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Positive Coaching Principles
A basketball coach has a myriad of responsibilities that include the importance of being a moral, upstanding role model
for the players on his team. The best teams have chemistry. They communicate with each other and they sacrifice personal
glory for the common goal. A coach is not only a role model but also a mentor and teacher. A basketball coach will mold
and develop his team as people as well as athletes. He is responsible for his players the same way a school teacher or
parent is responsible.

What does a Coach do?
 - A coach must develop a coaching philosophy.
 - A coach must make age appropriate decisions and plans for his team.
 - A coach must be responsible for the environment where the team plays.
   Make sure the gyms are as clean or cleaner when you leave as they were when you arrived.
 - A coach must inspire his team and motivate them when needed.
 - A coach must be a communicator who is clear and well spoken.
 - A coach must be reliable, responsible, and compassionate.
 - A coach must know the rules and follow them for the game of basketball.
   You should print out copies of league rules and keep them in your scorebook.
 - A coach must be adaptable and flexible.
 - A coach must include all people and needs to be tolerant of social differences.
 - A coach must not discriminate, be racist, bigoted, nor allow such behaviors on court.
 - A coach must be trustworthy and honest with his players.
 - A coach must respect himself, his players, his staff, his opponent and the community as well as the game itself.
 - A coach must know about simple first aid, health laws, and maintain safe equipment.
   Do not do more then you are qualified. For serious injuries, call 911.
   Minor sprains, apply ice for 24-48 hours. Remember "RICE" - Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
 - A coach must acknowledge injury and follow procedures for the players care.  “When in doubt sit them out!”
 - A coach must know how to provide effective constructive criticisms to his players even during times of stress especially during games.
 - A coaches should make ALL players feel like an important part of the team, regardless of performance.
 - A coach should set team goals, rules and a code of conduct for his/her players to follow, as well as parents/fans.
   Have a parents meeting during your first practice and let parents know what to expect from you as well as what you expect from them.
   Make sure they understand that unsportsmanlike behavior will not be tolerated. They should be positive toward all team members,
   coaches, and opponents, as well as officials!!!
   If they have a problem, they should bring it up privately with the coach.

ALL COACHES NEED TO BE RUTGERS CERTIFIED AND SHOULD ALWAYS CARRY THEIR CARD!

Coaching Philosophy
Each coach must develop his/her own coaching philosophy
It's very important that whatever your style of coaching, be yourself. This means especially in your temperament.  If you are out-going, be out-going.  If you are quiet, be quiet.  If you are a screamer, scream (within reason).  Don't try to be like some famous coach that you idolize.  Encourage players.  Be positive.  Whatever your style, have a passion for the game.   Value all the players on the team.  Make the 10th player on the squad feel as important the your star player. This is all very important in developing your team spirit and chemistry.

You must be organized, you are the leader!

Remember, you are in a position to be a real positive, important person in the lives of each of your players... never lose sight of this.

Above all, be a person of integrity!

1. Set goals (examples)
      a). pick up your game thru practice
      b). work for the overall success of the team
      c). as a team, score 30 points a game
      d). as a team, hold opponent to 25 points a game
      e). make the players more knowledgeable of the game - explain why you do things.

2. Set rules (examples)
      a). call to be excused from practice/game
      b). no horse play
      c). no one is allowed to talk to the refs
      d). always respect your opponent, coaches, fans and officials as well as the game
      e). no talking during foul shooting
      f). use good sportsmanship, play hard, play to win, but play fair

3. Have a practice plan.
      Manage your time properly.

4. Above all make it a fun experience as well as a learning experience.
      Most of all, as the coach try to make practices fun. When practice sessions become monotonous, players lose interest and focus. Avoid distractions during practices. When discussing things during practice, have the players backs to the distractions like other teams in the gym. Be a good role model.

5. Dribbling
A properly inflated basketball will always bounce straight up at about 75-percent of the height from which it was dropped.

Use your fingertips, not the palms of your hands...Basketball is played on the tips of your fingers and the balls of your feet.
Use your forearm and wrist to bounce the ball. Don't look at the ball... keep your head up and eyes forward.
You must learn to use either hand. So when doing drills, always work both hands.

All players should learn to dribble equally well with both hands. This ambidextrous ability will open up your offensive game. It will help discourage the defense from trying to overplay you on your strong side.

