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What readers write to Guide to Coaching Youth Sports

We receive a lot of email from visitors to Guide to Coaching Basketball. We appreciate every one of these and wish to share them with others who might benefit from our replies. Here is where we give explanations to coaches or players needs.

These emails often gives ideas for new articles, so keep those emails coming. Write Coach Lindsay.

Hi Ken
I go to your site often and read things over and over. I have 3 sons. 2 sons, ages, 14 and 12, love the game of basketball just as i do.
I have a dilemma and I would appreciate your thoughts...
In my area, unfortunately there is a hardship when it comes to getting willing people, parents, teachers, etc to coach the game.
My boys have been fortunate to have been with a certain coach since they started playing the game in the local rec center. They have now moved on to school teams, and city wide teams.
I found this summer when they played on the city team that there was a lack of practices which did not help the game at all....there was nobody to step up and take control, offer their time, etc.
Here is my dilemma...I am a Mom who loves the game. I know some of the game, but I can and am willing to learn and would love to. I have the opportunity with another Mom to take over a team, we each have a child on the team, age 14. The boys mostly know what they need to do. Of course we would have to give them direction, drills, guidance, support, etc. We would be able to copy/print your drills listed on the web site and come up with a plan, it would be organized for sure.
Would you recommend us taking the plunge and forming a team and going for it? I am so enthusiastic about this and I feel we would form a great team, I guess there is some cold feet just because we have no formal training and do not want to be put down....
Any ideas, recommendations, etc???
Looking forward to your reply,
Donna Toth
Westbrook ME
My recommendation is to go for it!

I have a coffee mug that reads, "To teach is to touch a heart forever." I sincerely believe that statement is true.

Both you ladies, and the boys, can learn, together. Another recommendation is that the use the old Cincinnati drill that is explained on Guide to Coaching Basketball. It requires eleven plays, but covers every basic fundamental that exists in the game of basketball. Most of all, kids love it.

Great website coach.
Dan Riches
Head Coach
Corio Bay Stingrays Geelong Australia
Thanks, Coach!!!

You made my day.

Good luck to you and the Stingrays!

Coach Lindsay,
Howdy again from the great North! Just checking in and saying hi and hope you are doing well and thanks for the e-mail, I appreciate you website and use it often!

I have a team this next year of big farm boys. Our team is made up of mostly 6' 2"-6' 5" slow big kids. Our guards are good, but few ball handlers. I wonder what offense and press breaker to use, since we are going to be pressed. We have been using the old "Reverse Action Offense" with some success, but would like to know more about this offense and get some additional info on others. Thanks again,

Coach Greg Fullmer
Palmer High
Home of the Moose!

Coach Fullmer,

Using the sideline fast-break was first designed to counteract pressing defenses; therefore, using it along with a big dog should work well as a press breaker.

As  to a half-court offense, a team composed of this group should not use the fast break unless two players are quick and one of the five qualifies as a ball handler. Under the circumstances you mention, I would probably use a set offense, shooting over screens. If they have one good ball handler, I would recommend the stack offense. If they have two good ball handlers, they could use a two-three offense, with the low men screening for each other and watching for the easy inside shot. For more information about selecting an team, read Team Offense or Team Defense

Mr. Lindsay,
I was told that you were very adept on the Kentucky Pattern Offense for basketball. I was wondering if you had a way to e-mail me some diagrams and explanations on it. Any help you could provide will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,

Bill Deleplank


Adolph Rupp's Kentucky continuity offense can be run from many different formations. This type of offense is meant to be used against man-to-man defenses. Some minor changes should be made when attacking zone defenses. Go to Kentucky Pattern to see the basic details of running it from a 1-4 high-set offense. Use your imagination and fit it to the talents of your players.


First, thank you for your time and effort to put together and maintain this

Second, I would like to see the situation of small schools addressed. I
coach for a small Christian School with an enrollment that varies year to
year from about 35-50 high school students. This equates to 8 - 12 players
on the team from year to year. From what I have seen my situation is not
unique. I have always been interested in how those more knowledgeable than I
would run such a program.
Joshua Milbourn


Thanks for the complement. These are always appreciated. Really, I rely on these for ideas on future articles. I am currently working on the 8 basic fundamental offensive plays in basketball. I suggest you read and understand how to teach these properly.


I have been looking for a relatively simple motion offense for my 5th grade boys basketball team and I happened upon the Double Post Motion Offense that is on your web site that looks like a good fit for my team. However, I have a question about a term that you used. In paragraph 3 of the Post Rules, what do you mean by the term "pin": "...If he receives a pass we look for the low post
pin and a high low play". Also, by "high low play" I assume you mean that the post player who has flashed to the ball side elbow will pass the ball to the low post player after the "pin". But, I do not quite understand what you mean by "pin".

If you could shed some light on this term, that will fill in a few blanks for me.

Mark Kunkel
St. Agnes, 5th Grade boys Coach
Park Hills, KY


Thanks for writing. In the article, Double Post Motion Offense, I wrote the low post should "pin" his defender on his back. It is very important that every player who plays in the low post position be taught  to put his body (backside) against his defender. This is called pinning his man. If his defender is fronting, the offensive player should take him higher (farther away from the basket) or if defender in behind, push him lower, keeping contact all the time. If the defender is staying off, then go to him and pin him to your advantage.

Mr. Lindsey, Your site has been a wealth of knowledge for young coaches. I refer to it often. I have checked out your daughters clothing site too. Just wanted to thank you, I know how much time it must have taken to organize all this.

