offensive rebounding

Offensive Rebounding and Transition Defense: Tips from Coach Victor Lapeña

Explore the valuable insights shared by Victor Lapeña, who leads Canada’s Senior Women’s National Team. As the head coach, Lapeña brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the court, from the long time Spanish Basketball Federation coach, who helped Canada qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics. His role goes beyond the court, as he’s committed to growing the game domestically and developing coaches. Dive into two critical aspects of basketball – offensive rebounding and transition defense. Discover Coach Lapeña’s expert advice on these essential skills.

Watch Coach Lapeña on The Basketball Podcast:

The Importance of Offensive Rebounding and Transition Defense

Offensive rebounding and transition defense play a crucial role in the success of any basketball team. Coach Victor emphasizes the significance of these skills, particularly when a team fails to score or experiences a turnover. Without proper execution in these areas, teams can give their opponents easy points and lose control of the game. To address this issue, Coach Victor reflects on his own experience and analyzes statistical details to develop his own set of rules and strategies.

Rule #1: Don’t Rest, Stay Active and Stay Focused

Coach Victor’s first rule is simple yet powerful: don’t rest, keep working always. He encourages teams to stay engaged during practice and not stop after a shot or score. By continuously working and staying active, players can develop good habits and improve their offensive rebounding and transition defense. Coach Victor emphasizes the importance of being ready for the next play, even if it’s just a few seconds after the previous one. This rule ensures that teams make the most of their practice time and develop a strong foundation in these critical skills.

Rule #2: Protect the Rim and Prevent Easy Points

Coach Victor’s second rule focuses on protecting the rim and preventing easy points for the opponent. By forcing the rival team to play in the half court and denying them easy transition opportunities, teams can control the game and limit the opponent’s scoring. This rule highlights the importance of pressure on the defensive glass, maintaining balanced positioning, and spacing on the court. Coach Victor emphasizes that these principles should be ingrained in the team’s offense and defense, ensuring that players are always prepared for any situation.

Rule #3: Boxing Out and Defensive Balance

The third rule introduced by Coach Victor centers around boxing out and defensive balance. He emphasizes the need for players to work on their angles and improve their positioning when going for offensive rebounds. By teaching players to take a diagonal approach instead of a straight-line stride, teams can increase their chances of securing rebounds and gaining second-chance opportunities. Coach Victor stresses the importance of drills and practices to reinforce these techniques and create a strong defensive foundation.

Rule #4: Penetration Defense

Coach Victor’s fourth rule focuses on penetration defense, particularly against guards. He highlights the need to anticipate the opponent’s moves and adjust positioning accordingly. By understanding the tendencies of the opposing players, defenders can anticipate their actions and be in a better position to defend. Coach Victor emphasizes the importance of working on angles and improving defensive position to counter penetration effectively.

Rule #5: Rebounding from the Wing

The final rule introduced by Coach Victor pertains to rebounding from the wing. He emphasizes that when shooting from the corner, two players should go for the rebound, while three players focus on defensive balance. This rule ensures that teams maintain a high percentage of rebound tips and maintain perimeter balance. Coach Victor highlights the importance of this rule as it relates to the positioning of the ball and the likelihood of rebounds falling near the free-throw line.

Developing the Skills and Habits

Coach Victor emphasizes the need for repetition and practice to develop these skills and habits effectively. He encourages coaches to create drills and games that simulate game scenarios and reinforce the team’s offensive rebounding and transition defense principles. By practicing these skills when players are fresh and not tired, teams can establish good habits and improve their ability to execute these strategies consistently.

Challenges in Becoming a Top Defensive Team

When asked about the biggest challenge in becoming one of the best defensive teams in the world, Coach Victor pointed out the difficulty of stopping talented players, specifically mentioning the challenge of stopping the USA national team. He emphasized that stopping exceptional talent is always a challenge, and it requires a combination of skill, strategy, and teamwork. Coach Victor highlighted the importance of adjusting defensive strategies and focusing on team defense to counter the offensive prowess of talented opponents.

Big Picture: Differences in Styles of Play

Coach Victor also shared his insights on the differences between the European and North American styles of play. He highlighted the emphasis on competitiveness in European basketball, particularly in Spain. He mentioned that while both North America and Europe have excellent coaches and skill development programs. However, the focus on competitiveness sets European basketball apart. Coach Victor believes that developing competitiveness from a young age and instilling a strong desire to compete can be a crucial factor in the success of a team or a player.


Coach Victor Lapeña’s expertise in offensive rebounding and transition defense is evident through his insights and practical advice. By following his rules and strategies, teams can improve and become more effective in these areas. The emphasis on hard work, competitiveness, and teamwork resonates throughout his teachings, highlighting the importance of developing good habits and executing strategies consistently. With Coach Victor’s guidance, teams can elevate their game on both ends of the court.

For more great offensive rebounding and transition defense systems, be sure to check out Aaron Fearne’s Tagging Up Offensive Rebounding System from Immersion Videos.


The Dawn of Excellence: Exploring the Impact of Dawn Staley

In the world of women’s basketball, there are few names that stand out quite like Dawn Staley. From her impressive playing career to her trailblazing coaching journey, Staley has left an indelible mark on the sport. In this blog, we will take a deep dive into the life and accomplishments of Dawn Staley. We’ll exploring her love for the game, her remarkable career, and her dedication to empowering women in sports. So join us as we uncover the coaching philosophy of this game-changing figure in women’s basketball.

A Passion for the Game

Dawn Staley’s love for the women’s game can be traced back to her early years. Long before the hype around the 1996 Olympic team, Staley found herself captivated by the sport. It was players like Cheryl Miller, Rebecca Lobo, and Dawn Staley herself who inspired her passion for women’s basketball. Although she had only seen Cheryl Miller play in flashback videos, her father made sure she knew about the greatness of this trailblazing athlete. From a young age, Staley was drawn to the sport and developed an unwavering love for it.

Cultivates a Strong Community around Her Team

Coach Staley has managed to create a powerhouse program that captivates fans and players alike. Through her dedication and accessibility, she has cultivated a strong community around her team, leading to sold-out arenas and unwavering support. Staley’s approach of being open and approachable to anyone, from fans to family members, has fostered a sense of belonging and connection that sets her apart in the world of college athletics.

The Role of Tough Love and Preparing Athletes for the Real World

Staley’s coaching philosophy involves being straightforward and honest with her players. Coach Staley believes in providing them with real truth and engaging in genuine conversations, even if it means delivering uncomfortable messages. She attributes her approach to growing up in a disciplined household and draws parallels to the challenges that young adults face in the real world.

Coach explains that her love for her players encompasses allowing them to fail and experience discomfort. Therefore, she believes that these hardships are essential for growth and development. By operating in this space, players learn valuable life lessons that go beyond basketball. The ability to overcome bad days, fight through adversity, and handle competition prepares them for success in any field.

The Role of Discipline

Discipline played a pivotal role in Staley’s upbringing and later in her coaching career. She learned the value of discipline from her mother, who enforced strict rules and expectations. Staley recalls being more afraid of her mother than anyone else in the world, which kept her on the right path and prevented her from straying into negative behaviors.

Staley emphasizes that discipline is not limited to physical activities or skills. It extends to one’s mentality and the choices they make. She believes that discipline enables individuals to resist negative temptations and stay focused on their goals. Staley often quotes the saying, “The disciplined person can do anything,” highlighting the importance of self-control and dedication.

Dawn Staley: From Scarcity to Abundance

Staley’s childhood experiences in the projects taught her resilience, determination, and resourcefulness. Growing up in a community with limited resources, she learned to make the most of what she had and appreciate the value of hard work. However, as she achieved success in basketball, she realized that there was more to life than scarcity and survival.

While Staley continues to value discipline and hard work, she recognizes the importance of creativity and taking calculated risks. She encourages her players to tap into their creative potential and explore new possibilities. Staley believes that by combining discipline with creativity, individuals can unlock their full potential both on and off the basketball court.

The Power of Trust and Relationships

Trust and strong relationships are fundamental to Staley’s coaching philosophy. She understands the importance of earning her players’ trust and creating an environment where they feel valued and supported. Staley acknowledges that players may have different learning and communication preferences. As a result, she tailors her approach to meet their individual needs.

Staley fosters open lines of communication and encourages her players to express themselves honestly. Whether it’s during one-on-one conversations or team meetings, she provides a safe space for players to share their thoughts, emotions, and concerns. Staley believes that by allowing players to express themselves authentically, she can better understand their unique perspectives and help them reach their full potential.

Balancing Discipline and Creativity

Staley’s coaching style strikes a balance between discipline and creativity. While she instills discipline in her players through consistent practice and adherence to fundamentals, she also recognizes the importance of allowing players to express their creativity on the court. Staley understands that creativity can lead to breakthrough moments and game-changing plays.

She encourages her players to take calculated risks, experiment with new strategies, and trust their instincts. Staley believes that by empowering her players to be creative, she helps them develop a deeper understanding of the game and unlock their full potential.

Preparing for Challenges and Embracing Discomfort

The coaching philosophy of Dawn Staley centers around preparing her players for challenges and embracing discomfort. She believes that success is not solely determined by talent or skill, but also by mental strength and resilience. Staley challenges her players to push beyond their comfort zones and embrace the difficulties that come with personal and professional growth.

In practice, Staley creates scenarios that simulate worst-case situations. By placing her players in challenging circumstances, she helps them develop the mental fortitude needed to overcome obstacles. Staley understands that facing adversity and learning to navigate it prepares her players for success in basketball and in life.

