Improving Offensive Footwork: Extension Lay-up Drill

In youth basketball, coaches should utilize a variety of lay-up drills that focus on different things, such as speed lay-ups, contested lay-ups and bad angle lay-ups because lay-ups determine the outcome of games. The following is a half-court lay-up drill focused on footwork, finishing with both hands and utilizing a good first step to minimize dribbles and maximize offensive efficiency.

The drill is simple. Each player makes three of each kind of lay-up before switching to the left side (a total of 24 lay-ups in the entire drill). Every lay-up starts on the wing at the three-point line, free throw line extended. As the previous player goes, players spin the ball and catch on a one-count or jump stop with knees bent and butt low. Each move uses only one dribble and three steps. Players must learn to extend with the dribble on their first step. […]

Parents, Performance and Social Facilitation

Last weekend at a recreation volleyball league, I witnessed a familiar scene. The teams scrimmaged at the end of the one-hour clinic. A 7th grader stepped to the service line, and her father said something to her. She served underhand because the game was close, and she wanted to get her serve in the court. Read more about Parents, Performance and Social Facilitation[…]

Great Coaching: A Classroom Lesson

Last December, Malcolm Gladwell wrote an article in the New Yorker titled “Most Likely to Succeed” which compared teacher performance to NFL quarterbacks, because both are nearly impossible to predict in advance. The article describes several commonalities used to identify great teachers. “Among them is ‘regard for student perspective’; that is, a teacher’s knack for Read more about Great Coaching: A Classroom Lesson[…]

The Positive Response to Mistakes

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness In the 2008 College Baseball World Series, Fresno State University lost Game 1 in the best of three series against Georgia, but bounced back to win the next two games. In game three, Fresno State’s shortstop, freshman Danny Muno, made three errors. The third error came in Read more about The Positive Response to Mistakes[…]

Offensive Rebounds Lead to Free Throws

Nothing destroys the heart of a defense more than relinquishing offensive rebounds. After playing 10–30 seconds of solid defense, an offensive rebound gives the offense another possession, forcing the defense to exert more effort and hiding the offense’s poor shooting. More to the point, offensive rebounds lead directly to free throw attempts. Maybe it is Read more about Offensive Rebounds Lead to Free Throws[…]

Motivating your Bench Players

One tough issue for coaches is utilizing bench players. These players play several pivotal roles: Often, these players form the nucleus of the program’s future, whether they are underclassmen or rookies on a professional team; If a player is injured, someone must step in and step up to maintain the current level of success; Non-starters Read more about Motivating your Bench Players[…]

UCLA’s Norm Chow Illustrates Great Coaching

UCLA Offensive Coordinator Norm Chow is known as an offensive guru, the coach who has tutored multiple Heisman Trophy winners and directed many high-powered offenses. According to UCLA fullback Tobi Umodu’s article “What Makes Norm Chow Norm Chow” in the New York Times, Chow’s greatness goes beyond pure knowledge of offensive sets and throwing technique: Read more about UCLA’s Norm Chow Illustrates Great Coaching[…]

Understanding Parent Expectations to Improve Coaching

A coach’s enjoyment of a season often depends on his or her relationship with the parents. Children very rarely cause problems, but their parents often do. In Candace Barton and Craig Stewart’s “Parental Expectations of Coaches: Closing the Communication Gap,” they research the difference between parents’ actual expectations and the coaches’ perception of their expectations Read more about Understanding Parent Expectations to Improve Coaching[…]

The Myth of Early Specialization

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness. This summer, Chula Vista Little League won the Little League World Series, and the biography for winning pitcher Kiko Garcia said that he also played club soccer and basketball. In the semi-finals of the United States’ bracket, Chula Vista defeated Warner Robins Little League from Georgia; ESPN Read more about The Myth of Early Specialization[…]