Member Spotlight – Kate Dufour

Just Hoops Member Spotlight

Kate Dufour is a Freshman at Dublin Jerome, and has been a member at Just Hoops for about 1 year.  Kate gets her workouts in nearly every morning, where you can find her working on Mikans, Ball handling, and getting different types of shots in. 

Kate understands working off the dribble, off the pass, and catch and shoot are all important types of shots she needs to work on to be an effective shooter in the game.  We are excited to see this athlete continue to develop as she is dedicated to getting just 1% better every day. 

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Just Hoops 7

Translating your skills from practice to the game is an extremely important part of being an efficient basketball player on the court. The most productive way to make that transition is to practice how you play and practice the shots you will see during a basketball game. This is why we created the Just Hoops 7. 

The Just Hoops 7 is a workout program that consists of touch shooting, off the catch shooting, off the dribble shooting, the Weekly Challenge, drills on the Gun, and ball handling. The Just Hoops 7 will have 7 days of workouts for you to complete. Each workout will consist of 7 drills for you to work on. Every 14 days we come out with a new workout plan so athletes can add new skills to their arsenal and get out of their comfort zone. 

One thing we will always emphasize at Just Hoops is game speed. Game speed means exactly what it sounds like, practicing how you play during a game. To get the most out of the Just Hoops 7 we will always encourage everyone to go game speed on every drill.  

The Just Hoops 7 is a great workout plan for athletes who are willing to expand their game and challenge themselves. At Just Hoops we have seen that a plan and routine will lead to a more productive workout. If you have not tried the Just Hoops 7, I encourage all athletes to try this program and allow themselves to get out of their comfort zone. 

Every Just Hoops 7 will have a different quote at the top of the page, this week’s Just Hoops 7 quote is “Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character”- John Wooden 

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Member Spotlight – John Stearns

John Stearns is a Senior at Olentangy Orange High School and has been a member at Just Hoops since the beginning of Summer 2020. Outside of his practices and summer routine with his team, John dedicated an hour a day this summer to shooting at Just Hoops.

He knew going into his senior season at OOHS he needed to put in consistent effort and hard work to improve his shooting. Knowing that it takes time and dedication, John had great summer gains.

We are excited to follow this guard as he plays this season. This dedication and hard work will follow him far after his basketball career.

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Kobe Bryant On Instilling Work Ethic In Your Kids

Do you instill the same work ethic in your kids?

I do. You do it by repetition. By simply the act of working everyday. You can’t talk your children into working hard. That’s the one thing that drives me crazy. I have parents come up to me and ask: ‘how can I get my kid to work hard? What do I need to tell them? Can you talk to my kid?’ I say ‘listen, it’s not something you can talk through. Its a behavioral thing. You have to get up everyday and do the the work. Consistently, do the work.’

My kids (activities) they work everyday and that’s how you instill it in them where it becomes a behavioral thing. It doesn’t matter what they decide to do. But she understands the discipline that it takes to work at something every single day. So whether she wants to become a writer, a director, a doctor, a lawyer, she will have those characteristics.

Its observing. It’s seeing you. It’s not just me, it’s my wife as well. Her commitment to the children. Making sure they are on point, on schedule, with school work, everything is sharp. Seeing me everyday, getting up to train and work hard.

The example has to be where it is at. A lot of parents are “do as I say, not as I do.”

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Duke Basketball: Skill Development

Takeaways for all players, coaches & trainers:

What to work on? What is going to get you on the floor.

What is the difference between a good player and a great player? The fundamentals and the way they do things.

The biggest adjustment for players going into college? The basics.

  • Coach Chris Carrawell: “The league we play in, they are not going to let you dribble 25 times and shoot a step-back 3. What we try to get these guys to understand is simple in college basketball is really effective. In the NBA, the teams that win do the simple stuff well.”
  • Coach Jon Scheyer: Emphasize shooting spot shots. “We really like to drive the ball and get drive and kicks. So being able to knock down your open 3’s is a big thing. Moving forward, we start building in specific movements. Coming off screens, working on change of direction moves and getting into the paint and focusing on footwork.”

Shooting 100-200 game-like shots will go further then spending a lot of unnecessary time in the gym working on parts of your game that does not translate to live play.