Dawn Staley: The Future Ahead

As we look to the future, it is clear that Dawn Staley’s journey is far from over. With her impressive coaching record, her dedication to empowering women, and her unwavering passion for the game, Staley has undoubtedly solidified her place among the coaching greats. While her next steps remain uncertain, one thing is for sure – Dawn Staley will continue to be a force to be reckoned with in women’s basketball.

Whether she chooses to stay in college basketball, pursue opportunities in the WNBA, or even explore front office roles, Staley’s impact will be felt. Her legacy, both on and off the court, will continue to inspire generations to come.


Dawn Staley’s journey in women’s basketball is nothing short of remarkable. From her love for the game to her outstanding career as a player and coach, Staley has left an indelible mark on the sport. Her dedication to empowering women and making a difference through her foundation sets her apart as a true game-changer. As we eagerly await her next move, one thing is certain – Dawn Staley’s impact will continue to shape the future of women’s basketball.

Learn more from Dawn Staley on the Finding Mastery Podcast.

basketball closeout defense

The Basketball Closeout Debate: Chopping Feet vs. Stride Stop

The sport of basketball has undergone substantial changes in the past few years. Players have improved their offensive abilities, becoming more adept at shooting, passing, and dribbling from various positions. Consequently, conventional defensive tactics, specifically surrounding the basketball closeout, have lost some of their effectiveness. To excel as a defender in today’s game, it is essential to adjust and acquire new skills.

The discussion surrounding the basketball closeout footwork has garnered significant attention. Both coaches and players have engaged in conversations regarding the advantages and disadvantages of two commonly used techniques: chopping feet and stride stop. This blog will analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each approach to the basketball closeout, ultimately identifying the more efficient method for various scenarios.

The Chopping Feet Technique

Chopping feet, also referred to as the traditional teaching point, is a footwork technique that focuses on controlling momentum. It can be advantageous for players with slower foot speed, enabling them to halt their momentum and react promptly. Nevertheless, there are drawbacks to this method. One disadvantage of chopping feet is that it decelerates players, particularly during sprints.

This can be detrimental when attempting to defend against shooters, as it provides them with the space to shoot over the defender. Moreover, instructing players to chop their feet repeatedly can further impede their momentum, diminishing their ability to effectively contest shots. On a positive note, chopping feet offers a slight buffer if the offensive player opts to dribble. This can give the defender an edge in cutting off the drive. However, it is crucial to have quick hands and reach the point of impact promptly. Without swift hands or the capability to close the distance efficiently, shooters can easily shoot over the defender.

The Stride Stop Technique

The technique of the stride stop involves transitioning from a full sprint to a stride stop. Some coaches may find this technique difficult for players to execute, especially in game situations or when navigating a ball screen. Despite this, the stride stop is commonly utilized in the NBA and offers various benefits. One advantage is that it enables players to generate more power when attempting a vertical jump, which can be useful for contesting shots and improving their vertical leap.

However, using the stride stop to contain a driving opponent can pose challenges, as defenders must closely guard the offensive player’s space at an awkward angle. This angle can make it tricky to effectively block the drive. Additionally, a potential downside of the stride stop is that it exposes the defender’s leading foot, making it harder to recover defensively as the entire body must be swung open. While the stride stop can disrupt shooters more efficiently, it also leaves defenders more susceptible to drives.

The Yin and Yang of Footwork

The debate surrounding the effectiveness of chopping feet versus the stride stop as a basketball closeout can be likened to a yin and yang situation. Chopping feet is more inclined to give up shots but excels at containing drives. Conversely, the stride stop is more likely to disrupt shooters but may be vulnerable to drives. Coaches often have varying preferences when it comes to these techniques, with some staunchly advocating for one method over the other. The NBA has embraced the one-two stop due to the game’s heavy reliance on three-point shooting. Leaving an NBA shooter open can have more severe consequences compared to leaving a high school player open, given the frequency and consistency of their three-point shots.


In the ongoing discussion regarding chopping feet versus stride stop, the optimal solution can be found by striking a balance. Although both chopping feet and stride stop have their own advantages and disadvantages, it is essential to consider the specific game situation and the tendencies of the offensive player.

By equipping players with the necessary skills, coaches can prepare their teams to counter a variety of offensive threats. Ultimately, the decision between chopping feet and stride stop will hinge on the coach’s preference, the team’s defensive tactics, and the competitive level. Regardless of the chosen technique, it is crucial to train players to execute it proficiently and adapt to different game scenarios. While the debate may persist, coaches can enhance their team’s defensive performance and increase their chances of success by embracing a middle ground.

Modern Basketball at the High School Level

Modern Basketball at the High School Level with Mark Cascio

Welcome to the world of modern basketball for high school coaches! While traditional methods are still popular in gyms around the world, the modern approach to basketball simply asks “Is there a better way?” Coach Mark Cascio believes that there’s no reason youth and high school programs can’t also play a modern style of basketball similar to what’s found in the collegiate and professional levels.

In this blog, we will explore Coach Cascio’s key components of modern basketball at the high school level. From the importance of player development to the concept of protection plans, we will delve into the strategies and techniques that make modern basketball so exciting and effective. Whether you’re a coach or a player, understanding these principles will help you take your game to the next level.

Mark Cascio is a former assistant coach with the Appalachian State University Women’s Basketball Program. Previous to coaching collegiately, Coach Cascio was a head high school coach for 15 years. During his eight seasons at Catholic High School, the basketball program experienced unprecedented success, including 5 District Titles and 3 Final Four Appearances. Prior to Catholic High School, Coach Cascio became the youngest coach in the history of Louisiana to win a State Championship when he led Christian Life Academy to a 2012 title. His tenure at CLA also included another Final Four Appearance and back-to-back-to-back district championships. Prior to becoming a head high school coach, he served at the youth, high school and AAU levels.

The Foundation: Player Development

When it comes to modern basketball, Mark Cascio believes player development is the key. As a coach, your goal is to help your players reach their full potential and become well-rounded basketball players. This starts with building a strong foundation of skills and decision-making abilities.

At the high school level, players are like blank canvases, ready to be shaped and molded. The focus should be on teaching fundamental skills such as passing, shooting, and footwork. By starting with the basics and gradually building upon them, players can develop a solid skill set that will serve them well in the game.

One of the key aspects of player development in modern basketball is the emphasis on decision-making. Players should be taught to think in terms of advantages and disadvantages, rather than simply executing plays. This means teaching them how to read the defense, make the right pass, and take advantage of openings on the court. By developing their decision-making skills, players can become more effective and efficient on the court.

The Modern Style of Play

Modern basketball at the high school level should resemble the style of play seen at higher levels, such as the NBA and NCAA. The main difference is the absence of a shot clock and a shorter three-point line. However, the basic principles remain the same.

One of the main tenets of modern basketball is the focus on spacing and ball movement. Players should be taught to space the floor, create gaps, and move the ball to create open shots. The goal is to teach players to play conceptually, focusing on advantages rather than simply running set plays.

Another important aspect of modern basketball is the emphasis on playing off the catch and making quick decisions. Players should be taught to think in terms of advantages and opportunities, rather than just taking shots or running set plays. This approach allows for more creativity and innovation on the court, making the game more enjoyable for players and coaches alike.

Mark Cascio knows that defense is also a crucial part of modern basketball at the high school level. Players should be taught to play aggressively, disrupt passing lanes, and force turnovers. The goal is to create advantages on the defensive end and convert them into fast break opportunities on offense.

Protection Plans and Key Performance Indicators

A unique aspect of modern basketball is the use of protection plans. Protection plans are like Plan B for players, providing them with alternative options when they can’t create an advantage or make a play. These plans allow players to get out of trouble and find solutions on the court.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are another important aspect of modern basketball. Each player has a specific role and set of skills that they are expected to excel in. KPIs help define these roles and provide players with clear objectives to focus on during games and practices.

For example, a player’s KPI could be to be a dominant force off the balance, attacking gaps and creating scoring opportunities. Another player’s KPI could be to be a ball mover, keeping the ball moving and making smart passes. By defining these roles and evaluating players based on their KPIs, coaches can help players understand their strengths and areas for improvement.

Playing Modern Basketball with Any Team

One common misconception about modern basketball is that it requires a highly athletic team. While athleticism can certainly be an advantage, it is not a prerequisite for playing modern basketball. Skill development and strategic gameplay are the key components of success, regardless of the team’s athleticism.

In fact, modern basketball can be a great equalizer for teams that are not as athletic. The focus on skill development, spacing, and decision-making can help level the playing field and create advantages even without superior athleticism.


Modern basketball at the high school level brings excitement, creativity, and skill development to the game. By focusing on player development, incorporating protection plans, and using KPIs, coaches can create a dynamic and effective playing style that benefits their team. Whether your team is highly athletic or not, the principles of modern basketball can be applied to any level of play. So go out there, embrace the modern style, and watch your team thrive on the court!

Get in the gym with Coach Cascio during his high school practices at or

Francesco Nanni

Unlocking Offensive Skills with Coach Francesco Nanni

Italian professional basketball coach, Francesco Nanni, brings over a decade of experience coaching at various levels to the basketball world. Francesco Nanni is renowned for his novel methods focused on enhancing players’ one-on-one offensive skills. And his journey from mini basket circuits to the professional arena has been nothing short of inspiring. Nanni’s work isn’t just confined to the court; he’s also recognized for his influential content shared across social media platforms, reaching and mentoring aspiring athletes and coaches worldwide.

