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Basketball Coaching 101 - How to use Coach's Clipboard Basketball Playbook

By Dr. James Gels, From the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook
"Helping coaches coach better..."

When you first look at Coach's Clipboard with all its content, numerous offenses, defenses, plays, articles, etc it can look somewhat daunting and overwhelming. This article will help simplify things.

Why so much content? - because there really are many, many offenses, defenses, plays, etc and Coach's Clipboard attempts to be there for all coaches, who may be looking for entirely different things.

But frankly, there is too much material here for any one team to incorporate. So what should you use with your team? It depends. What is your coaching philosophy? - do you like an up tempo, fast game, or a slower more deliberate style? Are your players athletic enough for a full-court running game, or do you need to slow things down?

Are you coaching high school, or youth basketball? Youth teams need to keep things really simple.

basketball coach and player

No matter what level you are coaching and what your philosophy and situation is, your team will need a half-court man-to-man offense, a zone offense, several plays, a few OB plays, and a press-breaker.

Defensively, you must decide what your half-court defense is going to be (man-to-man or zone) and whether or not you want to use a press defense, either full-court or half-court. In my opinion, youth teams and players need to learn how to play good man-to-man defense. But I don't mind you adding a simple 2-3 zone defense in the 8th grade.

It might be tempting to make things too complicated with too much "stuff", too many plays, too many "junk defenses", etc. Develop a system that is effective, yet simple, that satisfies your coaching philosophy and the physical and athletic make-up of your team.

Organizing practices, using drills, teaching fundamentals, coaching game-strategies are all vitally important things too.

Teach fundamentals... good players with sound basketball fundamentals will do more for winning games than a lot of "razzle-dazzle" coaching strategies. Youth coaches should spend most of their practice time teaching fundamentals.

A good coach is a good teacher who can prepare and ready his/her team to compete. Good court-side strategy comes with experience and can help you win a few close ones. A good coach has a passion for the game, always learning, and is a positive influence and mentor for his/her players. A good coach values all his/her players and tries to help instill good sportsmanship and good citizenship values.

youth team

Youth coaches, keep things simple with a simple offense... maybe use the first few layers of the Read and React offense, or a simple 4-out motion offense, or a simple 1-3-1 offense, or the youth swing offense, or the Thunder offense (a flex variation).

High school coaches can add more offenses, plays, defenses, etc because you have more practice time to put these things in, and players are more advanced. But caution! Simplicity is often best... don't overwhelm and confuse your players.

Players... concentrate on the articles under "Player Development". Read the articles on "Mental Aspects". Learn to handle the ball... see the video clips of dribbling drills (one and two-ball drills), dribble-moves, post-moves, and other fundamentals.