James Harden is one of the premier shooting guards in the NBA today. Having won the 2018 NBA Most Valuable Player, the Houston Rocket has made a career as one of the best offensive players in the game. He is not only a master at scoring, what truly sets James Harden apart from most players is his ability to pass the ball and incorporate all the weapons on the court that he can.
In 2012, James Harden was awarded the NBA's Sixth Man Award given to the player who is chosen as the best player to come off the bench and support their team. He contributed a great deal to his team making it to the NBA Finals.
In just six years, James Harden would develop his game to the point of being awarded the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. One of the secret weapons in this transition was his relationship and the role of his development Coach Irv Roland.
Check out this short video below from ESPN that gives you a sneek peak of the types of things that development Coach Irv Roland would work on with James Harden.
"James is like Chris Brown with a basketball."--Coach Irv Roland
According to Irv Roland, James Harden has some of the best foot work in the game of basketball. So much so that many players try to emulate it. Despite being one of the best, this is something that Irv would continue to work on with James to refine. Working the strengths, keeps them strengths and makes them better.
By taking moves that James Harden has already used and isolating them, Irv Roland would scientifically break them down and add a "step back" to them to make them even more difficult to stop or deal with from the opponent's perspective. The step back creates separation between James Harden and the defender to allow him to shoot or pass the ball with more ease. Constantly refining and tweaking those moves to ensure that James is always one step or "step back" ahead of the competition is a key approach in Irv Roland's philosophy.
Another aspect of Irv Roland's training approach that helped with James Harden's offensive output on the court was the use of strength training and endurance drills both before, during and after practice. The goal of strength training prior to the practice is to fatigue the muscles before the intense practice and force the body and more importantly the mind to push through that fatigue and still perform at the highest levels.
By ending practice with an endurance drill like the "Beard 100" that was described in the video, ensures that James Harden has developed both the stamina and mental fortitude to be at 100% even with the game ends. Ending the practice with 100 three-point shots with the goal of improving performance from one practice to the next, ensures that James is ready for the rigors of the NBA. By working so hard BEFORE competition, it makes the day of competition seem much more manageable and like a cake walk.
"He could also pass the ball. (on what set James Harden apart from other players)" --Irv Roland
When asked what was the one skill that helped James Harden go from the NBA's top "Sixth Man" to MVP would be his ability to create offense as a shooter and as a passer. This coupled with his ability to seek out contact and be physical, driving to the basket has made him one of the NBA's premier athletes.
This ability to seek out contact and be physical when he has to is also something that Irv Roland would work on with him. Simulating situations where James Harden would drive to the basket and Irv Roland would stick to his hip and swat at the ball would help him develop his ability to withstand the battle in the paint.
Irv Roland has successfully worked with many athletes much like he has done with James Harden. His success is not limited to this future NBA Hall of Famer, he develops players at every level. He has now joined forces with Effective Basketball to bring the same training and skill development advice to everyone.
You can now take advantage of Irv Roland's years of NBA player development experience and make him your own secret weapon. Check out his Efficient Isolation Drills and his many other instructionals over at EffectiveBasketball.com. You can get your copy here or at the BUY NOW link below.