Quick Tips on Playing Better Basketball

Rather than focusing on one skill, we've got seven 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 if they allow an offensive rebounded in the lane.

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