Saturday, August 15, 2015


1 sets a cross screen for 5.
5 cuts to the opposite side of the rim, looking for a pass from 3.
2 cuts to an opening near the top of the key to give 3 a passing angle.
Immediately after setting the screen for 5, 1 sets a screen for 4.
4 cuts toward the lane area looking to receive a pass from 3.
1 then pops out to the three point line.
5 continues to pin their defender looking for a pass from 3.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


This article was posted here back in 2012.  Recent discussions with coaches, parents, and coaches who are parents led me to reposting it today.  Enjoy.

Coaches and parents will want to read this.

Basketball coaches learn from each other all the time.  We share information, borrow some, and are always watching and picking up tidbits wherever they can.  One of the most important pieces of advice I learned in my 20+ years of coaching didn't come from my past experiences as an athlete, or a coaching clinic, or a coaching colleague, or even a coaching DVD.  This piece of valuable advice was given to me from my wife.

This information is for all coaches.  As a coach we interact with the parents of our players.  BUT if you are a coach and a parent this is especially for you.

I am a basketball coach.  And like most basketball coaches it is difficult for me to watch any basketball game for pure entertainment purposes.  It doesn't matter if a coach is watching game 7 of the NBA finals on television or the first game of a fifth grade league at the YMCA, we seem to analyze the game we are watching as a coach.  This is not a bad thing because it is a part of who we are and how we are wired.

Add your own children to the mix and you have a tough balancing act.

I have been fortunate to say that I have been able to watch my own children participate in sports, including basketball, for many years.  I'm no different than the next parent as I get nervous for my child as they play because I want them to perform well and feel good about themselves.  But I also watch the game with a coach's mentality (after all it IS what I do).   And who do parents watch more closely during games? That's right, their own kid.  Again, I am no different than other parents.

After a game was finished my wife and I would wait with the other parents for our children to come over and visit with us after their coach was done talking to them.  We always greet them with a hug and a "good job".  But then my coaching personality kicked in and I would start rehashing the game with them.  I wasn't necessarily judging how well they played, but I would talk to them as if they were one of the players on my own team.  I would ask them questions about a particular possession, or an adjustment the team made, or even what their thought process might have been during a certain play.  I thought I was just talking to my kids and connecting with them about something they also have a passion for. I later learned that this is not what my children thought I was doing.

ENTER THE 20 MINUTE RULE...My wife is smart.  She could see that our kids weren't always interested in rehashing things immediately after the game was completed.  Her exact words were, "They don't need a coach right now, they need their dad."  And she was right.  I felt I was able to add insight to our kids because I am a coach.  This may be true, but it wasn't what the kids needed at that time.  So, she introduced the "20 Minute Rule" to our family.  The 20 Minute Rule means that when we meet up with our children after one of their games we don't talk about specific parts of the game for twenty minutes.  We don't have a stopwatch that counts down the minutes until I can ask my first question (that would look a bit funny).  I started to take those first few minutes with the kids after games and continued to give them a hug and tell them "good job", but it also gave them a chance to initiate the conversations we were to have after the games.  And once the twenty minute rule was over the discussions about the game were less coach-player orientated, and more dad-child orientated.  We still discuss the games but after the 20 Minute Rule these discussions started later at home, not in the gym immediately following a game. Also, it allowed my words of, "I really enjoyed watching you play," mean more to my children when it wasn't followed by questions about the game.

Because coaching is a big part of my life, and my kids are active in athletics, the 20 Minute Rule is one of the best pieces of advice I have been given.  It's shown me how to be a parent of an athlete in a way that makes the overall experience better for my children. Thanks to my wife.

Monday, August 10, 2015


1-and-1 Streaks is a free throw shooting drill that you can use with your entire team.  This drill gives players some added pressure to make it more game-like.

Split the team up into smaller groups at each basket.  It is not necessary to have an equal number of players at each basket.  Let your team know how many minutes they will be shooting free throws. The goal is to have the most successful 1-and-1 streaks, as a group, by the end of the drill.  

For explaining purposes let's say that there are three players at a basket (Player A, Player B, and Player C).  Each time a player gets their chance to shoot, they shoot a 1-and -1 free throw situation.

Player A steps to the free throw line to shoot a 1-and-1.  If they miss the first attempt they don't get to shoot the second free throw (just like a game).  Then Player B gets their turn to shoot.  If Player B makes the first and misses the second free throw this group still does not have a successful 1-and-1.  You have to make the first and second shot to count it as part of a streak.

If Player C makes the first and then the second free throw the group now has a streak of one.  Now Player A shoots again.  If Player A makes both the first and the second free throw their group has a streak of two.  Now it's Player B's turn again, and if they do not make the first and second free throw, the group is now back at zero.

The group that has the most consecutive successful 1-and-1's at the end of the drill, wins the drill.

This is an effective drill because it can add some focus to practicing free throws in a practice setting. The players at each basket are counting on each other and this can make shooting free throws more game-like.