Sunday, October 19, 2014

J-Rock Publishing Announces New Initiative To Provide Clothing Assistance To Young People In Greater Boston Area




Not Non-Profit, Not For Profit, For Improvement

I have worked for and with many non-profits throughout the years, and I have noticed how good intentions and good ideas get distorted by having to collect specific data from a specific demographic in order to receive funding, recognition, and support.

This Naked Earth is an initiative and imprint of J-Rock Publishing which recognizes and fills the need of a void here in the Greater Boston area.  J-Rock Publishing has provided clothing to residents of the City of Somerville for over a decade, This Naked Earth will reach out to individuals on a broader scale and serve a larger population.   This Naked Earth will provide clothing and accessories for young adults who are going through a difficult transition in their lives, and are unable to fully maintain a fresh smelling and presentable wardrobe. 

This is a simple endeavor which has been created in order to provide clean, fashionable, and functional clothing to young people who are in need of some extra assistance.  Many of today’s youth find themselves in unstable situations, often without a steady residence to sleep and shower.  This Naked Earth will provide clothing so young people can continue to go to school, work, and not feel embarrassed about interacting within society. 

This Naked Earth’s target audience is young people between the ages of 13- 23, but of course is open and willing to provide assistance if you do not fall in-between that age range.  Let us know your situation and we will do our best to provide you with the needed help.

If you are interested in finding out more about This Naked Earth and would like to donate items, please get in touch.

Peace and Respect,

Jasen Sousa

Founder of J-Rock Publishing

Office Phone (781) 254-9123


Catch me on the web at:

Improving Your Basketball Speed By Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops

Being fast on the basketball court is a fundamental way to increase your productivity and effectiveness as a basketball player.

What Is “Basketball Speed” and How Is It Different From ‘Regular Speed”?

Basketball speed is different from regular speed because basketball is not played in a straight line.  Basketball is a game which requires constant cuts all while contorting your body in a variety of different ways in order to find open space.  This could mean hard cuts to the left or right while being able to change the pace of your speed.

Non-linear movements and accelerations which might need to take place when your body is an awkward position. During a basketball game, when you launch yourself forward, you are usually not doing so from a stationary position.  It usually occurs when the player is moving, rolling, or in constant motion, going from one pace to a faster pace.

Speed is crucial during a game as the team and the players who are able to get up and down the court the fastest, react to lose balls, and make split second decisions, are often the most successful.
How Can I Develop Basketball Speed?

Building strength in and working the proper muscles.
Legs: Strengthening leg muscles (calf, hamstring, quadricep) will increase the body’s ability to accelerate.  Some of the results can be achieved by performing calf raises, squats, leg curls, and extensions.  Even though leg muscles are extremely important to develop, try not to neglect other areas of your body.  Think of fast objects and how they are aerodynamically designed.  Increasing strength in other areas of your body will help so no extra baggage is hanging off of you.  Increasing strength in your upper body to the chest, shoulders, and bicep areas is also key.  Core strength is also extremely important, so make sure to do your sit-ups and crunches.  Other areas of your body will not perform well without a strong core and back to hold everything else in place.

Practice Accelerating

As I mentioned before, accelerating on different areas of the floor in different positions is key to increasing your basketball speed. Practice trying to go after a rebound from a defensive position.  Practice running back to the defensive end after being on offense.  Practice your lateral quickness and speed by guarding someone bringing the ball up the court.  Are you covering a great shooter?  Practice following your opponent through a maze of screens and cuts and not let them get up a comfortable shot.  Remember, especially on jump shots, the goal is not to block the shot, but to disrupt it enough so you don’t commit a foul.

Controlling Your New Speed

Once you are able to develop your new basketball speed, it is important to be able to control it. Imagine running for a breakaway layup and not being able to slow down enough to the point where you are accurately able to convert the shot?  Also, you don’t want to be running into players committing fouls.  Being able to accelerate is one thing, but being able to slow yourself down and control your basketball speed is key to not committing turnovers and unnecessary fouls.  Combining basketball speed with an alertness of how to control your body, is when the game will move at a different speed for you compared to everyone else on the court.

Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people. Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.

Making The Best of A Bad Situation by Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops

On every team there is usually one athlete who is considered the best at what they do. At certain moments in practice, and at certain moments during the game, this player usually steps up to the challenge and is able to overcome exhaustion and produce results that no one else on the team is able to make happen.

