship. Since the Heat acquired Lebron James in 2010, Dwyane has become increasingly overshadowed by basketball fans and casual observers, but he’s still a very good player today. Here are 10 reasons to love Dwyane Wade.


10. Dwyane Wade plays defense.

Dwyane has been a pretty good scorer throughout his career, even leading the league in scoring average one season. But that doesn’t stop him from giving effort on the defensive end of the court. There have been many scorers in the NBA who feel like they don’t have a responsibility to defend because of their offensive production, but Dwyane has never taken that attitude. Although he has only been named to an NBA All Defensive Team twice, he has been recognized for being one of the best “2-way” guards in the league. And even though he has taken a backseat to his teammate Lebron James on the offensive end, he frequently still guards the other team’s best perimeter player, filling a major role for his team.

9. He plays bigger than his size.

You might not know this, but Dwyane Wade is undersized for an NBA shooting guard. He is 6’4” when most shooting guards are 6’6” and above. But Dwyane has never had trouble scoring against bigger defenders, and he has been one of the best shot blocking guards in the league over his career. He is Top 200 in NBA history in blocks and has a chance to finish in the Top 140 by the time his career is done. That includes players of all positions, not just guards.

8. Dywane is fearless in attacking the rim.

Dwyane Wade plays in a relentless, attacking style that we love. For his career, Dwyane takes more than a third of his shot attempts within 3 feet of the basket, and he gets to the free throw line more than 8 times per game. That’s an incredible number. You have to love a guy that is undeterred by the size and strength of bigger NBA defenders around the rim.

 7. He plays efficient basketball.

Dwyane shot 54.5% from the field in the 2013-2014 NBA season. That ranked 8th in the entire league, and 1st for guards. For his career he shoots a little over 49% from the field. That means he is taking smart shots and converting at a high clip. Dwyane was also the last player not named Lebron James or Kevin Durant to lead the league in Player Efficiency Rating (PER), a number that rates a player’s total performance in terms of efficiency. For his career Dwyane Wade currently ranks 8th on the ALL TIME list in PER.

 6. Dwyane Wade is exciting to watch!

If you’re a fan of basketball you know that Dwyane Wade has been one of the most exciting players to watch over his career. He has one of the best Euro-steps in the league (we actually use him and Manu Ginobili as examples when teaching this move), he has one of the best crossovers in the league, and he’s not afraid to throw it down on the big man at the rim. And with the speed he has displayed in attacking defenses, it’s no wonder he picked up the nickname ‘Flash’ early in his career.

 5. Dwyane Wade has style.

Okay…not all the time, but it’s always “interesting” to see what new outfit he will come out in from game to game. At the very least he keeps us entertained.

 4, Dwyane is a good teammate.

By all accounts, Dwyane is a pretty good teammate. You never really know for sure if this is true unless you are playing with that person, but from what we can see and gather, we believe this is true. You don’t see Dwyane yelling and screaming at teammates a lot; you see him joking with teammates often on the bench. Dorrell Wright, a former teammate of Wade’s for 6 seasons, gave his son the middle name “Dwyane”, naming him after Wade. A teammate thinking highly enough of you to name their son after you says a lot, at least in our view.

 3. Dwyane Wade swallowed his pride for the good of his team.

When Lebron James and Chris Bosh joined the Miami Heat in 2010, they were seen as a 3-headed monster. Each of those guys were perennial All Stars and at or near the top of their positions. Wade and James were considered to the co-leaders of the team, and in Year 1 they both played like it. When that year ended in disappointment, Wade realized that he needed to take a step back and let Lebron be the clear and undisputed team leader. I imagine it was a hard thing to do and continue to do for a player of Wade’s stature, someone who had been considered one of the best players in the league over his career. We salute him for it, because it turned out to be what was best for the team. The Heat won NBA championships in Year 2 and Year 3 with Lebron being both the regular season MVP and Finals MVP in each of those seasons.

2. He keeps on ticking and ignoring the critics.

Critics of Wade have been counting him out for years, saying that he is too old and too injury riddled to continue to be effective. And although there is some truth to this because Wade has clearly struggled with injuries, he continues to fight back and be there when his team needs him most. His vintage Game 4 performance in the 2013 NBA Finals helped secure a must needed Miami win and swung momentum back in favor of the Heat. And in these 2014 playoffs Wade is showing up big again. We love the fighter mentality that Wade has taken towards those whp have lost faith in his abilities.

