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Importance of Offensive Basketball Fundamentals

In his book, Winning Basketball, Nat Holman writes, "mastery of detail in fundamentals is the first principle of winning basketball." Most coaches I have known throughout my eighty-four years agree with Holman's words.

Before bigger things can be attempted, successful coaches must stress and practice the fundamentals of basketball. This groundwork lays the foundation for success. It is essential that the coach synchronize his fundamental teachings with his chosen system of play. Unless there is a progression of the fundamentals and a carrying out, much of his efforts result in wasted time.

Teams well drilled in the fundamentals usually possess a stronger degree of confidence in their ability. However, only proper preparation and presentation of these fundamentals will produce that confidence. If you can instill this among your players, they will be hard to beat.

How to teach the eight basic fundamentals

This could also be called the psychology of groundwork. In the interest of the laws of learning, here are a few points for the inexperienced coach in the teaching of a specific fundamental.

  1. Demand strict attention.
  2. The first fundamental drill should be simple and non-competitive. Only after the mechanics are learned, revert to game condition drill to gain efficiency in developing the whole. Never allow carelessness.
  3. The coach and more experienced players should demonstrate the fundamental first at half-speed and later at normal speed. A good demonstration of a skill tends to give a group a more uniform mental picture of that particular fundamental. Most sport authorities generally agree that a coach should not scrimmage with his players; however, if the coach is competent enough, I think it wise that he demonstrate the fundamentals.
  4. Use the whole method in explaining the fundamental and its place in your chosen offense. Such explanation gives a better understanding of the fundamental, its purpose, and your particular offense.
  5. In the beginning, constantly stress correct form and habits. Speed can be emphasized, later.
  6. If your squad is average to large, divide players into small units with an experienced player, acting as player-coach. Using a player in this manner develops responsibility and leadership. The coach can make the rounds, lending hand to players who need help.
  7. Use the part method by stressing one, or two, main points at a time. As progress continues, go on to other points in the execution. Repeat the next day or two and the next week until well mastered. Players learn best when reviewed at regular intervals. That was Coach McCutchan's reason for his use of daily stations.
  8. Do not practice too long and one particular fundamental. This tends to dampen enthusiasm of players.
Learn from an NBA legend...
Our 10 Most Frequently Read Articles:
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  3. One-on-one basketball moves

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  5. How to Teach the 8 Basic Fundamental Plays in Basketball

  6. How to Teach Players to Dribble a Basketball

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  9. How to Coach the 1-3-1 Basketball Zone Pressure Defenses

  10. How to Coach and Teach the Wheel Man-to-Man Basketball Offense

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