I never knew this site existed and maybe you don’t either!

FIBA has a coaching site with drills, plays, teaching principles, interviews with international renowned coaches etc! Trust me you need to check it out!



I haven’t been coaching for that long, and I haven’t come across a player with as much potential as a recent 8 year old who has just picked up a basketball for the first time in his life.

Imagine an 8 year old who can run from the length of the court and back so fast that boys 2 years older than him are still at half court when he finishes. Imagine an 8 year old who has never touched a basketball in his life but can seem to read the play so well not many can pass it past him. He has already scored 6 points in his first two games and I’ve lost count of the number of intercepts. In the words of a 7 year old in our team – “Holy S**t!”

The agility skills of the boy for his age is the best I have seen so far in my coaching career. But there’s a dilemma…there’s so much pressure on a coach to get things right with a player tht has so much potential at such a young age. I’m actually a bit worried about failing the boy.

I can only do my best. Let’s hope it is good enough and we have a future boomer in our midsts.

Let’s also hope we don’t lose him to another sport such as AFL.

There’s some great historical data about great teams bouncing back from a disappointing loss, the most recent being the Geelong Cats in the AFL earlier this year after they lost to the Blues.

My youth league team faces their first thrashing the weekend just past. How on earth does a rookie coach bounce back from a 40 point loss let alone a rookie team?

The rookie coach decided to call upon the ‘big wigs’ response and like the Geelong Cats have done in the past, the first half hour of training the following Monday was spent analysing the game and undertaking an “honesty session”.

The rookie coach had no idea how to run this honesty session so decided to call upon google to answer questions about what a session entails. Google failed, and the only results that were found involved newspaper articles about Australian supporting teams undertaking these “honesty sessions”. This then got me thinking…do “honesty sessions” occur anywhere else in the sporting world? Please comment if you do know of examples.

So the rookie coach undertook this “honesty session” with no background information. It was more or less run on a whim. Some interesting issues were brought out into the open and we then realised we’re still in the top 4 so there’s not too much to worry about 🙂

Only time will tell if this honesty session worked.

Just found an awesome list of links about basketball drills and plays. http://ow.ly/ZYE3 #basketball

And now I’ve read that there is an app for the bleep (yo-yo) test for the #iphone. All I need is an app that will grow money for me…

Reading that the AFL are now using yo-yo fitness test instead of the beep test. Interesting… http://ow.ly/We65

MrG3515’s comments got me thinking about transition offence/defence. I went to a coaching clinic late last year with Michelle Timms and Tom Maher as the stars. The focus was transition, and scoring easy baskets from transition basketball. Some key points included:

  • Ensure the team gets the ball in as quickly as possible after the opposition scores two points. Don’t decide on someone to take the ball in every time. The team rule is for the closest person to take the ball! If you move the ball up the court quickly you will be surprised how many times you can catch the defence lapsing.
  • Run the lanes. The ball handler should never dribble ball to sideline of court. Defence wants to trap there! Dribble down the middle of the court slightly to the left or right of the middle. They explained this as an imaginary line from where the centre-line and edge of jump ball circle meets in centre of court then runs down length of court.
  • Pass the ball quickly up the court! Quickest way down the court is to pass.
  • In a 2 on 1/3 on 2/4 on 3/5 on 4 situation, penetrate to basket, draw defence and pass quickly. Moving ball quickly unsettles defensive structure. If no one defends player with the ball pull up for a shot and everyone crash the boards.

Some drills to run include:

  • 3 on 3 full court. Swap one team in/out every minute. 10 second shot clock. All other normal basketball rules apply.
  • There’s also some great drills at basketball plays and tips

I was shown some drills at the clinic, except I can’t seem to find any videos/good written examples. I really should get a video camera and record some of my training sessions shouldn’t I?

So it’s January and the basketball courts are getting resurfaced/remarked or are closed for the summer break (I’m in the southern hemisphere remember!). What do you do for practice? Find a park and do some fitness/ball handling!

This year I’ve just introduced the 20 station drill to my team. I setup 20 stations on a grassed area and the players spend 50 seconds at each station and then have 10 seconds to rest and move to the next station. Thanks to Grantley Bernard (Big V Ladycats coach), the stations have been copied from him and modified for an U12 level.

The stations are:

  1. Skipping one foot
  2. Figure 8 around hurdle
  3. Skipping two feet
  4. H formation around hurdle
  5. Skipping of player’s choice
  6. Situps
  7. Pushups
  8. Agility Ladder – forward
  9. Agilitiy Ladder – sidewards
  10. Knees High
  11. Knees to bum
  12. Running
  13. Defensive Slide
  14. Ball handling – flick between hands
  15. Reverse situps cycling
  16. Jumping two feet over hurdles
  17. Hopping over sticks
  18. Jumping sideways over a cone
  19. Plank
  20. Zig Zag run

There’s other drills such as pitter patter, upturning cones or reflex ball that I swap and change with, depending on venue or what the team needs to focus on. I was even using cups/sticks to start off with but have now purchased an agility kit that includes hurdles, cones and agility ladders.

So far, so good. The players seem to be enjoying themselves and getting a good workout. I’ve opened it up to other teams and brothers/sisters so we get more turning up to training with many being away due to holidays! I’m even joining in with them and they are all better than me!

Want some great videos? Need some new drills? Found this while searching for refereeing videos a few months ago and love it. Especially like the passing video. Check out Basketball Manitoba! Trust me you won’t regret it.

Not the best site navigation wise, but the content is great. You will have to register to get full access, but it costs nothing!

Tryouts for next rep season are coming up soon. Here are some tips of what the coaches are looking for!

  • Listen. Listen to the coaches, other players, administrators etc. Listening is how you learn.

  • A lot of “good” players do not get picked because they are not “coachable”. Basketball is a team game and everyone has their role. If you are going to go out and play for yourself, then don’t bother turning up. If you do, you won’t get picked.

  • Play as a team. If someone is in a better position than you, pass it to them. It doesn’t matter if they miss the shot. The coach sees the pass and the shot!
  • Try new things. If you aren’t that good dribbling/shooting on your opposite hand, try it. Coaches look for potential when picking a team. If you are willing to try, it shows you are willing to improve.
  • If someone is beating you in offence every time, try harder next time. Never give up. Once you give up, the coaches lose interest. Sometimes a player is just better than you, but in a year’s time you can be better than them if you keep trying!
  • Do the “one percenters”. Take that great rebound, hussle in defence. Do the cuts in offence even if you don’t get the ball. Deny the ball in defence, go split line. Do that awesome pass. Trust me it looks good. Max Rooke is one of Bomber Thompson’s favourite players because he always does the “one percenters”.
  • Have fun! Don’t forget that it is just a game of basketball afterall. Don’t take it too seriously, but don’t muck around.

I’ll keep editing this post as I come up with things over the next few weeks. Good luck if you are trying out.