 1. Dwyane brought Miami its 1st Championship in heroic fashion!

The 2006 Finals was Dwyane’s “coming out party” to many, as he looked like a basketball superhero in that series. After being down 2 games to none, Miami was down by 17 points in the second half of Game 3. Dwyane led a furious comeback to give the Heat the 2 point victory. He stayed in takeover mode the rest of the series and Miami won the championship in 6 games. His 34.7 Finals scoring average is one of the highest ever, and in 2012 ESPN rated his Finals performance as the GREATEST individual Finals performance ever. Of course that’s a subjective rating, but he sure did put on an incredible performance; everyone could see that. And for that reason he will always be beloved in the city of Miami and respected among basketball fans worldwide.

Dwyane Wade is an exciting and effective player who has been a cornerstone of the Miami Heat franchise for over a decade. He embodies many of the tangible and intangible qualities we endeavor to instill in the youth basketball players we work with today. We’ve enjoyed watching him work over the years and hope that you have too, as he’s one of the great players in our era, and one of the greatest to ever wear a Miami Heat uniform!

What Miami Youth Basketball Coaches Look For

What Miami Youth Basketball Coaches Look For

What Basketball Coaches Look For in Youth Basketball Players

A lot of Miami youth basketball players love to play the game, practice the game, and work on the game, and are shocked when these qualities don’t translate into them making the basketball team or getting a lot of playing time on their team.  I’ve seen it time and time again.  Coaches look at the game differently than players, and players need to know how coaches view the game so they are not caught off guard when the basketball season arrives.  Here are the main qualities youth basketball coaches are looking for in youth basketball players.

 Not Just Youth Basketball Skill, But Will

Skills aren’t all you need to pay the bills.  I’ve seen players who can do every advanced dribble move I show them in practice, but when it comes to game time don’t showcase those skills.  I’ve also worked with players who are great shooters in practice but are shy about shooting when the lights come on.  Some of these same players come back and complain about players who aren’t “better than them” getting playing time over them.  Well, here’s why.  Coaches are interested in winning basketball games; their primary goal is to win.  If you are a very skilled player, but aren’t applying those skills to score points, get rebounds and defend for your team, then a coach won’t look as highly on you as a lesser skilled player who is using everything he’s got to impact the game.  Good youth basketball players must have some fight in them, and must be brave enough to utilize their basketball skills in games.  Because coaches need those skills to win basketball games!  A quality basketball trainer can help you gain those skills.  But if the skills aren’t there for a player who possesses competitive will, most coaches will choose will over skill.  The “will over skill” rule is why you see successful athletes from other sports like football and baseball translate over and get minutes on youth basketball teams.  Coaches want kids who are used to competing at a high level, playing with maximum effort and fighting until the last buzzer.  A player who has considerable skill and exhibits maximum will is the best type of player, so don’t let your “will” be the reason you’re left off the playing floor.

Positive Miami Basketball Team Attitude

Coaches like players with positive team attitudes.  Because basketball is a team sport, interpersonal relationships between teammates are very important.  A positive team attitude means being happy for teammates when they are successful, as well as encouraging them (instead of berating them) when they make mistakes.  A player with a positive attitude can add joy and energy to a team, while a player with a negative one can act like a cancer and steal life from a team.  If you were a coach, would you want to be around a player with a negative attitude for an entire season?  Of course you wouldn’t.  So make sure your attitude is not holding you back.  It does not matter how skilled a player you are, if you exhibit a bad attitude that can be the deal breaker between you making or not making your team.  Happy, cohesive teams are generally winning teams as well.  We see that all the way from the youth level to the NBA.

Basketball Listening Skills

Listening skills might be the most important determinants of individual and team success in organized youth basketball.  Surprised?  Don’t be.  Since a coach’s job is to win, and to win he has to instruct, train and direct his players, he needs players who are going to listen to and execute instruction.  A lack of listening skills can come from different things – a know-it-all attitude, an unfocused attitude with a wandering mind and eyes, or a disrespectful attitude that doesn’t pay the coach any mind.  A lack of execution can come from a lack of listening or a selfish attitude that says “I’m going to do what I want anyway”.  Regardless of the reason, a player who consistently doesn’t listen to his coach in practice (let alone games) can’t be trusted in games.  If you can’t listen and execute in drills, how does a coach know he can trust you in a game situation?  How can he know he can trust you as a part of his team at all?  Listening and executing are life skills that apply in many areas, but I can tell you from personal experience that the best listeners are the players who improve the most in basketball training.  If you want to be a trusted player for your coach, you should commit to being a good listener that executes your coach’s instructions the first time they are given, in games and in practices.  This skill is just as important as any other basketball skill for youth basketball players.

