Thank you for 2018


A huge thank you to everyone who helped make 2018 such a great year at Split Second Basketball. With too many people to thank and too many highlights to name, we won’t even try to capture them all. However, I would like to point out a couple and express our gratitude for all of you who helped make it possible.


The community that you are a part of at Split Second Basketball really is a team effort….and one that I’m extremely proud to be involved with. While I’ve been part of many strong teams over the years, I can honestly say I’ve never been with a better functioning group than the one currently running Split Second. My wife Lesley and I are in our 9th year of leading Split Second, however it’s been the last few years that our team has really grown into it’s own. We miss John Dumont and Joey Vickery (who is in Europe with his daughter) but are thrilled to have such a great team to carry on the culture and message that they helped to start.

The addition of Kevin Pribilsky, one of the hardest working, highest integrity people I’ve met in my life was the kickstarter to our growth and things have snowballed from there. Eric D’Andrea, who joined us in 2017, is a fantastic human and basketball coach.

Dave W and Adriano C

In 2018, we were incredibly lucky to have David Wagner come back from playing professionally in Australia to join us full time. Coach Adriano Catena, who came all the way from playing professionally in Argentina to join us, was a huge addition to the team because of his energy, passion and dedication to the players and the game of basketball. The best part is that we got a 2 for 1 deal with the addition of Adriano’s better half Val Mata, who is now our Communication Coordinator and is responsible for so much of the look and feel that you see from Split Second and many of the special projects we take on.

While this comprises the current list of our full time team members, there are dozens of other people that have played a key role in helping Split Second teach players the RIGHT way to play. Thanks so much to all of you!

Four people who played especially important roles in 2018 at Split Second were:

  • Josh Bowie- for the care, attention and passion he brings to every session at the Arbutus Club
  • Pat Simon and Jess Hanson- for their roles as full time summer interns at Split Second, coaching teams, camps and being mentors to several young athletes
  • Virgil Hill- for his passion, knowledge and dedication to basketball and his help coaching our U13 group all the way to a National Club Championship
Eric B, Eric D, Dave W, Adriano C, Pat S, Kevin P


Thank you to all of you players who have pushed yourselves every day to be the best possible version of yourself. We know how much is asked of you between obligations at school, homework, with your family, in other sports or activities….and the list goes on. We know that you could have any number of excuses why you can’t be there or can’t perform on any given day.

However, we also know that the majority of you come in the gym every day, willing to work, willing to listen, willing to be coached. We are passionate about teaching you the RIGHT way to play basketball and truly appreciate when you show up ready to learn and get a little bit better. This is why we do what we do…so thank you.


To all the parents and extended families who support and encourage our player’s basketball development- Thank you! None of what we do would be possible without the support of families and the greater community. The hours spent in the car, the money for training and tournaments, the emotional support when things don’t go well….they may not be remarked upon, but they definitely don’t go unnoticed.

We’d also like to thank you for your support of our KIDSPLAY initiative that we started in 2018. With your help, we’ve been able to raise thousands of dollars to provide financial support for dozens of athletes to get great basketball training. Tax receipts will be mailed out by Sport BC in January to everyone who donated.


Our basketball program wouldn’t be what it is without the following great partners. We really appreciate that all these partners are willing to open their beautiful facilities to our community and provide young athletes with a clean and safe place to pursue their passion. Thank you.

York House SchoolVancouver Talmud Torah
SaintsCrofton House School
West Point Grey AcademySouthpointe Academy
The Arbutus ClubWesbrook Village CC


Arguably our biggest achievement of 2018 has been our ability to offer more programs to more players without losing any of the quality that makes our programs special. This involves a lot of work by our team…but it is a challenge we’re up for. In 2018 we had more skills class, more camps and more teams than ever before. If was rewarding to help more players than ever as well.