Modernizing the Traditional Approach: Francesco Nanni’s Approach

Nanni’s modern coaching philosophy transcends traditional methods, emphasizing the critical importance of one-on-one play. This approach, developed through years of careful observation and hands-on coaching, targets players across all levels. 

The Essence of One-on-One Mastery

At the heart of Nanni’s coaching lies the belief that mastering the one-on-one game is foundational for basketball players. This conviction stems from his observation that young players are naturally drawn to the game through their attempts to outmaneuver opponents in one-on-one situations. Nanni argues that this instinctual drive to excel in individual matchups serves two important functions. First, it boosts players’ confidence as they experience more success. Secondly, it also lays down the basic framework upon which team strategies and dynamics are built.

Bridging Fundamentals and Creativity

An important foundation for team strategies and dynamics is passing. Integrating passing within a one-on-one context is pivotal. Modern basketball demands a skill set that goes beyond just beating an opponent to the rim. Nanni’s approach teaches players to utilize space more effectively, making quick, decisive movements and passes that exploit the momentarily created advantages, a cornerstone of effective offensive play.

A Dynamic Start: The Key to Unleashing Potential

Francesco Nanni places a significant emphasis on dynamic starts, encouraging players to initiate movements with momentum. This strategy simulates real-game scenarios more accurately.  More importantly, it also enhances players’ engagement and enjoyment. This is crucial for sustaining interest and improving skills organically. By processing the game through a lens of constant motion and adjustment, players can better understand how to create and exploit advantages, a testament to Nanni’s holistic approach to skill development.

Defensive Insights: A Two-Way Learning Street

Integral to Nanni’s philosophy is the acknowledgment that one-on-one encounters offer rich defensive learning opportunities as well. By introducing concepts like guided defense, players learn to anticipate and react more effectively, thereby elevating the overall defensive acumen of the team. This nuanced understanding of both offense and defense underpins Nanni’s comprehensive coaching style, emphasizing the importance of balanced skill development.

Beyond the Court: A Vision for Future Basketball

Nanni’s insights don’t just refine players’ present abilities; they offer a blueprint for the evolution of basketball coaching. His emphasis on adaptability, decision-making under pressure, and the seamless integration of offensive and defensive skills point towards a future where players are more versatile, intuitive, and tactically aware. As basketball continues to evolve, coaches like Francesco Nanni are at the forefront, guiding the next generation of players towards achieving their full potential.


Francesco Nanni’s journey is a testament to the power of innovative coaching. His methods, rooted in the rich tradition of Italian basketball yet forward-looking in their application, offer valuable lessons for players and coaches alike. By focusing on the individual within the team context, Nanni’s approach not only enhances one-on-one skills but also fosters a deeper understanding of basketball’s complexities.

For those looking to elevate their game or coaching techniques, diving into Nanni’s philosophy and video series is an excellent place to start. His six-part video series, available on and, is a treasure trove of insights into developing essential one-on-one skills.

Dave Smart

How Dave Smart Built a Basketball Powerhouse with Simplicity

Dave Smart’s coaching philosophy stands out as a refreshing breath of fresh air. Smart, the mastermind behind Carleton’s sustained success and now an assistant coach at Texas Tech University, prioritizes simplicity and accountability. This blog delves into how Smart’s focus on player development, consistent coaching strategies, and a culture of accountability has shaped one of the most successful teams in recent history.

Keeping It Simple

The guiding principle Dave Smart follows is straightforward: keep it simple. This might seem counterintuitive in a sport synonymous with complexity, but for Smart, simplification is the key to unlocking player potential. By avoiding complicated plays, Smart ensures that his team can focus on perfecting the basics of the game. This emphasis on fundamentals allows for a level of proficiency and confidence in players that complex strategies can’t easily replicate.

The Power of Consistency

Smart believes in sticking to a consistent coaching strategy. This doesn’t mean that his team runs the same plays in every game without adjustment. Rather, it’s about refining and improving those plays year after year. This approach not only allows players to master the specifics of each play but also instills a deep understanding of the game’s dynamics. It’s about knowing the rules so well that you know when and how to bend them.

Accountability Is Key

Another cornerstone of Smart’s coaching philosophy is accountability. He highlights the importance of holding players accountable for their actions and performance. This isn’t about punishment but fostering an environment where players can learn from their mistakes and grow. Smart emphasizes that to effectively hold players accountable, a team needs depth. This depth ensures that players are continuously pushed to improve, knowing that their spot on the team is not guaranteed and is contingent on their effort and performance.

Reading the Feet

An interesting concept that Smart discusses is “reading the feet” of basketball players. This is about anticipating and reacting to the movements of opponents on the court. It’s a subtle skill that requires players to be highly observant and responsive. This skill underscores the necessity of being mentally as well as physically agile in the game of basketball.

How Dave Smart Fosters Competitiveness

Despite the simplicity of his approach, Smart doesn’t downplay the importance of competitiveness. He encourages a competitive environment in practices, pushing players to their limits. This is not for the sake of competition itself but to prepare them for high-pressure situations in games where giving up is not an option.

The Language of Coaching

Clarity and simplicity extend to the language used in coaching. Smart underscores the importance of using clear, simple terminology when coaching. This ensures that all players, regardless of their background or level of experience, can understand the strategies and plays being discussed. It’s about making the game accessible to everyone on the team and ensuring that communication barriers do not impede player development.


Dave Smart’s coaching philosophy may seem deceptively simple, but its effectiveness is undeniable. At the heart of his success is a commitment to the basics—simplicity, consistency, and accountability. By focusing on player development, encouraging a competitive practice environment, and using clear terminology, Smart has created a winning formula that has not only brought success to Carleton but has also positively influenced the lives of countless players. In a sport often dominated by the pursuit of the next big strategy, Smart reminds us that sometimes, the key to success is keeping it simple and being accountable.

Get instant access to exclusive videos from Dave Smart available only at

Cutting off the Ball

Cutting Off the Ball: Offensive Strategies in the NBA

When it comes to offensive strategies in basketball, cutting off the ball is a crucial aspect that can make a significant difference in gaining an advantage on the court. In this blog, we’ll explore the insights shared by NBA assistant coach Scott Morrison who delves into the intricacies of cutting off the ball in the NBA. Morrison provides a detailed breakdown of various cutting techniques and how they can be effectively utilized to create scoring opportunities.

The Importance of Cutting

One of the key points highlighted by Scott Morrison is the importance of cutting as a fundamental aspect of offensive play. Cutting off the ball allows players to create separation from defenders, find open lanes to the basket, and generate scoring opportunities for themselves and their teammates. By mastering the art of cutting, players can keep the defense on its toes and create chaos on the court.

Ten Cuts in the NBA

Morrison discusses ten different types of cuts commonly seen in the NBA, ranging from pick-and-roll spreads to post entry cuts. Each cut is analyzed in detail, showcasing how it can be used to gain an advantage over the defense and create open looks for scoring. Morrison emphasizes the importance of timing, spacing, and intent when executing these cuts to maximize their effectiveness.

A typical example of one of these types of cuts is a second cut. A second cut is an off the ball cut that happens in combination with some type of dribble penetration. It can occur at the beginning, middle or end of any penetration.

Key Takeaways for Players

Throughout the discussion, Morrison provides valuable insights for players looking to improve their cutting abilities. From understanding the timing cues for cuts to making the correct reads based on defensive reactions, players can learn how to become more effective cutters on the court. Morrison emphasizes the need for players to cut with purpose, intent, and bad intentions to put pressure on the defense and create scoring opportunities.

Practical Drills and Training

To help players develop their cutting skills, Morrison outlines practical drills and training exercises that teams can implement during practice sessions. These drills focus on reading the defense, making quick decisions, and executing cuts with precision. By incorporating these drills into regular training sessions, players can hone their cutting abilities and become more versatile and effective on offense.

In-Game Adjustments

When it comes to in-game adjustments, Morrison suggests that coaches may need to switch up the designated cutters based on defensive reactions and matchups. By identifying opportunities where certain players can exploit defensive weaknesses through cutting, coaches can make strategic adjustments to create scoring opportunities and keep the defense guessing. Flexibility and adaptability are key components of successful in-game adjustments.


Overall, cutting off the ball is a crucial aspect of offensive play in basketball, and mastering this skill can give players a significant advantage on the court. By understanding the different types of cuts, practicing timing and spacing, and making the right reads based on defensive reactions, players can elevate their offensive game and contribute to their team’s success. With the insights provided by Scott Morrison, players and coaches can develop a deeper understanding of cutting strategies and implement them effectively in game situations.

Take an even deeper diver into cutting concepts and more: All Access Perth Wildcats Basketball Practice with Scott Morrison

Josh Merkel

Lessons from Building a Championship Team with Josh Merkel

Randolph-Macon Head Coach Josh Merkel shares his insights and experiences on building a championship team. During the 2022-23 season, Randolph-Macon won its first national championship in NCAA Division III history, with the largest margin of victory ever recorded. Coach Merkel has had a remarkable run of success, making four trips to the NCAA tournament and earning the most wins in program history. Let’s dive into what pushed his team over the top and learn from his coaching strategies.

The Foundation of Success

Coach Merkel credits the success of his team to several key factors. First and foremost, he acknowledges the players and coaches who came before him, establishing a strong foundation of excellence. The continuity of great players committed to the team and focused on development has set the standards for future players. This sense of continuity and the high standards have helped Josh Merkel improve in his role as head coach. Additionally, the team’s veterans, including two fifth-year players and two four-year seniors, brought a sense of grit and resilience, not wanting to let their older teammates down. This connection and drive fueled their hunger for success.