"Control Dribble" (when the defender is up close on you)
      When a defender is guarding you closely, you should use the "control dribble".
      Keep in a somewhat crouched, bent over position. Keep your body between the ball and the
      defender. Keep the ball low to the floor, behind and close to your body.

     Do not stop your dribble until you can either pass or shoot.
     Once you stop your dribble with no pass or shot, you are "dead in the water".

6. Shooting

      - BEEF - Balance, Eyes, Elbow, Follow thru
      - For shooting the basketball you must have your entire body in the right position to ensure that you have the greatest
        chance of making the shot.
     - Balance. First you should have your strong arm up and bent at a 90 degree angle.
        Be square to the basket.
        Have your weak hand up alongside the ball as a guide hand.
        Then flick your wrist and push your arm up to propel the ball towards the net.
        Follow thru so when finished, your shooting hand looks like a "Goose Head" or that you're dipping your hand into the cookie jar.

7. Passing and Receiving
          * Chest - step into the pass with one foot forward.  Snap the pass, with the thumbs going through the ball and extending toward
            the receiver.  Make sure the players pass the ball crisply, and not "lob" their passes.  Hit the receiver in the chest.
            The receiver should show a target with his/her hands extended toward the passer.   Passers should be in triple-threat position and
            work on pivoting and ball fakes to clear the passing lane.

          * Triple Threat means the player is ready to either shoot, drive to the basket or pass the ball.

          * Bounce pass - the ball should hit the ground at least 2/3 distance from the passer and should hit the receiver around the waist
            area.  Any less distance, means that the ball takes longer to get to the receiver and can be intercepted much easier.

          Attack the opponents weakness and make good decisions.  For example, the passer can fake an overhead pass against a taller
          defender to raise his/her hands, then make a bounce pass, or "curl" bounce-pass underneath the defender.  Receivers should
          always receive the ball in triple-threat position.  Make sure you see the pass and don't just pass to a "voice".

8. Defense
      #1 rule of defense – protect goal at all cost!

      Defense is played with the feet, too much reaching with the hands results in fouls being called.
      Beat the opponent to the spot.

      Boxer's stance, sliding your feet, heel to toe and not hopping.

     Man2Man - know who your man is, stay between him and the basket and stay lower then him/her.

          Beating M2M-
          1). set screens and roll to the basket, screen away, screen ball.
          2). give and go
          3). all players should be on the move, running the defense into screens. When playing against M2M, move the body.

     Zone - each player is responsible for an area of the floor.  Teach them to use weak side help, see man see ball.
      Never turn your back on the man or ball.

          Beating a zone -
           1). Move/swing ball create seams, then attack the seams.  When playing against a zone, move the ball.
           2). Hit your outside shots, this will stretch the zone, creating more seams.  Attack the seams.
           3). Overload the zone.

Communications (talk) is most important if you expect a good defensive basketball team.  This is often the hardest job of coaching.  That is, get all your players to realize how important it is to talk on defense.  Teammates must talk to warn each other of screens being set, to switch safely, to pick up a loose man, and to ask for help.  Defensive players should be talking to each other all the time, yelling the following examples:

          1. “Watch the pick!” "Pick right" or "Pick left"
          2. “Come through!”
          3. “Switch!”
          4. “Take number 4, I’ve got number 5!”

9. Rebounding
      Assume EVERY shot is a miss.

      Desire - Go after the ball like it's priceless

      Block/Box out your opponent.

      Predict where the rebound is going.  In general, longer shots mean longer rebounds and shots from closer in mean shorter rebounds.
      Position yourself accordingly.

      Position yourself in a strong and balanced position.

      When you go up for the rebound, jump up, wide and strong.

      Use both of your hands to get a good lock on the ball.

      Be Strong with your rebound - When you are able to completely control the ball, "slap" it together with both of your hands
      and squeeze it tightly.  You'll also want to put both of your elbows out to help protect the ball called "chinning" or keep the ball high.


Web Sites - all of the above information is just scratching the surface. The Internet is full of valuable information, use it to your advantage. Also, YOUTUBE has great presentations of different drills and plays.  But, be sure to use age appropriate drills and plays for your team. Below are just some examples of web sites that may help you.  GOOD LUCK!

      Exercise and Stretching

      Coaches Clipboard - drills, plays, offense, defense, etc.

      Sample Youth Practice Schedule (ages 7 - 10)

      Ball Handling and Dribbling Drills

      Concussion Tutorial


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