Special Moments

In the midst of all the basketball training in 2018, here are a few of the special moments that really stuck out:

  • January- formed a new partnership with Saltus Athletic Academy to give Cobra players great strength and conditioning training
  • February- several Split Second players compete in the high school provincial championships, including on the title winning Saints Jr, VC Grade 8 and York House Grade 8 teams
  • March- Split Second coaches Eric B and Adriano win a high school provincial championship with a York House Grade 8 team featuring 5 Cobra players
  • May and June- Split Second enters several tournaments locally, plus Washington and Oregon, playing hundreds of games during a successful Spring Cobra season
  • June- the Cobra U16 boys go 8-3 at the Gonzaga team camp
  • August- winning the U13 boys division at the National Club Championships
  • August- season ending party at Kits beach. It was with a sense of pride that the coaches watched a mixed group of boys and girls of various ages, organizing their games and playing team oriented basketball…something seldom seen at Kits Beach
  • September- after several years of running camps in the community, Split Second finally opens year round Skills Training Programs in Delta at Southpointe Academy on Tuesday and Thursday nights
  • October- all of the coaches and some Split Second families rush back from the Thanksgiving tournament to see Adriano and Val married on Kits Beach
  • November-after 10 years of club basketball in BC, there is finally a league for U10-13 boys to get convenient, competitive games throughout the year with the BCCBA. Split Second gets off to a great start going 8-0 across the 4 divisions
  • November- Split Second organizes sales for several hundred tickets and plays at halftime of 4 games during the inaugural NCAA Vancouver Showcase tournament
  • December- Split Second runs a coaching clinic for a few dozen elementary and high school coaches to help them get ready for a successful upcoming school basketball season

Thank you for being part of our basketball community in 2018. We are very excited about some major developments in the works for 2019 which will help Split Second do an even better job of player development….and look forward to seeing you in the new year.

Note: There is still space in some of our Skills Training Programs and a few spots left in our 3-on-3 Leagues starting in the middle of January.

Adriano and Val’s wedding at Kits Beach

To 17 year old Eric

Congratulations! Today is the start of your senior year of high school basketball. I’m writing you from a few decades future (27 years to be precise), and while I don’t want to ruin all the surprises coming for you, I’d like put a few things in perspective to help you on your way.

Being your senior year, you are going to feel a pressure that comes from thinking this might be the end of your basketball journey. It turns out that this is just the beginning…but you probably wouldn’t even believe me if I told you what comes later, so I won’t go into that.

Read more

Feeling stuck and disappointed might be the best thing that ever happens to you

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I got an email from a player named Mike last week that basically said “I’m soooo frustrated that I’m thinking of quitting bball. I feel like no matter how much I train I just never improve that much. Help!”

Here’s the response I wrote to Mike. It’s worth reading because the feelings that Mike is expressing are something we all go through at some point in our career and something we need to learn how to manage.

Read more

Tortoise and the Hare

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Look at the big picture

The story of the Tortoise and the Hare originated 2500 years ago but is even more relevant in today’s age of instant gratification than it was when first written. With Google, cell phones, movies, email and Twitter (to name just a few), we are surrounded by cultural forces that condition us to expect nearly instantaneously results.

Although we live in the world of the Hare, when it comes to developing good athletes, we need to start channeling the Tortoise.

Read more

How to improve your ability to quickly read on-court situations

There have been some really interesting studies in the last few years that have examined what exactly is going in the brains of elite performers. What scientists have discovered can directly help you improve your basketball game.

In one of these experiments, pictures of various volleyball situations (I know…volleyball…but stick with me because the conclusion is what matters) were flashed from a projector onto a screen. The pictures showed real action shots of players on the court. In some of these pictures the volleyball was visible, while in others the ball had just left the frame and therefore didn’t show up in the photo.

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How to bridge the gap

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The Dream

Imagine for a second that you’re playing in the NBA. You’re one of the best shooters in the world and you’re tearing up the league.

What is your game like? How does it feel to move like this? What does your shot look like? Really try to picture and feel what it’s like to score against some of the best players in the world.

The reality is: you’re not there yet. You’ve still got a long way to go.

Bridging the gap

Obviously there is a big gap between what you’re capable of right now and what you just pictured. The multi-million dollar question is how do you bridge this gap? What’s stopping you from performing like this?

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How to be quicker without rushing


I have to admit that it took me a LONG time to develop a quick release. Years.

While I may not have understood exactly how important Split Seconds are at that time, it’s not like I didn’t realize that being quicker would help my game. So why did it take me so long?

Every time I tried to speed up my release, I felt like I was RUSHING my shot.

I’m sure you know that feeling. When you try to do something a little quicker than you’re used to, instead of speeding up you become clumsy, lose all smoothness, and paradoxically, often execute slower.

I wanted to get quicker, but every time I tried, I felt like I rushed my shot. Rushing never works for a jumpshot…so I was stuck. Maybe this is where you are at now?

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The science behind what makes Lebron the best in the game.