If you are a player with great will, a positive attitude and great listening skills you have the foundation of what youth basketball coaches are looking for.  Contact your local basketball trainer to build up the basketball skill to go along with these other great qualities.  If you are a player who suffers in one or more of these important areas, all hope is not lost.  Contact your local Miami basketball trainer today to help you develop into the player your coach will love!

Miami Basketball Academy Sets Strong Foundation

Saturday Strong Foundation Basketball Academy       

***Space is Limited***


Session 1: May 4th   – May 25th

Session 2: June 1st  – June 29th

Session 3: July 6th  – July 27th

**Academy is for the Entire Month (4 Total Saturday’s)**


9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Every Saturday


1.5 Hours every Saturday for the month (4 total Saturday’s)

Instruction on the Fundamentals and Key Aspects of the game

Academy Shirt

Shooting Aid Sleeve

Progress Folder

Take-Home Drills and Work Outs


ADP Facility

6300 NW 77th Court

Miami, FL 33166

Right off the Palmetto Expressway (West side of expressway)


$150 for 1 Session

$260 for 2 Sessions

$400 for 3 Sessions


Ask for Coach Mike Gamez @ 305.970.7723-Main or 305.468.3272-Office


Keys To Crossing OverDefensive Basketball Training

 When it comes to ball handling, it is not hard to define the most popular and basic of moves, it is the crossover. The cross-over can be used at all levels from kids who have never dribbled a basketball before to the highest levels, where players like Allen Iverson can make even the greatest defenders look foolish.

The keys to having a successful crossover are simple yet quite difficult to master. The first one is snapping the ball from one hand to another. Bringing the ball across the front of a defender is a risk. This risk becomes minimalized as the speed of the ball is increased and the height of the ball is as close to the ground as possible.  We suggest waving goodbye with your wrist and finger pads as you push the ball from one hand to the other.  Snap it and follow thru with the wave.  The second key is to cover ground when you crossover. You need to go around the defender so make sure you are getting a good amount of both horizontal as well as lateral movement when you make your move.  Think outside one knee to outside the other knee while snapping ball no higher than knee height.

With these keys in mind your cross-over will improve and the game will become more fun to play.

Miami: Develop Confidence In Your Basketball Shooting

Miami Basketball Shooting CoachConfidence is such a big part of the game of basketball, especially when talking about shooting. I have seen really good shooters become average or even poor shooters because they lost confidence in their shot. If you second guess yourself on a shot or are already thinking that you are going to miss before you shoot the shot you are most likely going to miss. If you are confident in your shot then the odds of you making the shot are going to go way up. This article is going to give you 3 tips about how to develop confidence in your shot as a basketball player.

Focus on Proper Basketball Shooting Form

If you are young Miami basketball player then this first tip is really important. The better shooting fundamentals that you develop as a young player the higher your ceiling will be as you get older. Older players can tweak their shot a little bit but for the most part they are locked into their shooting form, good or bad. Young players haven’t fully developed good or bad habits yet and it is a lot easier to change up their shot and learn how to shoot the right way. Whether it is watching and learning from a really good shooter, getting a personal shooting coach, etc. it is important that they learn the fundamentals of shooting.

Developing Basketball Muscle Memory

Once you have learned the proper shooting form it is time to build muscle memory. In a game when you catch the basketball and shoot it without thinking about it you are using your muscle memory. Your body just naturally does what you have practiced. That is why it is important to practice proper shooting on a regular basis. It is also important to practice shooting the same way that you shoot in a game. If you shoot at a certain speed in a game then practice shooting at that same speed.

Confidence Through Visualization

The first two tips were physical tips that you can use to become a better shooter but the last tip is going to be mental. You have already put in all the hours in the gym learning the fundamentals of shooting and practicing your shot. Doing those two things allows you to be confident in yourself. Every time you shoot the ball you should be thinking this is going in. Another area though that players don’t spend enough time on is positive visualization. Even when you aren’t playing basketball you should spend a little time everyday visualizing yourself making shots. Being able to picture yourself making shots in your head will translate into having confidence in your shot when you physically do shoot the basketball.


Check out some of the shooting drills that can help you get the repetition you need to develop the muscle memory and confidence you need here at

Miami Basketball Trainer Improves Shooting Form

Miami Basketball Trainer Improves ShootingThe best time to change your basketball shooting form is right now.

If a coach or teammate has told you about the need to change your form, or you’ve noticed the need yourself, here are some tips to help you develop a good fundamental shooting motion.

The last finger that should touch the ball when it leaves your shooting hand is your middle finger.  If you have a problem with side spin or inconsistent aim, it could be because you are using the wrong guide finger.  When you put your hand on a basketball to shoot, the only finger that will point straight ahead is your middle finger.  Your pointer and ring will point off to the side; therefore they are not to be trusted to guide you.  Your fingers play a huge part in directing your shot.  When you allow your middle finger to be your guide, you get the most consistent direction on your shooting.

