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Basketball Fundamentals - Offensive Tips

By James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook, @ http://www.coachesclipboard.net

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1. Practice, practice, practice shooting. Work with your shooting form, the "platform", "L", "hinge" and "gooseneck" so that you learn to shoot with your fingertips and get back-spin on your shot ("rotation"). You may not be strong enough yet to do this, but most good shooters eventually learn this. To perfect your shooting technique, practice shots within just a few feet of the basket, every day. Then practice lay-ups, free-throws, 2-pointers, even 3-pointers, and eventually learn to shoot a jump-shot. Don't be afraid to take a good shot. Look for a chance to shoot. But don't force bad shots. See Learning How to Shoot.

2. Become a good dribbler and ball-handler. Dribbling and ball-handling are the foundation skills for almost any offensive move with the ball. Practice dribbling drills and moves for 15 minutes every day (see Dribbling, Stationary Dribbling Drills, and Sideline Dribbling Drills)

3. Learn the "triple-threat" position, the proper stance so you will have the option of being able to shoot, pass or dribble. See "Outside Moves".

4. Be a good passer. Bad passing and turnovers will destroy a team faster than anything! Make good, short, quick, crisp passes...they're hard to intercept. Avoid long cross-court passes, unless your teammate is wide open. Learn to use your peripheral vision and avoid throwing the ball to your opponent. Make a good pass that your teammate can easily catch. A really good passer can pass to a teammate without looking directly at her. Avoid telegraphing your passes (more in practice). Learn how to make good bounce passes. Learn when not to pass and avoid passing into a crowd.

5. Court awareness. Always know where the ball is, don't turn your back on the ball. "Survey" the court. Look for the open teammate with your peripheral vision. Look to the "weak side" of the floor for an easy "back-door" pass and lay-up. Learn to "cut" and find an open area on the floor, where your teammate can pass to you for an easy shot.

6. Except for the point guard, go hard for the offensive rebound. Many easy baskets are scored on second and third chances, if you can get the rebound (see Rebounding Tips). The point guard, O1, should stay back out on top to prevent the other team's fast break (if they get the rebound). If O1 drives to the basket for a shot, O2 (or O3) should stay back. Also, get in the good habit of following your own shot after you shoot. Many times, if your shot is too short or too hard, it will come off the rim right back toward you. Expect this when you shoot, and go get it! You may get a second chance to make that basket. Three of the five players should always go hard for the offensive rebound, one is half-rebounding and half-preventive mode, and one is always back to prevent the opponent's fast break.

7. Get the ball down the floor quickly, fast-break whenever possible and beat the defense down the court. But play under control at all times. Don't try to go faster than you are able!--you'll lose the ball or make a bad pass. It's difficult even for high school kids to learn how to play with quickness and speed, while still staying under control. Remember: "You must be quick...but never hurry."

8. Avoid too much dribbling as this just allows the defense time to reset. Quick passing and cutting is the secret. But never give up your dribble without being able to pass or shoot the ball. John Wooden, a retired famous coach from UCLA, told his players, "You should always end your dribble with either a pass or a shot." Don't stop your dribble until you can do either. Learn how to jump stop at the end of your speed dribble (see Learning the Jump Stop).

9. Post-up players (O4 and O5) must learn the basic post moves, the drop-step, the jump hook, and up and under moves. Ask your coach to teach you these moves. After learning these basic moves, you can develop other variations of these moves. See Post-Moves.

10. Move without the ball. Don't stand still. Set picks, make cuts through the paint, or "back-door". Be ready to rebound. (See Moving Without the Ball, Cutting and Faking).



Helpful DVDs:


Coach K and Johnny Dawkins teach guard play!
Mike Krzyzewski: Duke Basketball - Developmental Drills for Perimeter Players
with Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University Head Men's Basketball Coach, NABC "Coach of the Decade," 12X NABC "Coach of the Year," Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2001), 3X NCAA National Championships ('91, '92,'01)

and Johnny Dawkins, Duke University Men's Basketball Associate Head Coach; 2X First Team All-American, All-Time Leading Scorer (Duke), "National Player of the Year" ('86), named one of the "50 Greatest Players in ACC History".

Coach Mike Krzyzewski and Associate Head Coach Johnny Dawkins give you an "inside look" at Duke's intense workout for perimeter players. The Duke basketball program has a reputation for unparalleled individual improvement using these competitive and innovative drills... (more info)

Price: $44.99
Buy Now from the Coach's Clipboard Basketball DVD - Video Store!



