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it’s a tough job because I’m the guy that has to tell the best shooter that ever lived that it’s not good enough this is Brandon Payne I am Stefan Curry’s personal performance and skill coach and I’ve been working with him for almost a decade when I looked at

the landscape of players in the NBA there was only one player that I wanted to work with and that was Stefan curry when Steph and I first got together he was actually coming off of an ankle surgery so the first big ankle surgery that he had in the

NBA and at that time it was all about modifying drills modifying movements to make sure we were doing it safely and trying to build that back up I’m not the reason he’s gotten better Stefan is the talent I’m the guy that just throws a little bit on top

you know a little seasoning on top of the steak is what I like to say you know just to help him out I started coaching at the college level when I was still in college and one of the things that I had to do was not only the

strength conditioning part because at that level of basketball you don’t have a very big budget but I also had to handle a lot of our skill work so figuring that out then kind of led me to experimenting with different drills and then it got me wanting to learn

more about how the body learns how your brain and muscles communicate how to activate things and just basically how to create more efficient workouts to get the biggest bang for our buck so strength conditioning it used to be kind of a general term that we use for lifting

weights and getting stronger but now strength conditioning involves so much more including just the ability to be mobile and your joints flexible and your muscles that’s such a big part of what we do because if we don’t have fluid movement it’s really hard for players to take the

things that we’re showing them from a skill standpoint actually put it into games like right now in our offseason progression with stuff we’re not even really to a point to where we’re lifting we’re still working on mobility we’re still working on corrective actions from little injuries that happen

during last season is we don’t want things we do on the floor to be done at the incorrect time because we’re actually building in correct movement patterns we actually do have some technology that will let us know each day what the optimal training window will be based off

of central nervous system feedback and so we do use that to tell us what time of day the Train can tell you like your window from three to five as your strongest window today I’m trying to get him in and out in 90 minutes 90 minutes to two

hours but he’ll work out three consecutive days they’ll take one day off as we start to ramp up his movement in terms of how much he’s running each day and our drills will probably switch and go to a two day on one day off and that one day

off won’t be completely off it’ll be a strictly recovery day and then as you get closer to the season will probably take about four or five days consecutively off give them another mini vacation then we’ll go for about five straight days prior to training camp in the eighties

with the Warriors and we’re looking for as many ways as we can to have him improve without putting any additional miles on his body so you know virtual reality is something we’ve started adding in on days where he’s strictly recovery so now we’re going to talk about some

of the tennis ball and basketball drills we go through with Stefan and some of our other NBA players so we start with some basic tennis ball stuff and then we progressively overloaded what we’re looking for here as we’re looking at breathing patterns we’re looking at his posture we’re

looking at the tempo and speed of the basketball and we’re making sure that the basketball and tennis ball are operating independently so the speed of the tennis ball doesn’t dictate the speed of the basketball and the speed of the basketball doesn’t dictate the speed of the tennis ball

once we see that they can do that we’ll then progress them to the next level so now we’re gonna go with a bounce catch tall sketch to give you an idea of how detailed we are with this we’re even very specific about the path the ball takes under

Stefan’s legs we don’t want the ball to go under your glute we don’t want it under your but we want to under your knee we do so much lateral spacing so if you watch Stefan play during games he does a lot of spacing side to side he’s either

going between his legs are behind his back the path the ball takes affects his shooting mechanics so if he doesn’t get the ball cleanly from one side of his body to the other it will affect his shot the process of acquiring new skills is really is no different

than when you learn something in school so we have to train our brains to learn and absorb so we have to be strategic about how we stimulate the brain make sure we understand how long maximum stimulation lasts kinda like watching the same television show over and over again

and you know if you watched one episode of a show that’s really funny the third time you see it it’s not as funny the fourth time you see it you can recite every word the fifth time you see it there’s no stem whatsoever we watch heartrate we watch

just body in the Kansas we watch all those things to make sure we’re in an optimal learning environment at all times once we notice that his breathing pattern is normal and he’s not compensating or he’s not holding his breath because that’s the first place that we’ve seen neuromuscular

overload occur is with holding this breath we then will progress to the next drill so we’re going from controlling the tall’s controlling the bounce ourselves so now we have to react to things off the wall we’re using the tennis ball in the overload to judge how well he’s

processing information having the wall there also allows us the ability to take the difficulty level up a little bit higher with Stefan we don’t do a whole lot of single moves like that we want him to do a lot of things where it’s challenging his speed challenging his

hand-eye coordination making sure he’s coordinated through all the movements so what we’re gonna do now is what we call a tall scroll scroll so he’s gonna toss the tennis ball cross it twice and catch it with the same hands so you got a very quick hands very sharp

ball handling and you got to make sure you’re processing information because this is very easy to get overloaded here so now the way we progress this because footwork is so very very important to Stefan we now add a footwork element to what we call this a scissor foot

