Some say the art of stealing can't be taught. For Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, it's all about quick reaction and clever misdirection.
"Most of my skills come [from] anticipation," Rondo says. "I try to disguise myself and make it seem like I'm not looking or guarding my defender."
Walter Norton Jr., former strength and conditioning coach for the 17-time world champion Celtics, believes that "if you don't beat your guy within the first two steps, then you won't beat him at all."
"My motto is to get the basketball—not to give up the basketball. A steal is the first pass of a transition bucket for me," Rondo says. "When an opposing point guard is dribbling in front of me, I might count their dribbles and try to anticipate maybe the fourth, fifth time he dribbles the ball, and then go for the steal."
Disguising your defensive coverage is so simple that anyone can pull it off. The trick? Be quick and make a move on the ball when your opponent least expects it.
To develop Rondo-like speed and reaction time, check out STACK's interview with Norton Jr., who shares 15 tips on increasing quickness and overall athleticism.
Winning games through shiftiness and steals is sufficient motivation for Rondo to go all out every night. However, to add extra incentive, for every steal Rondo makes this season, Red Bull will donate $500 to the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Center. Based on Rondo's career steals average, the donation could exceed $85,000.
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