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Basketball Coaching Article Archives

6 September 2008

How to Coach the Basketball Man-to-man Defenses

A Northern Illinois High School Coach wrote, "I'm very interested in learning how to teach the switching man-to-man defense. If you have books or tapes on this subject, please let me know."

Reply: Coach, I have nothing to sell. Everything I know was learned from someone else and most has been around since basketball was invented. It's put up here for all to see and it's free. The next few weeks I'm going to explain how my old mentor, Arad McCutchan taught it way back in 1946...Read about how to teach it>>>>

28 August 2008

Revised and added to Countermoves for Equal Opportunity Basketball Offense

Counter moves to the weak side......Read it all >>>>

18 August 2008

Basketball Offensive Countermoves for the Equal Opportunity Half-Court Basketball Offense

A good basketball coach always teaches his players to understand that for every single move in a basketball, there is a counter move. This was true 80 years ago and is true, today. The best basketball play can be disrupted unless you have a counter move. Any basketball player, worth his salt, will stop an offensive move once the play is recognized. That is the main reason players must be taught to go right or left, and why a counter move is available for every play....Read the entire article>>>>

24 July 2008

Basketball Shooting DVD Review

During my span of over 70 years of reading books, attending basketball clinics, or reviewing videos about shooting a basketball, I have had the opportunity to learn from some of the best. Many viewers of Guide to Coaching Basketball often write me in regards to the availability of an authoritative video on this subject........ Read the review>>>>

07 July 2008

Suggestions for Physical Training on the Off-Season for the Basketball Player

Basketball may be the most demanding of all sports. Basketball is a game of quickness: fast starts, sharp cuts and turns, acceleration and deceleration, and jumping. The hear...Read and printout>>>>

27 June 2008

A Summer Workout for Perimeter Basketball Players (Revised)

Most successful basketball coaches require their athletes to work as hard in the summer as they do during the regular basketball season; therefore, they set up off-season as well as in-season conditioning programs. Shown here, is a typical outline of summer workout for perimeter players....Read and printout>>>>

02 June 2008

An Excellent Off-Season Workout for the Basketball Post Players (Revised)

As Bob Knight said, "Our spring practice begins when the last game ends." This hall of fame basketball coach has a list of basketball shooting drills for 6 year olds to NBA professionals. It would pay you to read a few of his books and articles....Read and printout>>>


02 May 2008

Developing multiple half-court basketball offenses

It isn't a matter of fitting the personnel to the pattern, but choosing and fitting the pattern to the personnel. This is often necessary because no tall players are available or they are all tall....Read the article>>>

26 March 2008

Conceal your half-court offense! - Part 3

This is the second of a series of articles that show you ways to conceal your half-court basketball offense. This consists of but a few; however, I hope you get the idea and help you develop ways to conceal this offense and others...Read the article>>>

19 March 2008

Conceal your half-court offense! - Part 2

This is the second of a series of articles that show you ways to conceal your half-court basketball offense. This consists of but a few; however, I hope you get the idea and help you develop ways to conceal this offense and others...Read the article>>>

14 February 2008

Conceal your half-court offense!

In my opinion any offense worth running should be concealed. The biggest problem in getting players to run a disciplined pattern is their normal desire to be free to make all their moves....Read the article>>>

02 February 2008

How to teach and coach the old-time Indiana weave basketball half-court offense

If you want to create a lot of player movement in your team's basketball offense, you should consider a weave offense. Old time coaches Everett Dean and Branch McCracken used an offense similar to this back in the 30's, 40's, and 50's. This offense is still widely used today, but more adapted to the 3-point shot...Read more>>>>

18 January 2008

Introduction to pattern play basketball in developing multiple half-court basketball offenses

It isn't a matter of fitting the personnel to the pattern, but choosing and fitting the pattern to the personnel. This is often necessary because no tall players are available....Read more>>>>

09 January 2008

Shooting the basketball and the Equal Opportunity Basketball Offense

The “Equal Opportunity” basketball offense offers several advantages. The most outstanding is the ability to get high percentage shots. Of course, the offense will get those shots, but your players must put the ball in the basket.....Read more>>>>

01 January 2008

How to coach and teach two-man basketball plays - diagramed - part 1

Most basketball plays involve only two or three players. The players, not directly involved in the play, should maneuver or decoy their defender away from the intended point of attack. It is a proven fact that if a team can outnumber its opponents on the offensive end they will be successful at scoring a bucket most of the time; however, this is not always available every time down the court for the best fast-breaking teams...More>>>>


26 Dec 2007 to 2 Jan 2007

26 December 2007

How to teach rebounding the offensive board in the "Equal Opportunity" Basketball Offense