Merkel emphasizes that his team never got too confident, always playing with a chip on their shoulder. They recognized the importance of staying grounded and focused, which reflected in their record and approach. This mindset contributed to their impressive run and ultimately led them to victory.

A Unique Coaching Philosophy

Merkel’s coaching philosophy is centered around the idea that every player is different and should be coached accordingly. He believes in individual freedom and choice, allowing players to find their own way on the court. One of his favorite quotes is, “Every player doesn’t shoot the same, so why should every player close out the same?” This highlights his belief in tailoring coaching techniques to each player’s strengths and abilities.

He recalls a pivotal moment in his coaching journey when he realized the importance of adapting his coaching style to support his players. He had a talented offensive player who was struggling defensively, despite putting in the effort and being coachable. It was then that Coach Merkel realized he needed to find a way to help and support this player better. This led to the development of his philosophy of individualized closeouts and the recognition that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for every player.

The Power of Player-Led Development

Another unique aspect of Josh Merkel’s coaching approach is the emphasis on player-led development. He believes in empowering his players to take ownership of their growth and learning. This includes allowing them to analyze game film, ask questions, and break down plays during team meetings. By giving players the opportunity to take on leadership roles and teach their teammates, they become more engaged and invested in their own development.

One of the standout moments for Coach Merkel was witnessing his point guard, Buzz Anthony, take the lead during a player-led block session. The other players on the team asked Buzz questions about his defensive techniques, and he broke down his strategies for them. This interaction showcased the team’s strong connection and their commitment to learning from one another.

Leadership Language and Self-Reflection

Coach Merkel believes in the power of language and its impact on a team’s culture. He emphasizes the importance of using specific and meaningful language to convey ideas and expectations. For example, he refers to the scout team as the “studs” to emphasize their value and impact on the team’s success. This language creates a sense of pride and motivation among the players.

Self-reflection is another key aspect of Coach Merkel’s coaching philosophy. He encourages his players to reflect on their performance and make observations about their strengths and areas for improvement. This self-awareness helps them take ownership of their development and become more accountable for their actions on and off the court.

Coaching with Constraints

Josh Merkel believes in coaching with constraints, using specific limitations or rules during drills and small-sided games to focus on particular skills or strategies. This approach allows players to learn and develop within the context of the game, making their learning more efficient and applicable.

One example of coaching with constraints is the “ladder game.” This game involves two teams, each starting from different points on the court. The offense aims to score points by either getting a basket or touching the paint, while the defense tries to prevent them from scoring. This game encourages players to make quick decisions, adapt to different situations, and develop their offensive and defensive skills.

Another drill that Coach Merkel uses is the “2 on 2 appropriate” game. In this game, the offense tries to score by touching the paint, while the defense aims to prevent them from doing so. This drill helps players understand defensive responsibilities, decision-making, and offensive strategies.

The Importance of Feedback and Continuous Improvement

Feedback is a crucial component of Coach Merkel’s coaching philosophy. He encourages his players to seek feedback and embrace it as a means of continuous improvement. By creating an environment where feedback is valued, Coach Merkel helps his players develop self-awareness and become more receptive to constructive criticism.

Coach Merkel also emphasizes the importance of continuous improvement and staying one step ahead. While it’s essential to stick to core principles, he believes in constantly seeking new ideas and strategies to keep the team’s performance at a high level. This commitment to growth and adaptation ensures that the team doesn’t become stagnant or predictable.


Coach Josh Merkel’s coaching philosophy is rooted in individualized development, player-led learning, and continuous improvement. Through his unique approach, he has guided Randolph-Macon to a national championship and established a culture of excellence within the program. By emphasizing self-reflection, language, and coaching with constraints, Coach Merkel empowers his players to become the best versions of themselves on and off the court.

Learn more from Josh Merkel from his All Access Practice Series as he gives you access to his practices and so much more. Merkel is a basketball whisperer, blending passion, precision, and purpose. His coaching philosophy transcends Xs and Os—it’s about nurturing champions, on and off the hardwood. Dive into the heart of basketball excellence with this exclusive series from Immersion Videos!

Basketball Cutting

The Art of Basketball Cutting: A Key Offensive Advantage

When it comes to offensive strategies, basketball cutting off the ball is a skill that can give teams a significant advantage. While many topics in the basketball world have been discussed and debated, the art of cutting is often overlooked. In this blog, we will explore ten different cutting techniques that are commonly used in the NBA from Utah Jazz assistant coach Scott Morrison. Basketball cutting not only creates scoring opportunities for the cutter but also open up shots for teammates.

The Importance of Basketball Cutting

Cutting off the ball is a fundamental aspect of basketball that can greatly benefit an offensive team. By making precise and well-timed cuts, players can create opportunities to score or create open shots for their teammates. This style of play emphasizes simplicity and teamwork over complex plays and individual brilliance.

Ten Cuts to Watch in the NBA

1. Pick-and-Roll Spread Cut

One effective basketball cutting technique  is the pick-and-roll spread cut. This cut involves creating an advantage on offense by setting a screen and then cutting to the basket or the three-point line. By doing so, the cutter puts pressure on the defense and opens up scoring opportunities for themselves or their teammates.

2. Post Entry Cut

Another commonly used cut is the post entry cut. This cut is designed to create space for the ball handler to make a pass into the post. By cutting to the basket, the cutter forces the defender to make a decision: defend the cut or stay with their man. Either way, it creates an advantage for the offense.

3. Baseline Drive Cut

The baseline drive cut is an effective cut that takes advantage of the defense collapsing on a dribble penetration from the baseline. By cutting from the weak side to the strong side, the cutter puts pressure on the defense and creates scoring opportunities for themselves or their teammates.

4. Shake Cut

The shake cut is a quick and deceptive cut that can catch the defense off guard. It involves faking a screen and then cutting to the basket or the perimeter. This cut requires good timing and coordination with teammates but can lead to open shots or scoring opportunities.

5. Mouse Cut

The mouse cut is a cut that takes advantage of the defensive strategy known as “mousing” or “Gretzkying.” This cut involves cutting to the space left open by the defender who is helping on the ball handler. By doing so, the cutter creates scoring opportunities for themselves or their teammates.

6. Split Cut

The split cut is a cut that is commonly used in pick-and-roll situations. It involves one player cutting to the basket while the other player pops out to the perimeter. This cut creates confusion for the defense and opens up scoring opportunities for the cutter or the shooter.

7. Gap Help Cut

The gap help cut is a cut that takes advantage of the defensive strategy known as “gap help.” This cut involves cutting to the open space created by the defender who is helping on the ball handler. By doing so, the cutter creates scoring opportunities for themselves or their teammates.

8. Top Lock Cut

The top lock cut is a cut that is commonly used to counter the defensive strategy known as “top lock.” This cut involves cutting to the basket or the perimeter when the defender is denying the ball handler at the top of the key. By doing so, the cutter creates scoring opportunities for themselves or their teammates.

9. Shake and Bake Cut

The shake and bake cut is a quick and deceptive cut that can catch the defense off guard. It involves faking a screen and then cutting to the basket or the perimeter. This cut requires good timing and coordination with teammates but can lead to open shots or scoring opportunities.

10. Weak Side Cut

The weak side cut is a cut that takes advantage of the defense being focused on the strong side of the court. By making a quick cut to the weak side, the cutter creates scoring opportunities for themselves or their teammates. This cut requires good timing and coordination with teammates.


Cutting off the ball is an essential skill in the NBA that can give teams a significant advantage on offense. By utilizing various cutting techniques, players can create scoring opportunities for themselves and their teammates. The ten cuts discussed in this blog are just a few examples of the many ways players can use cutting to their advantage. By incorporating these cuts into their offensive strategies, teams can increase their chances of success on the court.

Who is Scott Morrison

Scott Morrison, a former Canadian college coach, currently serves as an assistant coach for the Utah Jazz in the National Basketball Association (NBA).  He has previously been an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics, and their G-League head coach with the Maine Red Claws.

Before joining the Utah Jazz, Morrison  was the head coach of the Wildcats, a professional basketball team in Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL). During his tenure, Scott gave us the opportunity to watch his team practice with the All Access Perth Wildcats Basketball Practice with Scott Morrison. The Immersion Video series provided insights into the team’s strategies, drills, and Morrison’s coaching philosophy.


Stephe Curry Shooting Mastery

The Mechanics Behind Steph Curry’s Shooting Mastery

In the world of basketball, few players have made as big an impact as Steph Curry. Known for his incredible shooting skills, Curry has revolutionized the game with his ability to knock down shots from long distances. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the shooting mechanics behind Curry’s prowess and understand what makes him the greatest shooter the NBA has ever seen.

Shooting Mechanics Key #1: Feet and Jumping Technique

One of the first things to notice about Steph Curry’s shooting mechanics is his footwork. He utilizes a turn, with both feet parallel and pointing to about 10 o’clock. This allows his shooting hip and elbow to align properly with the rim in one vertical plane. Despite not jumping very high, Curry is able to replicate the necessary height without fear of fatigue. Additionally, a slight rotation in the air helps him maintain a smooth and relaxed shot.

Shooting Mechanics Key #2: Knee Alignment and Footwork

Curry’s shooting mechanics also involve the alignment of his knees and footwork. His knees are parallel, most likely because the pass usually comes from the left. However, when shooting from the left side or the top, his right knee tends to cross over his midline slightly. This adjustment may be caused by catching the ball from his right side. His feet flow forward a little bit, hinging at the waist in what is known as a sway. This movement isn’t pronounced, but it helps generate more power when shooting from several feet behind the three-point line.