Coach K and Chris Collins teach you how to play the point guard position.
Mike Krzyzewski: Duke Basketball - Developmental Drills for Point Guards
with Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University Head Men's Basketball Coach, NABC "Coach of the Decade," 12X NABC "Coach of the Year," Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2001), 3X NCAA National Championships ('91, '92,'01)

and Chris Collins, Duke University Assistant Basketball Coach; #6 all-time 3 pt. field goals made (Duke).

For the past 25 years, Duke has been home to some of the best point guards in the country and they have all studied and practiced the developmental drills presented in this excellent production... (more info)

Price: $44.99
Buy Now from the Coach's Clipboard Basketball DVD - Video Store!



Perimeter moves and drills from Coach Wright of Villanova
Jay Wright: Attacking Footwork Drills for Perimeter Players
with Jay Wright, Villanova University Head Men's Basketball Coach, NCAA "Sweet 16" (2005), Philadelphia Big Five Eastern College Coach of the Year.

Jay Wright's unique ability to teach proper fundamentals and footwork is key to the national success of his Villanova program... His motto is that "Players must be comfortable on either foot" so his workouts focus on pivoting on both the inside and the outside foot from both sides of the floor and why both are important. Wright demonstrates his Jab Series which creates potent scoring options from anywhere on the floor. Taught with or without the use of a screen, this series forms the bedrock for perimeter effectiveness at Villanova. A compliment to the Jab Series is the Swing Series... (more info)

Price: $39.99
Buy Now from the Coach's Clipboard Basketball DVD - Video Store!


Steve Alford's Ultimate Guard Development Drills
Steve Alford's Ultimate Guard Development Drills
with Steve Alford, University of New Mexico Head Coach; former University of Iowa Head Coach. Coach Alford presents a comprehensive tape on guard development appropriate for all ages. This video stresses competitive techniques for ball handling, shooting, footwork, reading screening angles, and counters to all defensive switching on screens. These innovative guard drills will enhance the development for any player wanting to learn and improve their understanding and execution of being an effective guard. Along with ball handling drills, Alford includes a multitude of shooting drills... (more info)

Price: $39.99
Buy Now from the Coach's Clipboard Basketball DVD - Video Store!


Becoming a Champion Basketball Player: The Perimeter Player
Five Star: Becoming a Champion Basketball Player: The Perimeter Player
with Five-Star Basketball Coach/Instructor and Memphis Grizzlies NBA Scout, Scott Adubato. This excellent DVD, featuring instructional techniques and methodology employed at the legendary Five-Star camps, will show you what it takes to be a "Champion" perimeter player - emphasizing the ability to create and convert open shots, getting open on the wing, using screens, and catching and shooting in transition. Drill sets include the "triple threat" series for spot-shooting, transition shooting, catching and shooting on the move... (more info)

Price: $39.99
Buy Now from the Coach's Clipboard Basketball DVD - Video Store!


Coach K teaches post play!
Mike Krzyzewski: Duke Basketball - Developmental Drills for Post Players
with Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University Head Men's Basketball Coach, NABC "Coach of the Decade," 12X NABC "Coach of the Year," Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2001), 3X NCAA National Championships ('91, '92,'01).

and Steve Wojciechowski, Duke University Assistant Basketball Coach, National "Defensive Player of the Year" ('98), 2X "All ACC," holds Duke's 2nd highest single season steal total (82)

For the past 25 years, Duke has been known for some of the toughest post players in the country - they have all studied and practiced the developmental drills presented in this excellent production... (more info)

Price: $44.99
Buy Now from the Coach's Clipboard Basketball DVD - Video Store!



Pete Newell's Big Man Moves and Skill Development
Pete Newell's Big Man Moves and Skill Development
with Pete Newell, Basketball Hall of Fame ('79), Gold Medal Olympic Team ('60), NCAA Championship ('59), NIT Championship ('49), and Mike Dunlap, Metro State College Head Coach, 2X D-II NCAA Champions.

Coach Pete Newell has spread his "big man" basketball principles across the world through his famous camps and clinics, having taught some of the game's best-ever post players such as Shaquille O'Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Ralph Sampson, and Bill Walton. Coach Dunlap has also used these "Pete Newell" principles to transform the Metro State program into one of the powerhouses of Division II basketball. In this demonstration-clinic presentation, Coach Newell includes over 20 areas of big man development including pivoting, getting open, power moves, counters, psychological attitude, and 14 big man moves. Newell teaches virtually every move to get open, seal defenders, get jump shots and hooks shots, how to attack the basket, and how to finish strong. He also teaches and demonstrates the technique of the pick and roll, as well as all of the counters and reads to keep the defense guessing and off-balance. Everything taught in this basketball DVD can be incorporated into individual and team workouts and used at any point during the pre-season, in-season, and post-season for any age or skill level.... (more info)

Price: $39.99
Buy Now from the Coach's Clipboard Basketball DVD - Video Store!