Coaching Basketball For Dummies book cover

Coaching Basketball For Dummies

Authors:
,
Published: September 24, 2007

Overview

So you’re thinking about volunteering to coach youth basketball? Great! You’re in for a fun, rewarding experience. Whether you’re new to the sport and looking for some guidance or you’re a seasoned coach hunting for some fresh tips, Coaching Basketball For Dummies will help you command the court with confidence.

Each friendly chapter is packed with expert advice on teaching the basics of basketball—from dribbling and shooting to rebounding and defending—and guiding your kids to a fun-filled, stress-free season. You get a crash course in the rules and regulations of the game, as well as clear explanations of what all those lines, circles, and half-circle markings mean on the court. You’ll assign team positions, run great practices, and work with both beginning and intermediate players of different age groups. You’ll also see how to ramp up your players’ skills and lead your team effectively during a game. This book will also help you discover how to:

  • Develop your coaching philosophy
  • Understand your league’s rules
  • Conduct a preseason parents’ meeting—crucial for opening the lines of communication
  • Teach offensive and defensive strategies
  • Keep your kids healthy and injury-free
  • Encourage good sportsmanship
  • Make critical half-time adjustments during a game
  • Help struggling players
  • Address discipline problems and handle difficult parents
  • Coach an All-Star or Travel team

Complete with numerous offensive and defensive drills and tips for helping your kids relax before a game, Coaching Basketball For Dummies is the fun and easy way to get the score on this worthwhile endeavor!

So you’re thinking about volunteering to coach youth basketball? Great! You’re in for a fun, rewarding experience. Whether you’re new to the sport and looking for some guidance or you’re a seasoned coach hunting for some fresh tips, Coaching Basketball For Dummies will help you command the court with confidence.

Each friendly chapter is packed with expert advice on teaching the basics of basketball—from dribbling and shooting to rebounding and defending—and guiding your kids to a fun-filled, stress-free season. You get a crash course in the rules and regulations of the game, as well as clear explanations of what all those lines, circles, and half-circle markings mean on the court. You’ll assign team positions, run great practices, and work with both beginning and intermediate players of different age groups. You’ll also see how to ramp up

your players’ skills and lead your team effectively during a game. This book will also help you discover how to:

  • Develop your coaching philosophy
  • Understand your league’s rules
  • Conduct a preseason parents’ meeting—crucial for opening the lines of communication
  • Teach offensive and defensive strategies
  • Keep your kids healthy and injury-free
  • Encourage good sportsmanship
  • Make critical half-time adjustments during a game
  • Help struggling players
  • Address discipline problems and handle difficult parents
  • Coach an All-Star or Travel team

Complete with numerous offensive and defensive drills and tips for helping your kids relax before a game, Coaching Basketball For Dummies is the fun and easy way to get the score on this worthwhile endeavor!

Coaching Basketball For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Being a basketball coach involves always being prepared for practice and running a practice that’s fun and productive. An effective coach keeps players motivated and builds both individual and team confidence. Know what to say and how to say it before, during, and after a basketball game to impact the performance and morale of your players.

Articles From The Book

9 results

Basketball Articles

Dealing with a Ball Hog on Your Basketball Team

A ball hog — a player who hangs onto the ball for extended periods of time and always looks to shoot rather than pass — creates real problems for the entire team. For instance, a ball hog ignores open teammates who have worked to get into position to score, which undermines team morale and kills your sense of unity. As a basketball coach, you have to find a way to deal with this.

If you have a ball hog on your team, you may get frustrated and not know what to do. Here are a couple ways a player can earn the unwanted ball-hog label and actions you can take to help him ditch it:

  • He's unaware: Perhaps the youngster isn't aware that he's hanging onto the ball too much. He watches older players who score a lot and wants to emulate them. Maybe he's new to basketball or hasn't been involved in any type of team setting before, and he needs to get accustomed to how sharing the ball makes for a stronger and more effective unit. Go with drills that emphasize passing to help your players break their habit of dribbling and shooting every time down the floor. You can even hold no-dribble scrimmages, where players can only pass and shoot the ball.
  • He receives mixed instructions: Perhaps the child receives conflicting instructions from his dad or mom at home. A parent may be telling the child that he's the team's best shooter and that he needs to take more shots. How can you tell? If the child seems to be doing everything differently than how you're instructing the team, do some investigating. Ask the child why he isn't listening to your instructions. Perhaps he didn't understand what you were saying.
    If he confesses that he's receiving conflicting instructions, that plops the youngster in confusing territory and forces you to step in. Talk to the child about his responsibility to be a team player and to listen to your instructions, and reinforce to the player's parents that they need to support what you're trying to teach the kids.