Shooting Mechanics Key #3: Catching the Ball and Shooting Pocket

When catching the ball, Steph Curry doesn’t extend his arms far from his body. This eliminates the need to bring the ball back into his body before shooting. If the pass comes from the left, Curry uses the turn to allow the ball to hit his hands right in alignment, enabling a smooth shooting motion. When the pass comes from the right, Curry cocks his shooting hand’s wrist back while the left hand absorbs the energy of the ball before catching it. He has already established his shooting pocket once he catches the ball.

Shooting Mechanics Key #4: The Dip and Set Point

Steph Curry uses a short dip to get rhythm and power into his shot. The dip is not very large, about the size of a basketball below where he caught it. This dip assists in shooting by enabling Curry to generate power from his legs and dip into a fluid release. It’s important to note that Curry is a mid-line shooter, meaning he brings the ball to the center of his body for alignment. His elbow is slightly to the outside of the ball, and there is very little space between his palm and the ball. His set point is lower than traditionally taught, with the ball covering his right eye before immediately going up and out. This lower set point enables a one-motion shot, maximizing the power generated from his legs and dip.

Shooting Mechanics Key #5: Timing and Wrist Snap

The timing of the upward movement of the ball is crucial in Curry’s shooting form. He starts bending his legs before the ball begins to move up, allowing for a quick and fluid release. The wrist snap is also a crucial aspect of Curry’s shooting technique. Both the elbow and wrist snap at the same time, ensuring consistency of release. His left hand also plays a role, with some influence from his left thumb as the ball is being released. This is not abnormal, as many great shooters in the past have had similar tendencies.

Shooting Mechanics Key #6: Following the Ball and Focus

After releasing the ball, Steph Curry follows it with his eyes. Although some may argue that it doesn’t matter what you do once the ball is released, many great shooters have followed the ball with their eyes. This habit may bring the focus back to the mechanics of the shot instead of solely focusing on the distant target. By following the ball, Curry remains aware of his hip and elbow alignment, wrist snap, and other crucial aspects of his shooting form.

Off the Dribble Shooting

Curry’s left-handed dribble plays a significant role in his shooting efficiency. By bringing the ball to his shooting hand, he enables a faster release. As a mid-line shooter, the ball doesn’t have to go all the way to his right side before starting the jump shot. This efficiency of motion with his left hand dribble makes him more effective in pull-up jump shots off the dribble from long distances.


Steph Curry’s shooting mechanics are a work of art. His ability to effortlessly knock down shots from long distances has changed the way the game is played. By analyzing his footwork, knee alignment, catching technique, shooting pocket, dip, set point, timing, wrist snap, and focus, we can gain a better understanding of what makes him the greatest shooter the NBA has ever seen. As young players study Steph Curry’s game, we can expect to see several more shooting prodigies emerge in the future, further evolving the game we love.

Learn the mechanics from Steph Curry’s shooting coach Brandon Payne available only at

Tagging Up Aaron Fearne

Mastering Tagging Up: Insights from Aaron Fearne

In the heart of basketball’s frenzied arena, coaches whisper secrets of innovation. But among them, Aaron Fearne has introduced a revolutionary tactic called “Tagging Up”. This audacious offensive-rebounding and transition-defense system is not just a blip on the radar, it’s a sonic boom redefining the game.

Forget predictable drills and stale strategies – Aaron Fearne and his Tagging Up system unleashes a coordinated chaos, a beautiful ballet of chaos where missed shots morph into second chances and transition defense becomes a weapon, not a vulnerability.

Tagging Up isn’t just a system; it’s a philosophy. It’s about trust, about unleashing the collective beast in your team. It’s about turning the roar of transition into a whimper of defeat.

At its core, the Tagging Up system emphasizes the importance of strategic positioning and quick decision-making in both offensive rebounding and transition defense scenarios. Unlike traditional methods that focus solely on crashing the boards or retreating to defend,  Aaron Fearne and his system introduces the concept of “tagging up” to create more of an impact in both areas.

So, what exactly does tagging up entail? In offensive rebounding situations, players are trained to anticipate the likelihood of a missed shot and position themselves strategically to capitalize on potential rebounds. However, rather than blindly crashing the boards, players maintain awareness of their defensive responsibilities and are ready to “tag up” and sprint back on defense if the opposing team secures the rebound. This proactive approach not only minimizes transition opportunities for the opponent but also sets the stage for a seamless defensive setup.

Conversely, in transition defense scenarios, players are taught to prioritize protecting the paint and limiting fast-break opportunities for the opposing team. By quickly identifying potential threats and communicating effectively, players can “tag up” and disrupt the opponent’s transition offense before it gains momentum. This proactive defensive mindset, coupled with disciplined positioning and communication, forms the cornerstone of the Aaron Fearne system.

What sets the Tagging Up system apart is its adaptability and versatility. Whether employed at the youth level or in elite competition, the principles of tagging up can be applied universally to enhance team performance. Furthermore, the Aaron Fearne All Access Video Series, produced in collaboration with Immersion Videos, provides coaches with invaluable insights and practical strategies for implementing the Tagging Up system effectively within their own teams.

In addition to the video series, Fearne’s appearances on the Basketball Podcast offer a deeper dive into the nuances of his coaching philosophy, providing coaches with a comprehensive understanding of the principles underlying the Tagging Up system. From tactical adjustments to real-world examples, these discussions offer a wealth of knowledge for coaches seeking to elevate their game and empower their players.

So, are you ready? Dive into Fearne’s All Access Series and step onto the court where Tagging Up reigns supreme. Remember, basketball’s whispers only reach those who dare to listen. And Coach Fearne, my friend, is shouting from the mountaintops.

Get ready to Tag Up. Get ready to redefine the game.

If you’re interested in learning more about this innovative approach to basketball, check out Coach Fearne’s Tagging Up System . The blog provides detailed explanations and on-court demonstrations of the philosophy and drills to implement the system. It also includes amazing praise from some championship coaches who have implemented the Tagging Up System in their programs

Greg Neeley

Mastering Basketball Zone Defense

A zone defense can be a powerful equalizer for teams facing tougher competition, offering several advantages that can bridge the gap in talent and athleticism:

1. Simplifying decision-making: Zone defenses assign players to areas rather than individual opponents, reducing the cognitive burden on less experienced players. They don’t have to constantly chase screens or react to quick offensive movements, focusing instead on maintaining their designated zone responsibility. This can be a huge boost for confidence and performance against more skilled teams.

2. Protecting weaknesses: Zone defenses can effectively hide individual defensive weaknesses. A slow player may struggle to guard a quick guard one-on-one, but they can contribute effectively by patrolling a specific zone area. This allows teams to mask individual limitations and create a more cohesive defensive unit.

3. Disrupting offensive flow: Unlike man-to-man defense, zone defenses are less predictable and can disrupt the rhythm of an offense. The constant movement and rotations force opponents to think more about their shot selection and passing lanes, potentially leading to rushed shots and turnovers. This can frustrate more talented teams used to dictating the pace of the game.

4. Pack the paint: Zone defenses typically pack the paint, making it harder for stronger or taller players to score easy layups. This can be invaluable against teams reliant on post play or driving to the basket. By forcing them to take jump shots from outside, the zone can level the playing field and even lead to transition opportunities on missed shots.

5. Promote teamwork: Zone defenses require coordinated rotations and communication between players to be effective. This can foster a sense of teamwork and collective responsibility, where each player contributes to the team’s defensive effort. This collaborative spirit can be particularly beneficial for teams lacking individual superstars.

On episode 285 of the Basketball Podcast, Greg Neeley discussed these ideas and more. Neeley is the head coach for the Piedmont University men’s basketball program. Overcoming initial challenges, Neeley transformed a struggling program into a consistent winner, emphasizing a formidable defense strategy. Neeley is not only a proven coach but also the visionary behind the “Unlock the Power of an Adaptable Defense: The 2-1-2 Pressure Zone Defense Mastery Series” from Immersion Videos.


What is The Adaptable 2-1-2 Zone

The 2-1-2 pressure zone defense is not a traditional zone defense. Neeley describes it as an extended 2-1-2 zone defense, with the defense’s pickup point closer to the volleyball line on most courts. The defense focuses on disrupting the offense by playing in passing lanes and giving different looks. Neeley emphasizes that the defense is adaptable and not rigid, allowing for different trapping and pressing options. The defense’s effectiveness lies in its ability to adapt to different offensive strategies and adjust on the fly within the same possession.

Advantages of the Adaptable 2-1-2

One of the key advantages of the 2-1-2 pressure zone defense is its simplicity in teaching and its adaptability. Many coaches teach zone defense at the middle school level to simplify defensive concepts. However, traditional zone defenses often lack adaptability and struggle to adjust to game situations, especially in the absence of a shot clock. The 2-1-2 pressure zone defense provides a solution to this problem by offering both simplicity and adaptability. Coaches can teach the defense easily, and players can adjust and make decisions based on the specific game situation.

The decision to adopt the 2-1-2 pressure zone defense was a strategic move to differentiate the program and give the team a competitive edge. Neeley wanted to create a defense that could disrupt opponents and give his team a chance to beat stronger opponents. The defense has proven effective, as evidenced by the team’s statistical performance, including leading the league in turnovers forced and ranking in the top three defensively in their conference.

