Archive for October, 2011


Posted: October 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

3 Great Ideas to Speed up Practices

Most of you are probably getting ready or have already started your practices/tryouts for the upcoming season like we are here as well.

It’s one of those things that no matter how well you seem to plan your practices, there are always times where practice seems to get bogged down, or the the tempo grinds to a halt. Players are doggin’ it, and it just isn’t moving as quickly and smoothly as it should.

Don Meyer on practice planning and he had 3 great ideas to help speed up practices:

1. Countdown
2. Change ends
3. Echo yells

Players respond to a clock. If you just tell them to get to the baseline, they always seem to take their sweet ass time doing it, even if you yell at them. Give them a countdown, 5-4-3-2-1. If they don’t get there before 1, then they all run. Stimulus-response.

If you’re doing a shooting drill and the players are just going through the motions, make them change ends and give them a countdown. By forcing players to switch and hustle to the other side of the floor, it makes them refocus their attention.

Finally, instead of you yelling at the players, have a policy of echo yells. You tell 1 player, ‘free-throws’. That player yells ‘free-throws’, everyone yells ‘free-throws’, and you’re off to doing free-throws.

An ongoing exercise for me is to find ways to “tighten up” my thoughts on the game.  I call it “bullet basketball.”  It’s a process I use to try to put everything that I would ever teach into 3 or 4 bullet points that are easy for the player to digest and remember.

For example, when teaching screening I use three key bullets:

  • take your screen to the cutter’s defender
  • can’t get low enough or wide enough
  • put your back to the area of attack

For shooting, I use:

  • be ready on the catch
  • 10 toes to the rim
  • perfect follow through – up and over front of rim

There are so many ways to teach this game, but I have found the best way to get points across to players today is to be simple and direct.  Of course, within each of these “bullet points” are explanations that need to be made to the player.  Once these are made and understood, I have a quick and easy vocabulary to use when working with the player or team.

I encourage you to put some thought to this as you have time during your day.  It’s a great exercise, and not quite as easy as you would think.  I know this: players like things simple!



Posted: October 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

PLAYING WITH MORALE AND INTENSITY (with thanks to Bud Wilkinson)
“Fatigue makes cowards of us all” (Vince Lombard)

There is no magic formula for developing morale, but there is a means of getting consistent effort from your team and intensity is what it is all about. How close do your players come to making their best effort every time the ball is snapped? That is what it is all about, and if your team can do that then they are going to play very well.

{Read The Whole Practice – Article}


Posted: October 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

By: Jay Bilas | | @JayBilas
I have heard the word “toughness” thrown around a lot lately. Reporters on television, radio and in print have opined about a team or player’s “toughness” or quoted a coach talking about his team having to be “tougher” to win.

{Read The Whole –Toughness – Article}