If the old adage that “offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships” is true, then DeSoto’s (DeSoto, Texas) boys’ basketball team is going about capturing their title bling in a most peculiar way.
At some point during every practice, the Eagles slip off their shoes and socks, get down in a defensive stance and do textbook sliding drills.
“My podiatrist played for the Cleveland Browns and he told me that the last two weeks of their summer camp the coach would always take them to Atlantic City and have them run on the beach,” DeSoto coach Chris Dyer said. “They obviously ran barefoot and he said they never had any problems with ankle sprains or foot problems or major knee problems. Shoes have become so complex and the foot relies on the shoe for support. It’s for more than defense; it just helps, period. A lot of the kids haven’t had the foot problems they’ve had in the past.”
Certainly, Dyer isn’t the first coach to use an outside-the-box method to try and maximize his team’s potential.
Phil Jackson notoriously used the Zen philosophy of mindfulness to help motivate his teams. Eleven championship rings later he’s, arguably, the greatest suit to patrol an NBA sideline.
“These kids play a lot of AAU basketball and sometimes it takes us about two months to get them back right,” Dyer said. “It’s just something different that has been helping our guys stay healthy.”
Check out the barefoot slide drill below.
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