Common Misconceptions

Neeley’s zone also addresses the common misconception that zone defenses are not adaptable. He explains that the 2-1-2 pressure zone defense offers flexibility and allows for trapping, pressing, and adjusting to different offensive strategies. The defense’s adaptability is a significant advantage, especially for undermanned teams or teams facing opponents with varying styles of play. Neeley believes that the defense’s adaptability and effectiveness have contributed to its adoption by teams at various levels, from middle school to college basketball.

Challenges to Implementing

As a coach, Neeley knows the importance of allowing players to figure things out on their own and not providing all the technical and tactical information at once. Neeley believes in giving players the structure to discover solutions and make adjustments on their own, which leads to a deeper understanding of the defense. There is also immense value in the use of constraints in practice drills and film sessions to reinforce the defense’s principles.

Players may initially resist playing zone defense due to the negative stereotypes associated with it. However, Coach Neeley believes that constant communication and individual conversations with players can help dispel these misconceptions. Neeley also mentions that player satisfaction is crucial for the success of the defense. He has found that his players enjoy playing the 2-1-2 pressure zone defense because it offers a fresh and different approach to defense. The defense’s adaptability and the players’ ability to make adjustments on the fly have made it an enjoyable and effective system.

The Zone’s Impact on Offense

The defense’s structure allows for a faster pace of play and better transition offense. The defense’s defined positions and rotations enable the team to push the ball quickly and create scoring opportunities. Neeley acknowledges the defense’s simplicity has improved the team’s offensive execution and allowed them to focus more on offensive strategies and shooting.

The Results

Neeley’s innovative 2-1-2 pressure zone defense has revolutionized the Piedmont University men’s basketball program, making it one of the most successful in the program’s history. Through his dedication and commitment to teaching and adapting the defense, Neeley has created a system that not only disrupts opponents but also brings excitement and enjoyment to his players. The 2-1-2 pressure zone defense has proven effective at all levels of play, from middle school to college basketball, and continues to gain recognition and adoption among coaches. With its adaptability, simplicity, and focus on player satisfaction, the 2-1-2 pressure zone defense is a game-changer in the world of basketball.

Get immediate access to “The 2-1-2 Pressure Zone Defense Mastery Series” at

Unleashing potential

Unleashing Potential: The Power of Motivational Interviewing

In the world of sports coaching, where the pursuit of excellence is a constant endeavor, the role of a coach extends beyond just imparting technical skills. Motivation plays a pivotal role in extracting the best performance from athletes. One powerful tool gaining prominence in the coaching realm is Motivational Interviewing (MI). This blog explores what MI is, its applications in sports coaching, and why it’s an effective approach based on insights from the book “Coaching Athletes to Be Their Best: Motivational Interviewing in Sports,” alongside additional references.

What is Motivational Interviewing?

Motivational Interviewing is a client-centered counseling approach developed by psychologists William R. Miller and Stephen Rollnick. Initially designed for addiction counseling, MI has found its way into various fields, including sports coaching. At its core, MI is a collaborative and goal-oriented conversation style that aims to strengthen an individual’s motivation and commitment to change. Instead of imposing change, the coach using MI works with the athlete to explore and resolve ambivalence about their goals.

Applications in Sports Coaching

Enhancing Intrinsic Motivation

MI fosters intrinsic motivation by helping athletes identify and understand their own values and desires. Coaches using MI techniques can guide athletes to articulate their personal reasons for participating in sports, reinforcing a sense of ownership over their goals.

Building Autonomy

MI places a premium on autonomy, encouraging athletes to take control of their decisions and actions. Coaches employing MI techniques create an environment where athletes feel empowered to make choices aligned with their aspirations, ultimately boosting their commitment to training and competition.

Effective Goal Setting

MI aids coaches in collaboratively setting realistic and meaningful goals with athletes. By aligning goals with an athlete’s values, MI increases the likelihood of goal attainment. This process ensures that goals are not imposed but are instead a product of shared decision-making.

Navigating Resistance

In sports coaching, resistance is a common challenge. MI equips coaches with the tools to navigate resistance by understanding the athlete’s perspective and addressing ambivalence. This collaborative approach often leads to more effective communication and a willingness to explore alternative perspectives.

Findings from “Coaching Athletes to Be Their Best: Motivational Interviewing in Sports”

coaching athletes to be their best book

The book delves into practical applications of MI in sports coaching, emphasizing the transformative impact on athlete-coach relationships. The findings highlight that coaches employing MI techniques observe increased athlete engagement, adherence to training regimens, and overall improved performance.

Practical Applications

Open-Ended Questions
Coaches can use open-ended questions to encourage athletes to express their thoughts and feelings. This fosters a dialogue that allows the coach to better understand the athlete’s perspective and aspirations.

Reflective Listening
Reflective listening involves paraphrasing and summarizing what the athlete communicates, demonstrating empathy and understanding. This technique helps build rapport and strengthens the athlete-coach relationship.

Providing positive affirmations acknowledges an athlete’s strengths and successes. This reinforcement enhances self-esteem and confidence, contributing to sustained motivation.

Summarizing and Feedback
Coaches can summarize key points discussed during a session, reinforcing the athlete’s commitment to change. Constructive feedback within the MI framework helps athletes recognize areas for improvement without feeling criticized.

Why is Motivational Interviewing Effective?

The effectiveness of MI in sports coaching lies in its ability to respect the autonomy of athletes while fostering a collaborative environment. By addressing ambivalence and allowing athletes to explore their motivations, MI cultivates a sense of responsibility and commitment, leading to sustained behavioral change.

In conclusion, as sports coaching continues to evolve, Motivational Interviewing emerges as a powerful tool to unlock an athlete’s potential. The collaborative and client-centered nature of MI not only aligns with modern coaching philosophies but also nurtures a positive and empowering athlete-coach relationship. By incorporating MI techniques into their coaching approach, coaches can inspire and guide athletes on a transformative journey toward realizing their full potential.

Steph Curry Brandon Payne

The Brilliance of Steph Curry and the Role of Brandon Payne

In the realm of basketball greatness, few names shine as brightly as Steph Curry. His unmatched shooting precision, ball-handling wizardry, and transformative impact on the game have elevated him to the status of a living legend.

But what’s the secret sauce behind Curry’s sustained success on the court? Enter Brandon Payne, the maestro behind Curry’s basketball brilliance. As the brains behind Curry’s training regimen, Payne has played a pivotal role in sculpting the skills that have left fans and fellow players in awe. In this deep dive, we unravel the training methods employed by Brandon Payne. And we explore the techniques that have contributed to Steph Curry’s basketball wizardry.

The Foundation: Understanding the Curry-Payne Partnership

At the heart of Stephen Curry’s sustained excellence is the partnership forged with his skills trainer, Brandon Payne. Payne, the architect behind the transformation, has meticulously crafted a training regimen that goes beyond the conventional. One key aspect is the focus on personalized drills and exercises tailored to Curry’s unique strengths and playing style. This ensures that every training session is a step toward mastery. Payne hones in on Curry’s individual needs and pushes the boundaries of what’s possible on the court.

Learning more about this amazing partnership here: Brandon Payne discusses training Steph Curry on The Basketball Podcast

The Art of Shooting: Perfecting the Stroke

Stephen Curry’s three-point prowess is nothing short of legendary. Brandon Payne is the man behind the curtain, fine-tuning every aspect of Curry’s shooting technique. Payne’s emphasis on muscle memory and repetition forms the bedrock of Curry’s deadly accuracy. From off-balance shots to quick releases, the training regimen includes a variety of drills aimed at honing Curry’s ability to score from any spot on the court.

Game Intelligence: Mastering Decision-Making under Pressure

Beyond the physical aspects, Brandon Payne places a significant emphasis on developing Stephen Curry’s basketball IQ. Training sessions are designed to simulate game scenarios, enabling Curry to make split-second decisions under intense pressure. The objective is not just to master the physical skills but to enhance the mental acuity that sets Curry apart from his peers. Learn more about how Curry has changed the game: How Steph Curry changed the world of NBA through data analytics

Conditioning for Endurance: The 4th Quarter Phenomenon

One of the lesser-known secrets to Curry’s sustained success is his exceptional conditioning, a facet meticulously overseen by Brandon Payne. The focus extends beyond explosive sprints and endurance drills; it’s about preparing Curry for the relentless demands of the 4th quarter. Dive into the specifics of Curry’s conditioning regimen in this comprehensive article: Stephen Curry may be the best-conditioned player in the NBA, and his incredibly demanding workouts show why

The Future of Basketball Mastery: Brandon Payne’s All-Access Shooting Clinic

Now, Brandon Payne is opening the doors to aspiring ballers with the All-Access Shooting Clinic. This exclusive video series, available at, grants enthusiasts unprecedented access to over 160 hours of content, unveiling the secrets behind Stephen Curry’s iconic skills. It’s a golden opportunity to learn directly from the mastermind himself and elevate your game to extraordinary heights.



Doug Novak

Doug Novak: A Basketball Coach’s 3 Principles for Success

Doug Novak has spent the last 30+ years on a basketball sideline. During that time, he has coached both men’s and women’s teams at every level from JuCo through NCAA Division. Regardless of where or who he coaches, he has 3 main coaching principles he emphasizes: the importance of clarity, handling the results well – both the wins and the losses, and modeling the behavior you want from your players.

Learn more from Doug Novak on The Basketball Podcast

Simplify Your Coaching Principles

Coach Novak believes in simplifying his coaching philosophy into a small number of key principles. He focuses on four offensive and four defensive principles. Why four? Because Coach Novak believes your philosophy should fit on a napkin.