Teams who run the "Equal Opportunity" Basketball Offense should be able to average 50% shooting from the field. Unfortunately, this fact has a downside. Such a shooting percentage often leads to lapses in offensive rebounding. Think about it. You still miss half your attempts at the basket. Your solution is to always send three players to the board for the rebound.....More>>>>

23 December 2007

How to teach youngsters to dribble a basketball

There are two ways to move the basketball. The preferred and quicker method is the pass; however, if the defense is tight and the passing lanes clogged, the dribble is used to set up the offense. Since the dribble can only begin and stop one time it is in a player's possession, he should make his dribble count. Every single dribble should have a purpose.....More>>>>

21 December 2007

Introduction to pattern play basketball - Developing multiple half-court basketball offenses

When it comes to pattern play basketball, let me make one thing clear. It isn't a matter of fitting the personnel to the pattern, but choosing and fitting the pattern to the personnel. Sometimes multiple half-court pattern offenses are set up without a pivot player because there will be times when a post player isn't available. Facts tell us, winning combinations can be developed without the ideal personnel. Seldom does a coach have what can be called perfect material; therefore, changes must be made in the offense to give the available personnel every opportunity to succeed.....More>>>>

19 December 2007

How to attack basketball man-to-man pressure defenses

In a basketball man-to-man defense, the opponents play between the ball and the player they are guarding. Using this tactic, they attempt to force reverses and lob passes, trying to intercept the ball....More>>>>

18 December 2007

How to pass the basketball in the Opportunity Offense

Three basic basketball passes need to be practiced in order to properly execute this half-court basketball offense; however, in emergencies, a player can pitch the ball in a variety of unusual ways. In spite of these unusual circumstances, these three basic passes will serve your needs very well....More>>>>

17 December 2007

How to dribble drive and penetrate the paint off the Opportunity Basketball Offense

A strong basketball lay-up drive is effective in loosening up the defense that is overplaying, feeling they know your next move. Driving the lane will help keep the defense honest. You can drive quite effectively....More>>>>

10 December 2007

Post Play in the Equal Opportunity Basketball Offense

Any successful basketball offense has both an inside and outside attack. If the majority of the attack comes from the perimeter, the defense is likely to be more aggressive farther out on the perimeter. If the majority of threat is inside, most teams will sag, collapse, and double-team until that threat is eliminated...More>>>>

3 December 2007

Five more basketball scoring opportunities have been added to last week's article

Should the third cutter be overplayed and cannot receive a pass, he then turns and sets a down screen for #4 thus executing a high-low interchange as illustrated in diagram 67....More>>>>

26 November 2007

How to teach the Equal Opportunity Basketball Offense: Method first and then, the pattern

We have already looked at procedure used to get into the Equal Opportunity Offensive formation. The procedure for initiating this offense is as important as the pattern itself. You would be wise to spend as much time learning how to get into the formation as you do in practicing its cuts....More>>>>

19 November 2007

Initiating the Opportunity against basketball man-to-man pressure defense

The first step is to get the ball in-bounded. Five seconds is a long time and you should never panic. Smile at your opponent and let them know this is his mistake and your opportunity. If your teammate guard is not open and neither forward has moved to centerfield for the long pass, turn to the referee and call a timeout...More>>>>

12 November 2007

Initiating the Opportunity basketball offense against pressure

Ask any honest point guard whether he prefers to work against pressure, or no pressure, when putting the ball in play, he will tell you that he prefers the defense to back off and leave him alone. There are two lessons to be learned from this: .... More>>>>

 3 November 2007

How to coach and teach the 1-3-1 basketball offense - part 2

This is more about getting into the 1-3-1 basketball offense.... More>>>>

27 October 2007

Getting into the 1-3-1 half-court basketball offense

After the big players maneuver as shown on the previous page, we go into a 1-3-1 formation. This is accomplished no matter which of the three big players the basketball is passed. ...More>>>

20 October 2007

Origin and Strengths of the Equal Opportunity Offense

The Equal Opportunity Offense evolved from the Cincinnati Backdoor Cut offense. That offense has one purpose: to give players at the pivot and forward positions tremendous scoring power close to the basket. As explained earlier, this pattern is swung from side to side, running the same plays from the left and right and left again without hesitation. More >>>>

13 October 2007

Attacking Zone Basketball Defenses

In recent articles I have been explaining how the Backdoor Trap Offensive pattern is used against man-to-man defenses. I did this because in most major conferences the man-to-man offense is predominate and coaches must design their basic offense to combat the type of defenses they will most likely face. ...More>>>>

5 October 2007

The Basketball Opportunity Offense (Part 4) Explained

This article explains, by means of illustrations, more moves and counter-moves that have been proven successful in this type backdoor-cut basketball half-court offense...More>>>>

