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Coaching Basketball Pregame through Postgame

Part of the Coaching Basketball For Dummies Cheat Sheet

As a basketball coach, you need to inspire your players to give their best effort during every game of the season. Keep these tips in mind when talking to your team before, during, and after a basketball game to keep the team focused, having fun, and playing hard:

How to Deliver the Pre-Game Talk

  • Speak in a calm and relaxed manner with a smile on your face.

  • Be brief.

  • Conduct the talk away from any potential distractions.

  • Stress the importance of having fun and displaying good sportsmanship at all times during the game.

  • Avoid using pressure phrases, like “Let’s score 20 points today.” Kids can give you their best effort, but they can’t control the outcome of games.

  • Build the kids’ confidence by letting them know that you’re looking forward to watching them perform.

How to Speak to the Team at Halftime

  • Highlight the positives of the first half, regardless of the score, and stay upbeat. Don’t dwell on any mistakes, because they’re part of the learning process.

  • Zero in on a couple main points that you want to get across. Giving the kids too much information to digest isn’t productive.

  • Pile on the praise for their hard work in the first half.

  • At the more advanced levels, solicit feedback and suggestions on strategy from your players.

  • Tell them to drink water to rehydrate!

How to Give the Post-Game Chat

  • Keep the focus on the fun you had and the fun you will have.

  • Don’t let the scoreboard influence what you say to the kids — or how you say it.

  • Recognize the good sportsmanship your players displayed.

  • Accentuate the positive.

  • Conclude on a high note with a team cheer and send ’em home with a smile.

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Coaching Basketball For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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