These principles are the foundation of his coaching and guide his teaching. He emphasizes that these principles are the ones that he will raise his voice at, while everything else is addressed with a whisper.

The 4 offensive pillars are strong with the ball, straight line drives, consistent footwork and spacing for advantage. Novak believes in teaching players to make championship shots and to have the freedom to take those shots without fear of failure. He emphasizes the importance of players understanding that every decision they make on the court is the right one with the knowledge they have at that time. He encourages players to focus on the process and not be overly concerned with the outcome.

Defensively, Coach Novak focuses on principles such as denying straight line drives and providing weak side help. He believes in teaching players to communicate effectively on defense and to understand their roles within the team’s defensive system. He emphasizes the importance of teaching players how to lose correctly and gain wisdom from losses. And, he encourages players to be grateful for losses and to see them as opportunities for growth and maturity.

Model the Behavior You Want

Coach Novak knows the importance of coaches modeling the behavior they expect from their players. This is especially true when it comes to handling defeats. Coaches are just as competitive as players and want to win just as badly. However, he emphasizes the need to handle defeat in the correct way. He believes in teaching players how to lose and addressing defeat as the first topic of discussion. Tough experiences are a part of life but they can lead to growth and maturity if handled correctly.

Coach Novak understands the importance of coaching confidence. Players at all levels, including college and professional players, struggle with confidence. Novak believes in reinforcing positive behavior and decisions by providing players with a clear destination at which to aim.

Doug Novak’s coaching philosophy is centered around clarity, teaching and handling defeat well. Simplifying coaching points to a few key principles helps provide direction and confidence for players and coaches alike.

To see exclusive, unedited practice footage and team film sessions with Coach Doug Novak, visit

For a more in depth look at Novak’s core principles and teaching materials, visit 

For more exclusive all-access practice video series, check out


transformational vs. transactional coaching

This or That: Transformational vs Transactional Coaching

Transactional coaching and transformational coaching are two distinct approaches to coaching, each with its own philosophy and impact on individuals. Here’s an overview of the key differences between transactional and transformational coaching.

transactional vs transformational coaching

Transactional Coaching

Focus on Tasks and Goals

Transactional coaching is task-oriented and primarily concerned with achieving specific goals. Therefore, the coach sets expectations, and the athlete is expected to meet those expectations to receive rewards or avoid consequences.

Rewards and Punishments

In a transactional coaching model, motivation often comes from external rewards or punishments. Athletes are incentivized by tangible benefits or motivated by the fear of negative consequences.

Short-Term Compliance

The emphasis is on immediate performance and compliance. Coaches using a transactional approach may prioritize quick fixes and short-term results over long-term development.

Structured and Hierarchical

The coach holds authority, and the coaching relationship is often hierarchical. Athletes follow instructions, and the communication is more one-way, focusing on directives rather than collaboration.

Limited Personal Development

While transactional coaching can lead to improved performance, it may not necessarily contribute to the holistic personal development of the athlete. Often, it overlooks the emotional and psychological aspects of coaching.

Transformational Coaching

Focus on Individual Growth

Transformational coaching is centered around the personal and holistic development of the athlete. Coaches aim to inspire and empower athletes to reach their full potential, not just in sports but also in life.

Intrinsic Motivation

Motivation in transformational coaching comes from within. Coaches seek to tap into the athlete’s intrinsic motivation, fostering a love for the sport and a desire for self-improvement.

Long-Term Development

The focus is on long-term development, both as an athlete and as an individual. Transformational coaching aims to create lasting change by addressing the underlying values, beliefs, and attitudes of the athlete.

Relationship and Collaboration

Transformational coaches build strong relationships with athletes. The coaching style is more collaborative, involving open communication, mentorship, and a shared vision for the athlete’s future.

Personalized Approach

Each athlete is treated as an individual with unique needs, strengths, and weaknesses. Coaching strategies are tailored to the individual, promoting a sense of ownership and responsibility.

Emphasis on Empowerment

Transformational coaching empowers athletes to take initiative, make decisions, and become leaders both on and off the field. It seeks to instill qualities such as self-confidence, resilience, and a growth mindset.

In summary, while transactional coaching is more concerned with immediate performance and external motivators, transformational coaching prioritizes long-term personal development, intrinsic motivation, and a collaborative, empowering relationship between coach and athlete. Many successful coaches incorporate elements of both approaches depending on the situation, but understanding the differences can help coaches choose the most appropriate strategy for their athletes’ needs.

Check out these additional resources for more information on Transactional vs Transformational Coaching:

3D Institute: Transactional vs Transformational Coaching


The Multi-Faceted Role of an Assistant Coach in Basketball

The Unsung Heroes: The Multi-Faceted Role of an Assistant Coach in Basketball

In the world of basketball, the head coach often takes center stage, receiving praise and scrutiny alike for their team’s performance. But behind every great head coach is an unsung hero – the assistant coach. While the title may suggest a supporting role, the reality is that an assistant coach’s contribution is multifaceted and invaluable. In this blog, we will delve deep into the role of an assistant coach, exploring the numerous ways they add value to both the head coach and the players.

Expertise and Specialization

Assistant coaches are not mere shadows of the head coach; they are experts in their own right. One of the most significant advantages they bring to the table is their specialization in specific aspects of the game. For example, some may focus on offense, defense, or player development. Their expertise allows for a more focused and strategic approach in training and game planning. This division of labor enables the head coach to delegate responsibilities and ultimately lead a more well-rounded team.

Player Development and Mentorship

Assistant coaches often play a pivotal role in player development. While the head coach is preoccupied with overarching strategies and team dynamics, assistant coaches work closely with individual players to refine their skills and help them reach their full potential. This one-on-one interaction fosters trust and allows players to receive personalized feedback and guidance. It’s not just about making better athletes; it’s also about making better people.

In-Game Adaptation

During the heat of the game, a head coach has a lot on their plate, from monitoring player rotations to strategizing on the fly. This is where assistant coaches come to the rescue. They have a critical role in providing real-time analysis and recommendations, helping the head coach make informed decisions. Their insights can lead to crucial adjustments that can change the course of the game.

Assistant Coach Basketball
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Scouting and Preparation

The world of basketball is highly competitive, and scouting opponents is essential for success. Assistant coaches often take charge of this arduous task. They meticulously study upcoming opponents, identifying strengths and weaknesses, analyzing game footage, and formulating game plans. This allows the head coach to enter games well-prepared, with a strategic advantage.

Team Unity and Chemistry

Assistant coaches are not just Xs and Os experts; they are also the glue that holds the team together. Their role extends to building team chemistry, fostering camaraderie among players, and creating a positive and motivating atmosphere. Assistant coaches often serve as intermediaries between players and the head coach, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and working toward a common goal.

Accountability and Discipline

Maintaining player discipline and accountability is crucial for any successful team. Assistant coaches often act as enforcers of team rules and standards. They play an instrumental role in holding players accountable for their actions, on and off the court. This helps instill a culture of responsibility and professionalism, contributing to the team’s overall success.

Strategy and Innovation

Assistant coaches are not just passive implementers of the head coach’s strategies; they are also innovative thinkers. They bring fresh perspectives and ideas to the table, challenging the status quo. Their unique insights can lead to the evolution of team strategies and tactics, keeping the team competitive and adaptable in a dynamic basketball landscape.

In-Game Responsibilities

Assistant coaches’ roles extend beyond the practice court and into the heart of the action – the games themselves. During games, assistant coaches have a range of crucial responsibilities that contribute to the team’s success. One of their primary tasks is managing player rotations, ensuring that each athlete is in the best position to perform at their peak. This requires a deep understanding of player dynamics and match-ups, allowing them to strategically substitute players for maximum impact.

Furthermore, assistant coaches often lead specific aspects of the game plan during matches. For instance, they may oversee defensive schemes, ensuring that players stick to the designed strategies to stifle the opponent’s offense. This in-game specialization allows for quicker adjustments, as assistant coaches can quickly identify whether a different defensive approach or a change in offensive play-calling is necessary. They’re the eyes and ears on the sidelines, helping the head coach make informed decisions under intense pressure.

Moreover, assistant coaches are instrumental in monitoring player performance and offering instant feedback. They observe each player’s body language, stamina, and emotional state, communicating valuable insights to the head coach. Whether it’s recognizing when a player needs a break or identifying a potential mismatch to exploit, assistant coaches play a pivotal role in shaping the game’s outcome.

In critical moments, assistant coaches are often tasked with drawing up last-second plays or adjustments during timeouts. Their capacity to stay cool under pressure and devise effective strategies on the fly can be the difference between victory and defeat.

In summary, the in-game responsibilities of assistant coaches are a testament to their importance in the world of basketball. They are not merely spectators; they are active contributors to the team’s performance, consistently making vital decisions that can alter the course of a game. Their attentiveness to player dynamics and strategic insights are indispensable to the overall success of the team.

Asssitant Coach RolesConclusion

In conclusion, the role of an assistant coach in basketball is far more intricate and multifaceted than it may appear at first glance. They are the backbone of a successful team, offering invaluable expertise, mentorship, and support to both the head coach and players. While the head coach may receive the spotlight, the assistant coaches are the unsung heroes, quietly shaping the team’s success from behind the scenes. It’s time we acknowledge their contributions and recognize their vital role in the world of basketball.

joe crispin

Play-Based Basketball Practice with Joe Crispin

Welcome to the world of Play-Based Practice with Joe Crispin! In this blog, we will explore the importance of creativity and freedom in basketball practice, the benefits of a constraints-led approach, and how you can help your players play the game better and enjoy the game more by creating a happier basketball environment with insights from Joe Crispin.