28 September 2007

The Basketball Opportunity Offense (Part 3) Explained

These guard-around play options are taken from Adolph Rupp's plays he made famous while leading the Kentucky Wildcats to several NCAA National Basketball Championships. There are many others you can use to counter most any type defense. ....More>>>>


21 September 2007

The Basketball Opportunity Offense (Part 2) explained

On this option it is extremely important that the strong-side forward (4) go to a position behind post-player (5), foregoing his cut to the basket. Otherwise, there will be two offensive players cutting into the same spot at the same time. Make it a rule that the forwards are not to cut to the basket unless the weak-side guard goes outside the weak-side forward and continues to the baseline....More>>>>

14 September 2007

The Basketball Opportunity Offense explained

I had a phone conversation with a Texas High School basketball coach the other day asking for basketball coaching ideas. Hopefully, this is the first part of a long article to help all the young high school basketball coaches out there in cyber land. Right up-front, let me say, if I chose to recommend a total half-court basketball offense to a high school basketball coach, it would be the “Backdoor Trap Offense”. I choose this pattern because of the following reasons:
1. The simplicity of its pattern.
2. The great amount of player movement.
3. Shifting of player position gives it a complex appearance.
4. It offers a wide variety of options that players enjoy employing.

02 September 2007

Drills for Shooting the Basketball Free Throw

This past season showed us some outstanding shooters with unorthodox shots that defy all conventions of good shooting. Florida State’s Noah side spinning free throws is a perfect example. A closer look usually proves they follow three rules of good form: balance, aim, and follow-through...More>>>>

24 August 2007

Put Movement into your basketball team's offense

If you want to create a lot of player movement in your team's basketball offense, you should consider a weave. Old time coaches Everett Dean and Branch McCracken used an offense similar to this back in the 30's, 40's, and 50's...........More>>>>

16 August 2007

How to Introduce the Sideline Fast-Break Offense

This offense originated many years ago to combat the full court defenses that teams utilized whenever a free throw occurred. It was quite successful and here is where we explain how to practice and use the sideline fast-break as you basic offense and show it is practiced over and over from the free-throw line set-up.......More>>>>

07 August 2007

How to Introduce Multiple Basketball Half-court Offenses that Fits Your Personnel

When it comes to pattern play basketball, let me make one thing perfectly clear. It isn't a matter of fitting the personnel to the pattern, but choosing and fitting the pattern to the personnel. Sometimes multiple half-court pattern offenses are set up without a pivot man because there will be times when a post player isn't available. Facts tell us, winning combinations can be developed without the ideal personnel. Seldom does a coach have what can be called perfect material; therefore, changes must be made in the offense to give the available personnel every opportunity to succeed. More>>>>

28 July 2007

Summer Thoughts of a High School Basketball about Practice Planning for Coming Season

This time of year, basketball coaches should map the road to success prior start of the school year. Most successful basketball coaches will organize each phase of the season for best results. More>>>>

23 July 2007

Follow the leader basketball passing and dribbling drill

Here is a basketball drill that allows practice of executing a wide variety of passes and dribbling in a simple formation. This drill offers the greatest opportunity for a basketball coach to instruct and correct poor passing and teaching players to dribble without looking at the ball...More>>>>

17 July 2007

Double-line basketball passing drill

This basketball drill can be used as an offensive of defensive drill equally. The drill makes it a bit more difficult for the passer because the defensive player is squared away facing the offensive player....More>>>>

09 July 2007

Bull-in-the-ring basketball passing drill

This drill can be used to teach a defensive exercise; however, greater results will derive from the passing practice involved. Have your players treat the basketball as if it were a “hot potato” and had to be moved quickly, but accurately....More>>>>

02 July 2007

Drills that help teach passing a basketball

Passing a basketball is really a complex skill. Quick hands, peripheral vision, good timing, and a razor sharp brain power are qualities that produce outstanding passers. The simplest quality is probably the most important attribute a good passer must process is he must be a team player. Today, I started compiling a group of team passing drills. More>>>>

19 June 2007

Quick Stop Jump Shooting Drill

This drill will teach the basketball player the art of jump stopping while moving at a high speed and get his shot off while maintaining balance......More>>>>

07 June 2007

Drill to prevent charging off the jump shot

Players often get into the habit of jumping forward too much and come down on their defensive man if he is in good position. The following drill will help correct this problem.... More>>>>

01 June 2007

Drill for shooting the jump shot from standing position

Most players can drive and jump because their momentum helps; however, only a few are able to jump well from a standing position. If a player expects to be a complete basketball player, he or she should practice a lot from the flatfooted position. Here is good drill:..........More>>>>

01 May 2007

Drills to teach the basketball jump shot

The advent of the jump shot changed the game of basketball more than any other innovation. Watch any game, whether high school, college, recreation, or professional and you will see the majority of points come from this shot... More>>>>

