The “Swiss Army Knife Player”

In training and basketball, I refer to the “Swiss Army Knife Player” to encourage growth in all areas.  I dedicate this to a 6’9” 240lb beast who is a smooth shooting guard at heart, or even better the 6’3” 175lb undersized post player who was a SG last year.  Because of overall lack of height, he has to play the center position his senior year in high school.  This is your chance to increase your role and make yourself a “Swiss Army Knife Player”. Author- Mike Atkinson

30.8 ppg, 11.4 apg, 12.5 rpg.

Oscar Robertson averaging a triple double in a whole season
Magic and Bird

“The Swiss Army Knife Player”

  • A player that has the tools and abilities for all obstacles thrown their way during competition
  • The analogy  of a famous brand of tools built for any circumstance

(kids don’t play with knives)

The Tools needed to become a “Swiss Army Knife Player”

1.  Preparation-

  • Become “student of the game”
  • Prepare for multiple positions in off-season
  • Dynamic training and skill work
  • Understand multiple assignments and match-ups in competition

2.  Quality Movement-

  • In order to defend as either an undersized post player or as an oversized guard, you must have mastered the fundamental movement patterns
  • Continued improvement in your lateral movement
  • Footwork, strength and ball skills should  compliment  each other

3. Overall Knowledge of the Game ,Feel and Anticipation-

  • Ability to see the big picture is referred to as court vision
  • Proprioception and court awareness allow you to play anywhere on the floor
  • SAK players  often have a similar quality or feel for the court comparable to a midfielder in soccer

360 court vision

4. Have No boundaries-

  • Working on all the facets of the game will make you more versatile
  • The biggest mistake players make is to limit themselves
  • SAK players often look passed the norm and push creativity in the game

5.Take Advantages and Mismatches-

  • Understand when and where to use the proper tools
  • The ultimate SAK player is a match-up issue for opposing players
  • The ability to go inside on a smaller defender or outside on a bigger, slower defender

Who has the advantage?

Players are bigger, faster and stronger.  The game has changed for good. Today’s young HS players must  have multiple abilities in order to succeed at an elite level on the court.  Their  preparation is elite.
(See Las Vegas standout and National Top 5 HS player)

About Michael Atkinson

Mike Atkinson,CSCS, is the owner of Elite Pro Performance and the on court performance director at Sierra Strength & Speed. Considered to be a specialist of Keiser performance equipment, Mike is known as a hybrid basketball performance trainer focusing on strength, movement, and basketball fundamentals. Atkinson’s experience and current work with NBA Player Development Specialist Aubrey McCreary has given him a unique set of skills to train players on sports specific patterns and positioning at a professional level. Atkinson’s training experience includes work with numerous NBA draftees, multiple Division 1 athletes, and other professional clients. He has also worked as a performance consultant in the NBA Development League and has directed basketball performance training camps and clinics for youth athletes on the West coast.
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