When you’re done shooting, watch your hand to check your follow through. Have your basketball trainer watch it.   At the end of your shot, your arm should be straight and your hand should be bent over – your arm and hand should look like an umbrella or a candy cane.  If your hand is not bent with all four fingers facing down then you know you’re not getting a good release on your shot.  Practice getting explosive force out of your release.  If you shoot ten shots properly back to back with good follow through, you should feel a burn in your forearms.  The burn plus umbrella follow through lets you know you’re shooting efficiently.

Miami Basketball Trainer Mike Gamez is ready to improve your shooting form.  Are You Ready?

Gaining good shooting form takes work, but it is worth the effort.  Call us for your initial form shooting lesson today.

Defending A Basketball Player’s Strong Side

Defensive Basketball TrainingDefending a players Strong Side

Defense is all about stopping the offensive team from scoring the ball. This can be done in many ways (man-to-man, zone, pressing, double teaming, etc.). I believe the best way to stop a team from scoring is to recognize each players strengths and weaknesses and learning how to defend individual players from playing to their strong side. This can be done in a few simple, yet hard to acquire skills.

Off the ball Defense: Understanding how to deny the ball at the right time is a great way to start. If a man is a great shooter, it is extremely important that you give him/her no space. This can be done with a lot of anticipation and quickness. Players should be taught how to go around and through screens while being disciplined in close outs. Most great shooters are catch-and-shoot players. Therefore, being able to keep your hands up and high (without over committing) while closing out on them is key.  Our Miami basketball trainer can show you how to make this part of your every day game.

On the ball Defense: This should be simple for everyone to understand. Deny his/her strong hand. Although some great players may be ambidextrously good, most have either a left or right hand as a dominant strength in their attack. Learning how to keep them from making a move with their strong hand is essential in defending a player with the ball. It is always smart to remember not to reach. Reaching causes players (defender) to get unbalanced, which in turn allows a great offensive player to exploit that and take them off the dribble more effectively.

Help side Defense: Since most of defensive play is responding to an offensive move or pass, defenders must be able to help each other out. It is almost impossible for every defender to be on cue when defending the five offensive players, which is why help defense is important. A good thing to remember when playing help defense is to always stay between the ball and your man when you are on the help- side position. This will give you time to close back out if the pass is swung back across and still gives you a presence in the event of a hard penetration.  Another thing to remember is when your opponent is within one pass from the ball, you should be in denial position. When your opponent is within two or more passes from the ball, you should be in help-side position.

Defense is a react and attack game. Learning how to read your defenders’ strengths and defend against it is half the battle to playing defense. Use a variety of drills to help your team learn how to be effective all around defenders in order to develop future all-defensive team players.

We aim to teach Miami Youth Basketball players how to train for the game.  We show them the proper technique, explain the why, and work on it at game speed under game conditions so they can integrate into their game.  Defensive training can help your player make the team, get more playing time, and become the best player they can become.    Call us today to get your Miami Youth Basketball player into one of our training sessions.


Lace Up your Basketball SneakersBasketball is fast paced game played with a high level of energy. Many movements from sprinting to cutting are involved every second. With this fun and exciting sport also comes the risk of injury. Help prolong your basketball playing days by starting at the foundation of injury prevention; Lacing your shoes properly. We all know the risks’ of playing with loosely laced shoes; trip and fall, twisted ankles, etc. But what many of us forget to remember is to not “over lace” our shoes. When asked to tie their shoes, many kids will immediately grab at their laces and pull them up ass high as they can, then tie a semi-weak knot. This is a bad form of lacing shoes. When shoe laces are pulled too tightly, it can lead to more problematic injuries such as cutting the flow of blood circulation to the feet.

Here are a few key tips to lacing shoes properly:

  1. Start with your socks. Make sure they are pulled up high enough, leaving no loose wrinkles inside the sneaker. Next, fit your foot in and pull up the tongue of the shoe as high as possible.
  2. When lacing, begin at the bottom of the tongue and work your way up. Pull each line up to snugly fit your foot mold, remembering not to pull too tightly.
  3. Once you reach the top, simply do your traditional circle-loop-and pull to get a firm fit.
  4. With careful practice, players will notice the difference almost immediately. They will begin to play smoother and more at ease. Keep this simple activity part of your daily practices to help prevent future injuries for our youth.

Legendary Coach John Wooden taught his players a very similar routine.  Make this routine yours.