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Kobe Bryant with Nick Saban on the importance of loving the process

1). Edit your life – What is most important to you? Things will become clearer very quickly.

2). If you want to be at a excellent level; you have to be excellent all of the time. It’s a way of life.

3). The Process – loving the daily grind and putting the puzzle together. The successes and setbacks are all a part of the journey.

4). Everybody wants to be the beast but not everybody wants to do what the beasts do.

5). With patience you have to be impatient but you can’t get frustrated. Ask yourself: “why am I not playing and what can I do differently?”

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October Newsletter for Coaches, Players & Parents

The October newsletter features an article giving tips on game day preparations & routines to help every freshmen athlete build good habits.  This edition features offensive breakdown shooting drills to use with your team on The Gun from 2018 National Champion Head Coach, Muffet McGraw of Notre Dame Women’s Basketball. Read articles on how Kemba Walker has evolved as a player & how the winningest college football coach of all-time built his philosophy based on “winning with no.” Lastly, learn from UNC Women’s Soccer Coach, Anson Dorrance, on his competitive cauldron that he developed by studying Coach Dean Smith & has helped produce 22 National Championships.

Click the link below to read our October Coaches Newsletter.

Just Hoops October Newsletter

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Nick Kellogg – Insight from former Bobcat & current Pro

Nick Kellogg, former Columbus standout at St Francis DeSales High School, is currently playing professionally in France for Chorale Roanne Basket. Kellogg is contributing 8.0 PPG, 2.2 RPG, & shooting 92% at the FT line for his team which currently has a 12-4 record. He ended his successful playing career for Ohio University as the all-time record holder in the Mid-American Conference for career 3-point shots made. Just Hoops is very fortunate to have Nick work with our athletes for 1 on 1 personal training’s, clinics & team workouts throughout his off-season.

What advice would you give to younger players: Play for what you can give the game, not the other way around. Too many times guys play the game for the wrong reasons and it translates to the court at some point. If you’re playing for what you think the game can give you, then you are doing it wrong. Learn the game and the fundamentals and play for the love of it. The extra stuff is fine but if that is your sole motivation then you won’t make it very far.

What is your favorite quote that translates to basketball & life: “Fair is not equal.” This was a quote told to me by my pops. It’s applicable to all facets of life. Sports, the workplace, relationships you name it. Fair is not always equal. Fair playing time for two players on a team doesn’t necessarily mean the same amount of minutes. Fair pay for two employees doesn’t necessarily equate to the same dollar amount. You’ll save yourself some trouble if this is something you grasp early in life. You can’t worry about what you think is fair or unfair in regards to someone else.

Most memorable highlight from your playing career at DeSales: Getting the opportunity to play Varsity my freshman year with my older brother, Alex. It was one of the best teams in school history. We made it to the state semi-final game before losing to Dayton Dunbar. Dunbar went on to win the championship but the experience was something I’ll never forget.

What was the biggest adjustment for you on the court when you began your freshman year at OU: Understanding that you aren’t the “man” anymore. Everyone playing at the division 1 level on your respective team was typically the “man” at their respective high schools. So you’re coming into an environment with a lot of talent and you have to adjust your mindset and attitude accordingly or you’re setting yourself up for failure.

What are you most proud of during your career at Ohio University: Being a part of arguably the best team in school history, and reaching the 3rd round of the NCAA (Sweet 16).

What is your mindset when you go to the gym to work on your game: Be a “get from guy”, not a “get through” guy. “Get through” guys go to workouts and simply make sure they get through it. They do the drills at a good pace to finish the workout. “Get guys” have a different level of intensity and work to get something FROM the workout. Regardless of how small, those are the guys that improve the fastest because they pick something to focus on in every workout that they will take FROM each workout.

How can players use Just Hoops to improve their game: Just Hoops is a great place for kids to work on specific parts of their game. It gives them the opportunity to get a lot of shooting repetition in as well as challenging ball handling workouts. I believe the 1 on 1 training provides kids with another unique option to improve their skills and learn from coaches who are knowledgeable and experienced in the game of basketball.

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Why Do You Coach?