If you have a ball hog on your team, take a closer look at your practices, because they may actually be causing some of the problems. During your drills, double check to make sure that you aren't allowing a player to dribble the ball for extended periods of time or to take the majority of the shots. If you notice inequity in your practices, resort to specific types of drills or scrimmages that eliminate opportunities for ball hogs to flourish.

Basketball Articles

Modeling Good Sportsmanship as a Coach

As a youth basketball coach, teaching kids the importance of good sportsmanship can be challenging. What makes teaching (and modeling) good sportsmanship particularly tricky is that youngsters are bombarded with images of older basketball players trash talking, showboating, and disrespecting opponents and officials. However, keep in mind that you're fighting the good fight: Good sportsmanship is one of the healthiest ideals you can instill in your players.

Incorporate the following suggestions into your coaching philosophy. They can help make your team one of the most liked and respected teams in the league (and your players the envy of all parents in the stands):

  • Talk about sportsmanship outside your team. While your players are going through warm-ups, you can discuss a game they watched on television and ask whether they saw any displays of good sportsmanship. Praising these displays and subtly reinforcing their importance goes a long way toward instilling the right qualities in your players.
  • Set a positive tone on game day by shaking hands with the opposing coach. The players, fans, and opposing coaches will notice your gesture of sportsmanship. Plus, it will remind everyone that basketball is just a game and you're all there for the kids.
  • Always be a model of good sportsmanship. Don't yell at officials or question their judgment. If you aren't a model of good sportsmanship, you can't expect your players (or their parents) to be good sports. Your players will take their cue from you, so if you rant and rave about a call, expect your players to show disrespect toward the refs as well.
  • Shake hands after the game. Regardless of the outcome, have your players line up and shake hands with the opposing team and its coaches. If your team won, your players should tell their opponents that they played a good game, and if your squad lost, your players should congratulate the opponents on their victory. Another classy move is for your players to shake the officials' hands following the contest.
  • Recognize good sports during your post-game talk. Perhaps one of your players went out of his way after the game to congratulate an opponent who played a strong game. Recognizing such displays reinforces to your players that how they behave during and after games really does matter to you and to all the spectators.

Basketball Articles

Assessing Your Basketball Players' Skills

Playing basketball requires a broad range of skills. As a coach, being able to assess a youngster's strengths and weaknesses is crucial for determining where he best fits in your lineup.

Your early practices should offer a peek at a player's ability in specific areas. Scrimmages or games involving just a handful of players and drills are ideal ways to gain a real sense of a child's strengths and weaknesses in certain basketball skills.

After you collect all this information on your players, you can take advantage of it by developing practice plans that focus on improving their weaker areas while enhancing their stronger skills.

Footwork

Good footwork pays off on the dance floor and the basketball court. Players who stand or move flat-footed tend to spend more time watching the action, which really affects their productivity (and fun) at both ends of the floor. Players who constantly move their feet create additional scoring opportunities through screens, cuts to the basket, defensive stops, and so on.

During practice (and games), keep an eye on a player's feet, because footwork dictates how well he'll perform. Watch to see if a player stays on the balls of his feet when he's dribbling and if he shuffles his feet while defending.

Competitiveness

At the younger levels of play, how competitive a child is shouldn't be a focus. If they stay involved in the game long enough, most kids will gradually become more competitive. In the meantime, stick to helping them have fun, learn the game, and develop skills.

At the more advanced levels of play, you should monitor how your players respond to challenges and difficult situations. If certain players are easily rattled, focus on building their confidence and stoking their competitive juices so they'll always put forth their best effort.

To gauge competitiveness during practice, you can challenge the kids. See how many baskets they can make in a row. Or insert yourself into a drill and challenge the players to score on you or box you out for a rebound. Kids love going against their coaches, and if they can perform well against you, it can buoy their confidence.

Body language and demeanor

A basketball player's body language during practice and games speaks volumes. If his head droops or his shoulders sag, you can deduce that he probably isn't thrilled with his or the team's performance. Pay particular attention to the following:

  • Is he too hard on himself when his shots aren't falling?
  • Does he get frustrated when his teammates make mistakes?
  • Does he embrace your suggestions, or is he easily offended by feedback?

You can improve a player's mental approach to the game by imploring him to play each possession as though it's the first of the game. Players who have the ability to push aside prior possessions — whether they involved missed shots or turnovers — and focus entirely on the present put themselves in better position to achieve more success.

Teamwork

Youngsters who fire up and encourage their teammates, during practice and in games, and play an unselfish style of basketball are really valuable. Even when it isn't their turn to be on the floor or participate in a drill, or the scoreboard isn't in your favor, your players can be inspiring by encouraging teammates and applauding their hustle.

On the flip side, kids who sulk or don't pay attention to the action on the court or your instructions during practice can damage team chemistry and kill morale.