Matt Pernick
Boys Coach
Cape Cod Academy


Happy to hear that you often visit Guide to Coaching Basketball and visiting my granddaughter's T-shirt and sports wear. She has some very good buys to deck out your team in style. Thanks for the kudos. Keep in contact and let me know how your team is doing. 

Thanks Ken,

I am a first year 7th grade middle school basketball coach and have found a lot of help from your web site. I appreciate how easy you make it to understand different skills. Season starts this next week. Thanks again,

Kay Hake

Hi Kay,

Good luck to you and your Cougars this season. Thank you for writing and expressing your opinion. You really made an old man's day.

Dear Mr. Lindsay,

I am a middle-school teacher at Helfrich Park in Evansville, and I coach my daughter’s Central Feeder-League team. She is a seventh grader at Thompkins Middle School. While looking on the web today for some simple drills and plays to teach her and the rest of the team, I decided to use "google" to see what I could find. Most of the material I found was un-useable or far too complex to teach 11 and 12 year-olds. But I found a really good, simple site that seemed to be exactly what I was looking for…It was titled Guide to Coaching Basketball. I was so impressed with the site that I immediately bookmarked it so I could come back to it later. During my lunch hour, I re-visited the site and happened to notice a reverence to Coach Arad McCutchan…I was stunned! This was a reference to a local legend; so I continued to read. Imagine my shock to find this fabulous reference guide was written right here in Evansville. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned in a very short time. I have played basketball my whole life and have coached at the middle school level for a number of years, but I have been struggling to come up with an easy strategy to teach this feeder-league team. Most of these young girls have never played at any level.

I had to write and thank you for the obviously enormous amount of work you’ve put into this site. I can only hope to put your knowledge to good use for my own children as well as their teams.

Many heartfelt thanks,

Stan Gilham


Thank you for writing. You really made my day. I'll bet you are related to Bob Gilham. Bob was an outstanding basketball player and coach here in Evansville.

Kids are sure fortunate here in Evansville. Most get good coaching, beginning from the cradle. Yes, I was Coach McCutchan's first student manager at the University of Evansville, then called Evansville College. This resulted in a life-long friendship and fortified my natural love for the game. He and his college teammate, Coach Kern McGlothlin, made me what I am, today.

Dear Ken, 

Have you really left Solarbron? Where are you living now?
The letter from Stan Gilham was a good one. Is he related to the Coach
Gilham that used to coach at Reitz High School years ago? He certainly
appreciates the sincere desire you have to help young basketball coaches.
I definitely appreciated everything you did for me while coaching at
Memorial High School. 

David Hayden

Hi Dave,

Yes, I moved over to Leisure Living. I needed more office space. Stan told me that Bob Gilham was his great uncle. A pretty good coach who was succeeded by my college buddy, Jim Barnett.

Dave, we had a lot of fun at Memorial, didn't we. I'd love to see Jock, one of our own players, turn the program around, again.

Come over and have lunch with me some time. The food is better here, that at Solarbron.


Great website! Is there a way to copy some of the pages? If not , is there a book available to buy? Please let me know.

Brian Engel
5-6 CYO Coach


Thanks writing. You can copy for your own educational purposes any of the articles by selecting, copying, and pasting into your word processing program. From that you can print as many copies needed.

I have nothing to sell, all this stuff is what I learned from others. Now, it is my time to give, especially to people who show love for the game. 

Coach Lindsay,

I just wanted to express how much I enjoy your basketball website on the internet.
I am currently a varsity assistant basketball coach in Winchester, Virginia and
read it weekly for new updates. I have been reviewing the website frequently for
the past year and just saw that you hail from Evansville, Indiana. I lived in
Evansville for 22 years and then moved to Virginia to coach/teach. I saw on the
website you were influenced by Woody Wilson. I went to Woody's basketball camp
every year when I was a kid, that is where I learned my basketball fundamentals
and still teach them today.

Are you still active in basketball in the Evansville area?

Really enjoy your reading your website to better my knowledge in the game
basketball. Keep up the good work.

Jason Toton
Varsity Assistant Basketball Coach
John Handley High School
Winchester, Virginia

Dear Coach Toton,

Nice of you to write. Yes, I became acquainted with Woody when he was an assistant to Jim Crews at the University of Evansville. Woody is a good teacher of the basic fundamentals and knew how to build confidence in shooters.

No, I'm not active anymore, except as a spectator. I'm 83 years old and old father time has flapped me in the face once too often.

Keep me informed this season. How about some ideas?



My name is Chad Smith. I'm 20 years old from Danville, Indiana. I was just reading through your website, and I have to say it is one of the best web sites I have ever visited, there is so much information, and useful teaching tips, it is truly an excellent website. I was wondering if you could help me with something. I have been around basketball all my life, I love the game, am truly passionate about it, and was thinking about a career in coaching. I have no experience in coaching basketball, just teaching younger kids how to shoot periodically. I was wondering if you could give me a place to start, maybe you know of some places where I could get a good start on this path. Any information you could give me would be greatly appreciated! Your web site has already been a huge help to me, and will definately check back on it very often. Thank you for everything.

Chad Smith


Thanks for the compliment. People like you keep me going.

If you want to become a professional, the first thing you need to do is get a degree in education. While doing so, volunteer as a tem manager to school's athletic department.

If unable to go to college, volunteer to coach CYO, YMCA, City Recreation Leagues, or other youth leagues.

I just wanted to send you a huge THANK YOU!


Jeff Stone


Thanks for writing. I'm glad to be of help.

Hi Ken,

I think your website is great!! Is the information provided in it available in print format? I would be willing to pay $50-$60 for this material if it is.


James Aquilino


Thanks for writing. You flatter me with your offer; however, that would conflict with my idea of free basketball information for youth of the world.





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