Recently, Kevin Durant and his teammates on the Oklahoma City Thunder just found out that he has a fracture in his foot that is going to keep him out of action for a number of weeks.  This is a big blow to a team which is expected to be very good,  especially with a new season beginning and the momentum and high hopes which are present from trying to get off to a fast start.

If you belong to a team where one of the main rotation players gets hurt, what can you do to help the team?

One of the few bright spots which arises from when a top player gets injured is that it opens the door for other players on the team to step up and showcase their talent. Why can’t one of those players be you?  When it comes to basketball, two major ingredients to a successful player is confidence and repetition.  Take the added minutes you will get to convince yourself, your teammates, and  your coaching staff that you are able to pick up the slack and contribute at a high level.  Being able to take over the game on the offensive and defensive ends takes a lot of practice, and repletion to believe that you are capable of doing it.

If you are able to take advantage of the situation, use valuable practice time and in-game experience to build your confidence. This is the time to do it!!!

Bonding Together

When one of the top players on a team goes down with an injury, some of the other members of the team bond together. This creates team spirit.  Maybe the team can get shirts made which support the player and you can wear them on the bench.  A small gesture like this makes the player feel like they are still part of the team.

Don’t forget about how the top player has carried the team in the past. Just because they are hurt now, doesn’t mean the team should neglect them.  Include them in practice, while watching film, and on the team bus.  If you were in their situation, you would want others to do the same thing for you.

Staying Alive

Depending on how much talent you have on your team, sometimes the best thing you can offer is competing with a 500 record until the injured player returns. If you can do this, and when the injured player returns, you can surprise some teams who might have already counted you out.

Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people.  Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.

New Winter Basketball Programs – Mass – New Hampshire By Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops

Premier Hoops is excited to offer some great new programs beginning this winter which will help develop the fundamentals of young basketball players all over Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New England.

Premier Hoops continues to expand their services and partnerships with athletic venues all over New England to ensure that your child has the opportunity to improve their basketball skills and fundamentals, and learn from the top rated skills and drills program in New England.

Premier Hoops is currently working with and training over 300 athletes all over New England of all different levels and ages. Premier Hoops offers individualized programing to make sure that your child is getting exactly what they need in order to achieve and improve their athletic foundation. Founder and Coach Mike Leykin has studied the game of basketball for years and created specific programing for basketball players at every level.

Their are many extremely talented basketball players who never fulfill their potential and Premier Hoops believes it stems from a lack of reasoning and logic of why a basketball player makes certain moments and decisions while on the basketball court. Anyone can make a cut, complete a pass, and make a shot, but not everyone can complete these tasks on a consistent basis because they lack the proper fundamental teaching and understanding of why things happen on the basketball court, and how you as a player can influence them.

Premier Hoops currently has and continues to assemble a roster of dedicated and passionate, coaches and teachers who been involved with basketball for a majority of their lives who are eager to teach the game of basketball.

Athletes and parents, please review some of the programs below to see which one best suits your needs.

Premier Hoops just announced a new partnership with Latitude Methuen! Please don’t hesitate signing up for the 6-Week Warm-Up Clinic as open sports are being filled quickly! This is the perfect clinic to get your body and mind ready for the upcoming basketball season and to shake off that rust.
The Premier Hoops 6-Week Warm-Up Clinic will focus on ball-handling, shooting, and scrimmaging, and will take place on Wednesday evenings from October 15th – November 19th.

Times for the different ages groups are:

Beginner 4:30-5:30pm for 1-2 Grade Boys and 2-3 Grade Girls
Intermediate 5:30-6:30pm for 3-6 Grade Boys and 4-7 Grade Girls
Elite 6:30-7:30pm for 7-12 Grade Boys and 8-12 Grade Girls

The address is:

Location: Latitude Sports Club – Address: 116 Pleasant Valley St, Methuen, MA 01844
Please click on the link below to be directed to the website for additional information.
Exciting New Winter Programs Coming Up!

Methuen, MA: Oct 15 – Nov 19

“6-Week Warm-Up Clinic”

Try it!

 Marblehead, MA: Dec 1 – Feb 9
”All Boys Junior Premier League”

Try it!

 (Save $20.00)

Peabody, MA: Dec 2 – Jan 22 (Session I)

“In-Season Winter Skills Training”

Try it!

 (Save $40.00)

More programs will be posted on our website in the next two weeks including:
• Winter Skills @ Latitude Methuen
• Winter Skills @ Cambridge and Billerica Locations
• Semi-Private Lessons
• Private Lessons
• Vacation Clinics

Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people.  Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.