so this is probably in terms of difficulty kind of top of the line so now we’re gonna have one player one open hand to tennis ball so it’s almost like juggling with one hand while you’re dribbling with the other hand so this is the ultimate in terms of

being able to process information and handle the basketball at the same time so this is a decision-making drill so the ability to handle the basketball have all this external stimulus going on and execute is no different than making decisions late in games when he’s in tight situations he’s

a little bit fatigued there’s other really good players on the floor guys trying to guard him he’s got to make the right decision either pass the ball or take a shot so the overload of the tennis ball the overload of the second basketball all those things are overloading

what would be easier with one basketball so if you took the crossover you take the tennis ball away all of a sudden the basketball feels faster it feels easier the first place we look for the overload is with the mouth and the breathing sometimes you’ll see them you

know they’ll lick their lips or though they’ll clinch their jaws really tight or they’ll close their mouth the next place you kind of look is you’ll see them start to bounce you see them start to rot back and forth then you can look at their hips their hips

start to do funny things or their knees start to go what we call valgus the hard part with Stefan is he’s so intelligent he’s so good with all these drills I’m constantly having to come up with new things to try to challenge him to stimulate him but one

of the things that we still battle is Stefan on is on the two ball dribbling he likes to get into what we call a hinge position where he gets his nose out in front of his toes that’s something where I see it sometimes on TV when I’m out

of games it kind of drives me crazy because he knows better but a lot of trainers are really maybe fallen short in that category of understanding how important paying attention to mechanics and little things on stationary drills how’s that really affects things on the floor [Music] continuing with

our activation and now blending ball handling with footwork so important to our our players especially Stephan to have very clean and efficient footwork so one of the ways we work on that is with the footwork ladder so traditional agility ladder stuff is done without a basketball but since

we’re dealing with point guards and we’re dealing with ball skills we want to mix the basketball into our footwork ladder we’re looking at breathing patterns to make sure that the player is not so overloaded that they’re not breathing we’re also looking for fluidity this movement of the hands

moving to the feet making sure that everything is moving together and moving quickly okay so the next one we’re going to go to is called a shuffle hop and a shuffle hop is where we really have to focus and really have to concentrate this is where we’re going

to look at the foot patterns because we want to be quick but we want to be efficient the probably the biggest mistake we see players make on the ladder is they take extra steps for extra tap steps and that essentially slows you down because every extra step we

take is another step of defender gets an opportunity to get in front of us the way the Warriors played they’re very spread out there’s a lot of movement involved and you can’t really turn your head from side to side to see what’s going on both sides so he’s

got to be able to see all that in one field of vision so having the ability to help and train that with the virtual realities become very important to us because he gives us another way to improve without having to move too much there’s several different types of

drills or games that he plays and there’s games last 10 to 15 minutes sometimes there’s objects that are moving towards him and he has multiple objects he’s got to select a specific one sometimes there’s multiple objects and he has the multitask within this basically it’s just a way

to where we’re training decision-making I think what he’s improved with the most is his ability to create space and the one thing that he’s done over the last really six or seven years is he has now become a master of controlling his defender putting them in the position

that he wants them to be in or to get to the space what he knows the shot is [Music] so for Stefan to create space and for Stefan to keep the ball safe when he’s driving to the basket we have to make sure that our shoulders are getting

to the inside of our defenders chest so we call it the chest battle if I can get my shoulder in the middle of my defenders chest the ball is protected and I’m playing with leverage so with this drill we want to make sure that he’s twisting and turning

his shoulders as the ball is going between his legs so all these drills we can add footwork we add numbers we have reactionary elements you have to be able to handle the ball you have to be able to make decisions you got to make shots off of it

okay what are the training tools that we use and it is highly effective with Steph is the Werdum axe and what the Werdum axe does for us is it allows us to add a little bit of external resistance to each movement so not only does it help us

with our movement in terms of our acceleration and our deceleration but it also helps us learn things in a quicker manner so adding light loading to a movement really aids in muscle memory and it helps us absorb what we’re doing and it’s very important for a guy like

Stefan that stops and starts and changes direction a lot we really have to train his decelerating patterns just as much if not more than as accelerating patterns because we have to be able to change directions efficiently and mechanically sound [Music] just like with the other drills any time

we’re trying to get Stefan to learn something quick we’re trying to add something new to his game a quick way for us to help him learn it is to hook them up to the verdure Max and have him go through that move specifically four or five times and

we’ll take him off of it we’ll go right to the court go right into that drill and he’ll be able to execute it smoothly a lot more fluidly than he could if we didn’t use this machine he was the first guy to really recognize that well if I

can’t get by the guy in front of me there’s always space behind me I think that he’s kind of revolutionized basketball in that way you know my eleven-year-old son doesn’t really think a whole lot about taking a 22-foot Jumper in a game and you know maybe ten years

ago we’re gonna never let a kid that age take that shot but basketball is now evolving to that point and that’s all because Stefan has changed


July 22, 2020



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