Tips for Playing Better Basketball

17 tips to increase your basketball skill.
One more time, we're going to take a different approach, and rather than focusing on one skill, we've got seventeen "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. Coaches: If your players do what you want on defense, reward them with some freedom on offense.

2. Players: To give yourself a chance to get an offensive rebound, just consider spinning off of the first object (opposing player) that you come into contact with.

3. Coaches: During time-outs, keep your instruction to a maximum of three points. Otherwise, players won't remember them (and hey, most players probably won't remember them anyway!). However, to help them remember your instruction, break your huddle a few seconds early and require your captain to assemble a second huddle, and repeat your instructions to the other four as they take the floor.

4. Players: Coaches don't cut players, players cut players. It's not personal. What you can or cannot do with the ball will determine who makes the team.

5. Coaches: On defensive rebounding, demand 5 "hits" (one from each player) whenever a shot is taken. Don't worry so much about the technique of blocking out, just worry about getting your body on an opponent's body, and then pursue the ball. (A hit means to make contact with them, don't actually throw a punch.) If you demand a hit from each player or he'll be subbed out, you'll become the more physical team, and a better rebounding team.

6. Players: If you're guarding a player on the other team who is not skilled, and highly unlikely to score, don't think you're accomplishing something special by shutting him/her down. Don't be selfish and just worry about guarding this poor player. Instead, focus on helping your teammates. Constantly position yourself to help defend the rest of the team.

7. Coaches: Tell the parents that you coach their kids, not them. Tell the parents that you will talk to them about anything except playing time, whether it be their sons/daughters or someone else's.

8. PLAYERS & COACHES:Win the boards on both ends (rebounding) and you win the game.

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This month's tip is provided by Better Basketball, a leading provider of basketball instructional DVDs and videos. Founded by devoted coaches and players.

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