16 April 2007

Basketball Set Shooting Drills

This article is in addition to the free throw shooting drills published last week. Six more set shooting drills are explained with drawings and explanation of their use. These drills have been used for years, and kids still love them.... More>>>>

26 March 2007

How to coach individual and team basketball defenses

In my 77 years of observing basketball at all levels of play, I have found that every great championship team was strong defensively. It has also been my observation that no matter how good the offense becomes, there will be days when the lid is on the basket, but good defenders seem to never have off nights...More>>>>

17 March 2007

The Summer Manual For Gym Rats serves as a massive checklist of the little things, a GOOD PLAYER does that often go unnoticed by the average fan and player. You can't read through it only once and expect instant results. It takes action on your part. This manual serves only as a tool. You should practice some of these concepts over and over. If you concentrate, many of these pointers become a habit. You can ONLY accomplish this gradually; but, work at them consistently. Make them part of your STYLE OF PLAY, second nature, something you do automatically, and without even a thought. The world is full of players can perform a given task when told to just concentrate on that, or when asked to do it in a drill. Do they do it in games? Do they do it consistently? . More>>>>

13 March 2007

Sample points-per-possession chart with suggestions

With experience as a basketball coach, you will develop the ability to take advantage of the opponent's weaknesses and your own team's strengths. The more defensive choices you have, the more adjustments you can make in a game. Have confidence and sell your players on the idea that no matter when the going gets tough, they will be able to make defensive adjustments to meet their threat .. More>>>>

07 March 2007

Getting the feel of momentum of a game

A most important step for a basketball coach during a course of the game is to get the feel of the momentum of that game. When everything is going your way, there is little need to change defenses. If the situation is in the reverse, a basketball coach should seriously consider the possibility of a defensive adjustment... More>>>

27 February 2007

Choosing the Right Defense for the Opponent

Selecting the basic defense for your own team is a complex problem that only you can decide. The talent at hand, your own philosophy, and coaching ability determines your choice; however, choosing a defensive style to use against a particular opponent is much easier. I will briefly generalize how a coach can alter defenses for a specific opponent or change the tempo of a game... More>>>>

21 February 2007

Basketball Tournament Offensive and Defensive Play

Changing your regular offense to another style for tournament play usually is not a good idea. The stress and... More>>>>

20 February 2007

Scouting Basketball Tournament Teams

Most coaches believe that the team should not watch their next opponent play and I am one of them. If you are staying at a hotel, it's best your players go there immediately following their victory; however, special consider...More>>>>

19 February 2007

The Basketball Coach's Tournament Duties

The wide variety of conditions in connection to tournament play makes it impossible to give a set of standards on the management of a tourney team. Foremost is the proper time to arrive prior to your game. I personally believe it is harmful to be there too long before you play.....More>>>>

18 February 2007

Preparing Teams for Basketball Tournament Play

For high school, college, or pro, tournament play is the climax of every basketball season. It is often said to be the beginning of a new season and more important than the regular season....More>>>>

7 February 2007

Sell the Value of Good Defense to Players

Sell your players on the defense you are installing. Make sure every player on the entire team understands every move. Never take the floor ill-prepared. Spend at least one-third of your practices rehearsing the defensive fundamentals and practicing the different defenses that you plan to use..... More>>>>

25 January 2007

Defending Against the Tall Pivot Player

The best defense is to not allow a good pivot player to get the ball in the pivot area. Play him on the side nearest the ball. Occasionally front him; however, this gives the defense an inside rebounding position and makes the defe... More>>>>

22 January 2007

Guarding the Player without the ball

Even though the dribbler was played perfectly in the backcourt and baseline drives stopped, loose defensive play on the players without the ball destroys the effectiveness of the defense. The other four players must do a good job of playing the players without the ball. The importance of guarding players without the ball can not be overemphasized. Players tend to relax when not facing a situation that do ....More>>>

10 January 2007

Pure Shooters of Days Gone By

After watching basketball development over the past 75 years, it has been my pleasure to watch some of the best at every level of play. The first to catch my eye was Bob McDermott, then playing with the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons. McDermott was named to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988. Bobby McDermott turned professional after only one year of high school, and starred in the ABL and NBL for 17 years... More>>>>

09 January 2007

How to Defend Offensive Guard Play

Guard defense is important because deep penetrating will wreck a defense before the defense can even begin to organize. Some teams attempt to turn the dribbler toward the sidelines by overplaying the ball handlers about a half-a-man toward the inside of the court..... More>>>>

02 January 2007

Transition From Offense to Defense

Alternating defenses tend to throw the offense off its regular rhythm. This is particularly effective against teams that depend on pattern moves to get them an open shot. Doubt and confusion as to the type of defense they face increases the number of times the offense will lose the ball without taking a shot; however, preparations for this type defense begins on the offensive end of the court... More>>>>

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