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Most people would agree that Lebron James is the best player in the game today…but have you ever thought about what makes him so great?

At first glance it might seem like his superior strength and explosiveness, his general athleticism, are what make him the best. The guy is a physical specimen.

However, when you break down the little things he does on the court, like the guys from ESPN’s sports science have done in this video, you see that there’s a lot more subtlety to Lebron’s game than his 40+ inch vertical.

Read more

Why we fail to produce more truly skilled players.

10,000 hour rule

Becoming an elite player is about developing great habits, and then practice, practice, practicing (10,000 hours) until they become automatic.

The reason most young athletes don’t develop into great players isn’t lack of desire, or talent, or even willingness to put in the necessary practice time…it’s that the way we train players is totally backwards.

Think about it! Young players with little knowledge of the game start “practicing” their skills. In this crucial stage of development, when his initial basketball habits are formed, the player has virtually no idea what really makes the difference between success and failure. Read more

The best way to hold a basketball…and develop great hands!

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Catching and holding the ball

It’s really simple. You learned how to do it before you were in Kindergarten. Nothing to think about here, right?

Not necessarily. Let’s take a closer look at your habit to make sure you’re catching and holding the ball in a way that makes you a split second faster doing everything on the court.

After all, none of us can afford to lose even a few hundreds of a second if we want to be the best.

Hold the ball with thumbs parallel to each other and a few inches apart.

Notice how the thumbs both point directly up forming roughly parallel lines and a few inches apart.  Do not drop your thumb, because this will make you slower and take away power.

basketball training, hand position, cobra habit
Proper hand position= thumbs parallel and wrinkles in the wrist


Use fingertip control.
Your finger tips should pull back slightly, which gives your hand a rounder shape.  The ball  should touch all 5 fingertips and the “meaty” pad at the base of your thumb.


Always have your wrist 100% flexed.
In the picture above I am holding the ball on my *right side, setting up for a right handed shot, dribble or pass. Therefore I actively pull back on my right wrist so that it is completely flexed while my left wrist is just passively flexed.

basketball training in Vancouver
Easily shift to left handed action without moving hands


This is the ideal way to hold the ball because this position:

  • Allows you to quickly change over to a left handed pass, dribble or shot without having to change your hand position…instead, simply rotate the ball and pull back to load the other wrist more.
  • Enables you to get the full flexion you need in your wrist to generate instant power.  This is very, very important for Split Second Habits.
  • Is a perfect set up for your shot. As a right handed shooter,  without any adjustments your left hand turns into your guide hand as you bring the ball to set position. Notice how your left hand is already perfectly aligned as a guide hand, at 90 degrees to the basket.
basketball training, shooting technique, hand position
Kobe demonstrates how catching in this position leads to good shooting form
basketball training, guide hand is important to shooting
Kobe following through with perfect guide hand


Where do you use this?

This should be your default habit pretty much any time you are holding the ball on the court. This hand placement on the ball makes up an important part of the COBRA habit.

A HUGE part of your development as an ELITE player is learning to catch with this proper hand position in more challenging situations.

Start with a one foot pass off the wall to yourself. Easy to properly place your hands and immediately get your wrist cocked? Then move back a few feet.

An elite player can receive a cross court bullet pass, down low, off to his none-shooting side and still catch with the correct hand and wrist position…to allow him to immediately go into his shot without adjusting/moving his hands. This is where you need to get to.

If you’re running the fast break and someone fires you a pass, without thinking your hands should be in the correct position…and then almost SUCK the ball in to that sweet spot.

This is the definition of “SOFT” HANDS!

It’s also KEY to use this hand and wrist position whenever you pick the dribble up off the floor…especially if  you are shooting off the dribble .  This is more difficult when you are dribbling with your non-shooting hand.

For example, a right hand shooter dribbling with his left hand should have the habit of keeping his right hand close to the ball to protect it. This also allows him to be ready right away to pick up the ball with both hands.

This right handed shooter should meet the dribble low to the floor with both hands and immediately load his right wrist while putting his left hand in proper position and coming to set position.


Any exceptions? Long passes in the open court.

passing technique, basketball training habits
Nash dropping his thumbs- only use this unguarded in the open court


Do not make this your normal holding habit because it will make you slower, especially if you decide to shoot or dribble. However, if you are open and have lots of time, dropping your thumbs under the ball can help you make a long 2 handed chest pass.


*any left handers reading this article need to envision the mirror opposite for these examples.

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