This basketball coaching article was written by Basketball HQ Co-Founder Kyle Ohman.
Having been blessed with the ability to play basketball in college (Liberty University) and professionally overseas has allowed me to be able to be around some excellent basketball coaching. During my playing career, I have had my fair share of offseason basketball training sessions with coaches and on my own. These were times that I really valued because I always wanted to be improving as a player.
A big part of my improvement came from my coaches working me out and teaching me different things about the game in the offseason. Now that I have been able to coach and help develop some of my own players, I have thought back and tried to remember what worked best for me as a player and what helped me to improve the most.
This skill development basketball coaching article will provide you as a basketball coach with a little bit of feedback from the player’s side of skill development and some of the tips that I have learned over the years from some of the great coaches that I have had.
Mix Up Your Basketball Training Routine
You wouldn’t eat the same thing every day because you would get tired of it, it would lose taste, and eventually, you would hate it. It is the same idea for your basketball training. Players get tired of doing the same thing every workout and will begin to become unmotivated the longer you continue to do the same thing over and over again. Keep the material fresh and challenging to keep the players engaged and getting better. There are tons of different basketball drills that work on basically the same thing, so don’t get caught up on the same 3 basketball shooting drills or ball-handling basketball drills for every workout.
Find the Right Workout Balance
College and high school basketball coaches are always trying to develop mental toughness or do basketball drills that teach their players to compete. These things need to be taught, and they are very valuable to a basketball team. However, in doing this, coaches often forget to teach the game to their players.
Every workout doesn’t have to be pedal to the floor and going 110% the whole time. Take time to teach a player how to move without the basketball, the right way to duck in on the post, etc. They need to be fully locked in, but not every workout needs to be physically demanding.
Don’t assume that because you know how to do something that they also do. Most players have a pretty low basketball IQ and need to be taught the game on both ends. If I knew everything that I know now when I was a player, I would’ve been a lot better.
Develop Each Individual Basketball Player
When you go to the doctor, they don’t just handout a general pill that makes everyone better and treats every sickness. They evaluate you, figure out what is wrong with you, and then prescribe you the right medicine. You are your players’ doctor. Not every player needs to work on the same thing, so stop lumping them all together!
Evaluate each player’s weaknesses and strengths on an INDIVIDUAL basis and then figure out how you will work on making them a better player. Some players may need to work on learning to compete, but if you have a player that dives on the ground after loose balls 18 times a practice, don’t have him working on toughness drills. Help him develop one of his skills.
Use Film to Help Teach Your Basketball Players
If you are a basketball coach and are not using film to help your players learn, you are seriously missing out. This not only will make it easier for you to show them what you want from them, but it will also help them learn the game and save their legs. You can do this by position or individually with each player. I would recommend 1-2 times a week for only about 20 minutes at a time. That way, you don’t overload your players, and you can show them a few things that are really going to help them learn and become better basketball players.
Developing Your Basketball Players in the Offseason Conclusion
Taking the time and investing in developing your basketball players in the offseason will pay dividends during the season. I hate hearing the excuse, “It is tough to get good players to our program.” Instead of saying that, why don’t you develop some of the players you already have?
I went from being a walk on my freshmen year to being the 19th ranked shooter in the country by Fox Sports my senior year. This happened because my coaches were committed to helping me develop as a player. You owe it to your players and your team to do your best to develop each basketball player on your team to the best that they are capable of being.