Basketball Coaching

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Tool of the Day Archive March 2008

Click on any of the blue links for archives from that month and year

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March 31  BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY Make it a rule in your offensive system, regardless of whether you are motion oriented, or pattern based, that you do not toss or flip the basketball to a teammate. 

If two players are close enough to hand the ball from one to the other, do not pass it.  The handoff is much safer when a teammate is coming towards the player with the ball.  There is too much risk in flipping the ball when the spacing is poor. 

The player with the ball should shield it with his or her body and the player receiving the handoff should take it from the hands of the ballhandler--the ballhandler should not push it into the hands of the receiver.

We feel that taking time to teach your team how to play basketball with these types of concepts is more important than the basketball plays that you run..

March 28 DEALING WITH MISTAKES A big part of mental toughness is playing through mistakes.  In order to keep one mistake from leading to another coach your players to: 

  • Recognize mistakes
  • Admit their mistakes
  • Learn from it (with help from the coaches) to prevent it from happening again
  • Put it out of their mind and play on so that it does not affect any more plays

Easier said than done, but like anything else you emphasize, it will improve with time. Make it one of your basketball quotes that you teach and reteach to all of your players.

March 27 THE EXTRA DEGREE We received one of these from a friend last week and thought this was worth passing on.  It will only take 3 minutes of your time to watch it. We hope you benefit from 212 The Extra Degree... and find some thoughts you can use to share with and motivate your teams. Make sure your sound is on and then click Here to watch: 212 The Extra Degree...

PS If you like it as much as we think you will, feel free to share it with family, friends and co-workers.

March 26 ATTITUDE The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company ... a church ... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past ... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you -- we are in charge of our Attitude."--Charles Swindoll. Put this one in your basketball quotes file.

March 25 AN AWESOME RESPONSIBILITY "I don't think coaching is about making a million dollars a year.  I don't think coaching is about winning championships.    I don't think coaching is about going to a great school.  I think coaching is about helping young people have a chance to succeed.  There is no more awesome responsibility than that.  I think one of the greatest honors a person can have is to be called 'Coach.' "-Lou Holtz. Another one for the basketball quotes file because it applies to coaching basketball as well as football.

March 24 SAVE THE LEGS Practice hard in the early and mid season, but cut down the length of each basketball practice as the regular season is ending to have fresh legs for the tournament.  Basketball players only have so many jumps in their legs.  The impact of the thousands of landings takes a toll over the course of the season.

March 21  MAKE IT A HABIT Research has shown that it takes 21 days of intentional thinking and focused practicing to break a bad habit and replace it with a proper and instinctive habit that is done without conscious thought.  Keep that in mind as you do your long term basketball practice planning in season or out of season.  That is a natural law that there is no way around.

March 20  DON'T BE A CLOCK WATCHER When you are working for the last shot of a quarter, teach your players and practice repeatedly, to not look at the clock once they start making the play or taking the shot.  The time to look at the clock is with 12 to 15 seconds to go (or if there is a whistle stopping play) and then to have a feel for the clock as it counts down.  What good is looking at the clock other than to slow them down and distract their focus away from what you want them to execute?  If they have been through daily repetitions in basketball practice they will have developed that clock in their head.  This is especially critical when rebounding a last second shot, there is no time to look, they need to rebound and score.

March 19 REBOUNDING A FREE THROW An idea to consider if you are outsized by your opponent.  Put four rebounders in the lane, have your two bottom players hold their block outs, designate a player to block out the shooter and have the fourth rebounder be responsible for the ball.  That way your outsized players don't have to block out and get the ball.  Take a few minutes each basketball practice to experiment with this or other ideas you have to see if they will or won't work for your team.

March 18 THE MOST IMPORTANT GOAL FOR EVERY BASKETBALL COACH Thad Matta's number one goal for everyone on his basketball coaching staff is to establish a lifelong relationship with each player that can never be broken.

March 17 KEY FOCUS AREAS A coach needs to select the most important areas for his or her time and energy and then plan how to maximize each of those selected areas. We suggest the following seven areas of focus for coaches.

  1. Overall written philosophy and organization of your program.
  2. Individual Development of all areas of the lives of participants in the program.
  3. Selecting the team
  4. Developing a system of play that maximizes each players' strengths.
  5. Assign roles and keep the players in their roles.
  6. Develop your entire basketball coaching staff
  7. Program promotion and public service.

March 13 DISCIPLINE Bob Knight says that discipline is "Doing what has to be done, when it has to be done, as well as it can be done, and doing it that way all the time." We feel that is worth keeping in mind and that it is one of our best basketball quotes.

March 12 DEFEND YOUR SHOTS AND TURNOVERS You must have a plan and practice to be able to defend the shots you take and the turnovers you make.

March 11 THE SMART TAKE FROM THE STRONG Former Princeton Coach Pete Carril, in his book, The Smart Take from the Strong: The Basketball Philosophy of Pete Carril says that basketball coaches "Must not get caught up in just the basketball part of coaching and forget about the life part because we are working with human beings." We encourage all coaches to find some system, whether it is a notebook, a computer program, or a filing cabinet to keep track of the thoughts, ideas, and basketball quotes that you can use in any way to strengthen your program.

March 10 COACH YODA "There is do and do not, there is no try." Yoda in Star Wars.

Don't allow excuses from yourself or those around you. 

An excuse is an easy way to say it is too hard and I don't want to make the effort. If you are committed to basketball (or anything), it is worth the effort to be the best you can be and no one does that by making excuses.

Even though Yoda may have been from another galaxy, it a deserves to be among every collection of basketball quotes that anyone assembles.

March 7 IMPROVE WHEN YOU WIN "We cannot accept in victory what we would not accept in defeat."-Dick Bennett, retired Basketball Coach quoted in the book A Season With Coach Dick Bennett by Eric Ferris. As basketball coaches, we owe it to our basketball players to not be blinded by victory, but to learn from each win just like we would if it were a loss. That is the only way to constantly improve.

Your team will play their games almost exactly like the basketball practices you run. Spend a lot of time thinking and planning how you are going to make that happen. Always think on paper or at your computer--it helps to organize and clarify your thoughts and it leaves a record for you of your work.

"Legends are not born~they are created." --Ricky Pierce, retired NBA All-Star.  Not everyone can be a legend, but everyone can work to improve themselves.  We have individual basketball drills for basketball players at all levels.

Good teams and players give first and second efforts, great teams and players give third and fourth efforts.  Sometimes striving to be good keeps you from going all out to be great.  Coach your players to be great and not to settle for good.

March 3 UCLA
Hall of Fame Basketball Coach Don Meyer feels that alll basketball coaching must be done with UCLA.  That is to say UnConditional Love and Acceptance toward your basketball players.

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