Coaches have one of the most powerful platforms in young people’s lives. For many athletes a coach will serve as a mentor, teacher, friend and counselor. The coaching profession gives individuals endless opportunities to influence, empower and inspire others. One coach can impact more young people in a year than most people are afforded in a lifetime. Every coach must remind themselves that with “great power comes great responsibility.” You give your players memories, for better or for worse, that stay with them until the day they die.

Why do you take the responsibility that comes with being called coach? Every individual has his/her own reasons and motivations for joining the coaching profession. Your inspirations for coaching will ultimately define your coaching philosophy and how you communicate with your players. I strongly encourage that you ask yourself the following questions to delve deep into your own coaching narrative:

  • Why do I coach?
  • Why do I coach the way I do?
  • What does it feel like to be coached by me?
  • How do I define and measure success?

There are many young people playing sports who feel diminished and discouraged by the very activities that should strengthen, encourage and vindicate them. It is imperative that we understand there are two types of coaches that exist: transactional and transformational.


Transactional coaches use players as tools to meet their personal needs for validation, status and identity. They look for what they can get out of coaching and not what they can give. Transactional coaches often ignore the athletes’ developmental needs and often manipulate and distort the values of winning and losing. Many athletes obey these coaches out of necessity but never fully accept their belief systems or buy into their programs. Athletes develop a strategy to participate in the transactions. They activate the process of trying to satisfy their coach by exchanging their performance for their praise and acceptance.


In comparison, transformational coaches impart life-changing messages; are other-centered; and use their platform to nurture and transform players. A transformational coach realizes the power of the coaching platform to inspire, motivate and produce positive change in his/her players. The only way to coach young people is to seek to transform their sense of their own worth, talents and value. Athletes follow these coaches because they sense their authenticity and both parties believe in one another.

To better understand our coaching tactics, we must look internally into our own narrative and reflect on both our glorious and our hurtful experiences with sports and coaches. Backtracking and tracing the unfulfilled needs we felt as athletes will help us in determining how those unmet needs can drive us as coaches. Self-understanding leads to understanding others, which can lead to life-changing transformation. Great coaching demands introspection, integrity, and integration of the coach’s life history. This can be a grueling and challenging process to better ourselves as individuals but one that will allow us to understand our obligation is to coach for our players and not for ourselves.

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Youth Coaching: Enjoy the Experience

Coach Brian Agler, Head Coach of the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks, provided Central Ohio coaches with insights and lessons he has learned throughout his coaching journey. Just Hoops by Shoot-A-Way was honored to host the coaching clinic to give back to the local basketball community and provide an opportunity for those coaches searching for more knowledge. Coach Agler has an exceptional understanding of the intricacies of coaching as he has coached both boys’ and girls’ teams from the youth level all the way to his current post in the WNBA. Agler preached that coaching covers more than the X’s and O’s and developing practice plans. Every coach has the platform to develop skills that the players will use long after their playing days to better prepare them to be successful in life.

Take a deep breath, be patient and enjoy the experience you are afforded as a coach. As a coach you cannot base your happiness or how you view your players on the wins and losses. Rather, from start to finish, track your team and players’ improvement in all areas. Making gradual improvements throughout the season to improve the players’ individual skill sets, understanding of team concepts and playing together as team will have lifelong impacts. After the season concludes and you are looking back on the impact you made measure improvement on whether your players have a better understanding of teamwork, the value of working with others and the importance of sportsmanship.

The coaching profession oftentimes is evaluated on wins and losses. It is challenging to ignore external factors but regardless of the outcome of the game your demeanor should stay the same. Stay the course and be consistent with your message. It is easy to become a victim of your emotions and lose sight of improvement if you are basing it on the scoreboard. The most important element of basketball you can foster with your team is quality skill work. Agler highlighted that the game is moving away from physicality and heading towards versatility and skill. Playing multiple positions and possessing an ability to pass, dribble and shoot are the most coveted capabilities in the game today. Dedicate a large percentage of your practices to skill development and making drills competitive. Structuring and fostering competition will provide avenues for the players to learn how to deal with adversity. Adversity will present itself in many forms throughout your journey as a coach but give your best effort to enjoy the experience and it may just trickle down to your players.

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