Basketball Player Development Never Stops…

A quick thought for coaches….

Your team just played in a state tournament game on a Friday, played hard, but lost 70 – 67. Looking at the stats, you realize the other team shot an uncharacteristically high 60% from the field – negating some good defense and making everything they ran look pretty good. Your team shot 35%.

You are exhausted and frustrated with that feeling all of us coaches know about – entering into the first practice after the loss. Thank goodness you can still get back to the State Finals even though you lost in the Sectional Final, since you have an at-large bid.

Because of the scheduling in the tournament, your team now has 10 days to prepare for the next round. You step out on the floor for practice Monday, with the team down from the loss, and get things started. You address the team, try to get them focused on preparing for the next game, And then…you practice them for 2 hours, pushing them to exhaustion and focusing on defensive principles, blocking out, defensive transition, and the other things that create a brutally tough practice for your players – knowing they have plenty of time to recover for the next game and wanting to “send a message” to them on the loss.

Here’s where I lose my mind…if you really think about it, the team lost the game because the other team shot 60% from the field and you shot 35%. So…wouldn’t it make sense to spend the majority of the time on Monday – utilizing the extra days to get ready for the next round – to work on SHOOTING??? Why not? Coaches have a tough time setting aside the traditional “practice drills” they have become comfortable with, and just working on making more shots. Break down every shot that may come from your offense and let the players shoot – let them get in rhythm and prepare to MAKE MORE shots in the next game. No matter what you are running, if the other team shoots 60% and you shoot 35%, you will have a hard time winning. Your team won’t forget to jump to the ball or get to the help position, or how to run your plays. But they will NOT make more shots unless you work on it.

As I tell my son all the time before games – “Make shots and don’t throw the ball to the other team.” It sounds too simple but after 20 years working with the best players in the world – it’s not too far from the truth.

Player development never stops. I have never seen an offense that looks good when players don’t make shots.



Joe Abunassar, founder of Impact Basketball (www.impactbball.com), trains basketball players of all levels in camps, clinics and individual workouts in their world-class facilities in Florida, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, at their NBA gyms, and now online via Impact’s Certification course for coaches, trainers, parents and players. To learn more about Joe and Impact, the leaders in basketball skill development and conditioning, click here.

Here’s what newly appointed Head Coach of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers has to say about the Online Training:

“Joe’s system is something that every coach, trainer, or even parent, can use to raise the level of every player they coach or train. This program is proven and player development is highly overlooked in basketball today.”

Tyronn Lue, Head Coach, Cleveland Cavaliers


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