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Benny Fermo
822 Mckay Cres
Milton, Canada
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Quick tips on playing better basketball
Provided by Better Basketball

January 19, 2006

This month, we're going to take a different approach, and rather than focusing on one skill, we've got 14 "quick-tips" on playing better basketball, just random thoughts that we've picked up over the years. While some are certainly "Coach-Torbett-originals," others have been picked up through the grapevine ...

1. When double-teamed, pick one defender and beat him; don't think about beating two.

2. For every negative you hear find two positives to repeat to yourself.

3. Players, become a tricky player instead of coming up with tricky plays. Coaches, develop tricky players instead of tricky plays.

4. It's not football -- it's still a skill game.
5. When you get the lead, with less than two minutes left to play, consider trapping. It takes the other team out of their "end-game plans."

The tendency is to sit back and play "prevent defense" and to lose your aggression when you have the lead. Instead, think about continuing to do whatever got you the lead. "Stalling the ball" can sometimes kill your momentum and let it swing to the other team.

6. Players: When you're running to catch the speed lay-up, run in front of the player with the ball. but don't touch him. Just try to strip the ball. Most of the time, if you can make him hide or tuck the ball, or just pick it up in a different manner than he's used to, he'll miss the lay-up.

The key is whether one of your teammates will be the third person sprinting the floor, because the third person will get the ball on missed speed lay-ups. The shooter goes out of bounds, the second player is the defender who's trying to change his shot, it's the third player who will get the rebound or the put-back. Run the floor.

7. Coaches: Sub the whole team out whenever they allow the ball to be driven or passed into the lane, or offensive rebounded in the lane.

14 Thoughts on Playing Better Basketball

#8. When is the last time you remember hearing a good excuse and admiring the person for it? Never? Me too. So let’s rid ourselves of the “excuse-making-habit” and get on with finding results!

#9. Players, when you are walking out of a huddle from a time-out or end of a period, repeat the main emphasis of the coach and then repeat it aloud to your teammates.

#10. ON REBOUNDING: Players: make sure you “hit” someone whenever a shot is taken. (A hit means to make contact with them, don’t actually throw a punch.) Don’t worry so much about the technique. Just get your body on his body and then pursue the ball.

#11. Coaches: a made shot covers a multitude of mistakes. So, encourage the shooter on your team. Hide his weaknesses and find a place for him. A made shot covers a multitude of sins: never cut a shooter.
Players: become a shooter!

#12. Players: Strive on defense to deflect the ball, not steal it; steals are usually a result of deflecting the ball, just getting a hand on it.
Coaches: Chart deflections, not steals. Steals are usually a result of someone deflecting the ball. Tell your players they have to get “X” number of “touches” or deflections per game, or per quarter, or per minute, or you will sub for the whole team.

#13. Pass when your teammate is getting open, not after he is open. Pass where he is going to be open.

#14. And coaches, just for fun, when the refs are beating you and there is no chance to win, call a time-out and have three of your players guard the three refs when they put the ball into play. When the refs call a technical on you, tell them that they can’t blame the kids; you simply told them to go guard the guys who were hurting the team the most! (Note: This is meant to provide you with a bit of humor, not to actually be done. No one promotes good sportsmanship and taking responsibility for your own actions more than Better Basketball. We even wrote a past tip on respect. But we also have a sense of humor, and a little laugh is never a bad thing.)


This month's tip is provided by Better Basketball, a leading provider of basketball instructional DVDs and videos. Founded by devoted coaches and players, Better Basketball strives to provide the ultimate collection of fundamentals and advanced techniques. Click here to find out more at

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