Maintaining Excellence By Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops

After watching the San Antonio Spurs lose to Berlin Alba Berlin earlier in the week, and after watching the Miami Heat mentally and physically collapse after a two-year title run, I thought it would be interesting to explore how a team is able to sustain excellence over a period of time, and how the mental approach to a game, and to a season, is so critical.

The Hunger

There is usually some type of hunger or driving force which brings a team together which creates momentum to be great and overcome large obstacles. It could simply consist of years of losing and wanting to change the atmosphere, or it could come from somewhere deeper like the loss of a teammate.  The common thread is that there is usually an underlined theme or storyline which brings a team together.

The question is, once you reach a successful level as a team or as a player, how does one sustain this passion and desire to keep winning as the main priority, and not let other outside influences impact the ultimate goal? There have been very few basketball teams throughout history which have sustained a complete dominance over a period of time.


If you and your team had a successful season the previous year and won a championship, or came extremely close, how will your approach the upcoming season? Since every season is completely different, there usually needs to be a new formula introduced as the same principles from the previous year will most likely not work again.

It’s usually up to the coach to create a theme and an atmosphere for the season which will keep individuals motived throughout the year. Coaches in the past have passed out a book to every player on the team and have everyone read it as a group. These small, but important gestures go a long way to creating unity and cohesion, and put everyone on the same page literally and figuratively.  Maybe you can suggest this to your coach if they haven’t implemented this already.

Definition of Success

Try and define why you are trying to win? If it is for personal glory, the team will most likely not have great success.  Maybe you lost the previous year and had a heart breaking defeat where you were moments away from advancing or winning the title?  Try and remember those feelings and how horrible it made you feel.  What else could you personally have done as a player to turn things around?  Could you have made a few more free throws? Shoot a better percentage from the field?
Commit fewer turnovers?  How can you as a player positively contribute to all of these areas this upcoming season?  Did you train harder in the weight room?  Did you practice your free throws?  Did that one time you didn’t dive for a loose ball last year, remind you to the point that you that you don’t even think twice about it this time?

When you are part of a winning team sometimes everyone takes it for granted and thinks it is going to happen again. Remember how fragile winning is and how much you and your team have to continue to push the limits in order to maintain the excellence and success that every sports team and athlete desires for.

Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people.  Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Balancing Books and Basketball for Premier Hoops By Jasen Sousa


Balancing Books and Basketball

Making the basketball team might be the only thing on your mind and the one goal you are putting all of your energy into.  However, if you are not able to keep up with your classes and assignments, your basketball season is quickly going to become a nightmare.

Steps to a Successful Academic and Athletic Season

Inform your teachers and counselors that you are on the basketball team.  Dont assume that everyone in the school knows that you are on the basketball team, let them know some of your outside obligations.  This doesnt mean that you are expecting special treatment, but if you ever miss a test due to traveling or anything else related to the team, arrangements could be made in order for you to make-up the work.

Be Aware of Requirements

If it is not explained by your coach or athletic director, inquire about what is needed to stay on the basketball team.  Most schools require a certain GPA, and attendance record to continue to be part of the team.  If you feel like you are slipping in one class, especially a math class, get extra help quickly before you fall too far behind.

Behavior In and Out of School

Being on a team is like having a job.  Whether you think so or not, your school and your classmates look up to you and expect that you will represent your school proudly out in society.  Messing up off of school grounds can still get you thrown off the team. 


Balancing Time

Doing well in school is hard enough on its own!  When you add in practice, traveling, and the actual games, keeping track of everything you have to do can become overwhelming!  If you have study periods throughout the day, try and get your homework done then.  After going through a long day of school, playing in a game, and coming home around 9:00 P.M., you are going to want and pass out, not do homework!  Try and not let your mind convince you of things which you know will never happen.  Be honest with yourself and figure out when your most productive times of the day are. 

Have Fun!

Being part of a basketball team should be an experience you will remember for the rest of your life.  Dont let trying to impress scouts and friends get in the way of why you started playing basketball in the first place.  You play because you love the game.  Work hard in school and in other areas of your life, and everything else will fall into place.  You will most likely have life-long relationships with many of your teammates. If you are fortunate enough be to part of a basketball team, work hard not only for those who respect you, but work hard for yourself and develop a discipline and work ethic that you can take with you as you move forward in life. 


Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people.  Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.