Joe Crispin is a former professional basketball player who has dedicated his career to helping coaches and players develop their skills and reach their full potential. His approach to basketball practice is centered around the idea of play-based learning, which emphasizes the importance of creativity, freedom, and fun in the learning process.

So, whether you are a coach looking to improve your team’s performance or a player looking to take your skills to the next level, this blog is for you. Get ready to have some fun and learn how to play better basketball with Joe Crispin!

Offense: Scoring with Efficiency

Crispin’s team’s offensive prowess was good enough to rank fourth in the country in scoring and third in tempo during the 2022-23 season. However, Crispin believes that his team was not efficient offensively, despite their high-scoring games. He explains that their offensive strategy focused on creating more possessions and opportunities for their players, as they had a deep roster of talented individuals. Crispin emphasizes that their offensive success was not solely based on shooting efficiency, but rather on the volume of shots they took. In this blog, we’ll look at how Crispin helps his players enjoy the game more through fast-paced, play-based practices.

Getting to the Free Throw Line

Crispin attributes their success in getting to the free throw line to their fast-paced style of play. By creating more possessions, they were able to draw fouls and get to the line. He also mentions that their strategy was influenced by their personnel, as they had strong one-on-one players but lacked exceptional shooting. Crispin wanted to make the game more enjoyable for his players and believed that creating more opportunities would keep them engaged and motivated.

The Philosophy of Pace

Crispin explains that his coaching philosophy is centered around pace and avoiding boredom. He believes that playing an exciting and fast-paced style of basketball attracts talented players and improves recruiting. He wanted his players to have the freedom to play and make decisions on the court, rather than relying on strict play-calling. Crispin acknowledges that there are trade-offs with this approach, but he believes that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. By giving players the opportunity to shine in live action, he can identify their strengths and weaknesses more effectively.

Defense: Aggression and Disruption

Crispin’s defensive strategy revolves around being aggressive and disrupting the opponent’s offense. He aims to make scoring easier for his team by playing defense in a way that makes offense harder for the opponent. Crispin emphasizes the importance of volume and the balance between taking better shots and taking more shots. He believes that by increasing the number of shots taken, players have more opportunities to find their rhythm and improve their shooting percentages. Crispin also mentions that their defensive approach involves pressing and disrupting the opponent’s rhythm, preventing them from running their offense effectively.

The Importance of Creativity and Freedom

Crispin values creativity and freedom in both offense and defense. He believes that players should have the freedom to express themselves and be the best version of themselves on the court. Crispin encourages players to take shots and make decisions based on their instincts and abilities. He emphasizes that players surprise coaches with their capabilities, and by giving them the freedom to explore and learn from their mistakes, they can reach their full potential. Crispin also challenges traditional coaching norms and encourages coaches to think outside the box and be open to new ideas.

The Benefits of a Constraints-Led Approach

Crispin follows a constraints-led approach in his coaching, using limitations to encourage players’ development. He believes that constraints can be used to create a competitive advantage and foster creativity. By setting specific constraints in practice and games, Crispin helps players develop their decision-making skills and adapt to different situations. He emphasizes the importance of providing players with a broad-based structure that allows them to explore and learn from their experiences.

The Impact of Shot Clocks

Crispin advocates for the use of shot clocks in basketball, as he believes it leads to better basketball and player development. He argues that shot clocks create a sense of urgency and force players to make quicker decisions. Crispin points out that playing without a shot clock often leads to inefficient basketball, as players tend to hold onto the ball and wait for the perfect opportunity. He believes that shot clocks would improve the overall quality of the game and enhance coaching strategies.

Joe Crispin’s unique coaching approach focuses on pace, creativity, and freedom. By emphasizing aggressive defense and a fast-paced offense, he aims to create an exciting and engaging playing style. Crispin encourages coaches to think outside the box, challenge traditional norms, and provide players with the freedom to express themselves on the court. He believes that constraints, such as shot clocks, can enhance player development and lead to better basketball. Through his innovative coaching methods, Crispin aims to create well-rounded and adaptable players who can excel at any level of the game.

Joe Crispin’s Play-Based Practice All-Access Series

Help your players play the game better and enjoy the game more by creating a happier basketball environment.

This All Access Joe Crispin Practice Series from Immersion Videos provides a unique chance to watch how to impart joy in a practice environment while still developing your players and team to have success. Coaching interventions, game-based competitive play, small-sided games, time and score situations, constraints and the use of the shot clock and scoring system, are all used to shape player and team development.

If you are determined to help your players improve in basketball through an engaging learning process that leads to long-term success, then these are the practice videos for you. Instead of doing a bunch of drills, these practices will help you develop a better understanding of how to play more basketball in practice and provide the space for your players to become the best version of themselves. Get access now at

Who is Joe Crispin?

One of Penn State’s all-time great players and longtime professional athlete, Joe Crispin enters his first season as Assistant to the Head Coach in 2023-24 at Penn State University.

Crispin spent the last seven seasons as the head men’s basketball coach at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J. where he guided the Profs to a 114-54 record, three NCAA Tournament appearances, two conference titles and the 2023 Sweet 16. He collected the fourth-most wins by a head coach in school history through his seven years on the sideline.

Crispin engineered one of the most prolific offenses in the country at Rowan, as the Profs averaged more than 80 points per game in each of his final six seasons including 90+ points per game in each of the last two years. A longtime professional player, Crispin joined the Los Angeles Lakers in 2001 as a free agent and enjoyed a highly successful career in Europe for more than a decade.

Basketball Athletic Development

Unlocking Basketball Athletic Developement

Unlocking Basketball Athletic Development is a crucial aspect of becoming a successful athlete. Jamie Smith, a former college basketball player and now an athletic development coach, emphasizes the importance of learning motor skills and the fundamentals of movement to achieve success. In his blog, gain insights on how coaches can help athletes unlock their basketball athletic development and their full potential. He believes that coaches play a vital role in guiding athletes towards achieving their goals. If you’re looking to improve your basketball athletic development, Jamie Smith’s provides an excellent resource to get started.

Smith created the U of Strength to focus on athletic development. He believes that instead of trying to create a factory, he can make the most difference by creating an intimate setting where his full attention is on sport performance, motor learning, and teaching kids how to learn. This includes teaching them how to adapt to skills, develop qualities, and learn processes. Smith also emphasizes that it is important for athletes to not specialize in one sport too early and to take advantage of the opportunity to play multiple sports.

To basketball coaches to learn motor skills and basketball athletic development concepts, Smith has created a video series that provides applicable lessons. This Basketball Athletic Development Series is unique because it has never been done before, where a human performance coach has worked directly with a basketball team over multiple days and then recorded and shared it. This provides athletes with an immersive experience to help them learn and develop.

The Four Pillars

Jamie Smith’s appearance on The Basketball Podcast explored the idea of athletic development beyond a traditional, one-dimensional approach. The speaker emphasizes the importance of respecting and understanding the individual, task, and environment when designing training sessions, and how this leads to developing adaptable and creative problem solvers.

The four pillars of his approach include physical, psychological, social, and emotional factors, all of which are crucial for shaping behaviors and giving context to movement patterns, relevant to sports. They aim to create an athlete-centered environment by building relationships with individuals and valuing their feedback during the training process. This different approach was effective for the team, emphasizing a bigger picture of athletic performance and considering psychological, social, and emotional components important for individual development.

One aspect of this approach is using the constraints-led approach and looking at exercises as movement problems, rather than just exercises to perform. For example, in basketball training, the speaker emphasizes the importance of respecting speed and not always going full speed as the fastest response may not be the best response. Instead, athletes need to be creative and unpredictable to keep opponents guessing.

Smith also believes that it is important to factor in the four pillars of performance: physical, psychological, social, and emotional. He believes that these four pillars are all connected and that it is important to take them into consideration when helping athletes reach their full potential. Smith’s approach also emphasizes the importance of enjoyment. He wants athletes to be excited when they come into his facility and to look forward to their training sessions.

Smith’s approach to strength and conditioning is one that is focused on the athlete and their development. He believes that athletes should be the main drivers of their own development and that they should be the ones to decide what works best for them. He also believes that strength and conditioning is more than just lifting weights and doing drills. Smith emphasizes the importance of the four pillars of performance and the importance of enjoyment. His approach is a great example of how to help athletes reach their full potential.

What about Warm-Up?

Warm-up or pre-training activities is not just about preparing tissues but also an opportunity for learning and exposure to softer skills or non-traditional skills. It should be adaptable, dynamic, and agile to match the needs of the athletes. Smith suggests using gameplay during warm-up or pre-training, as it is a great opportunity to address the four pillars of athletic development.

Specific Advice for Coaches

Adapt and experiment to succeed

    • Smith’s approach is to adapt and experiment. He believes that this is the best way to succeed in any situation. He has applied this to his work with college basketball players and Alex Arama’s prep kids. Smith traveled halfway across the world to Italy to work with these athletes. He had no equipment, but he was still able to adapt and experiment with the athletes. He was able to create an agile, dynamic, and adaptable environment that was able to help the athletes reach their potential.
    • Smith also believes in the power of relationships. He has stayed in touch with the athletes he worked with in Italy. He is available to them through WhatsApp, and is able to help them with any bumps, bruises, aches, and pains they may experience. This is a testament to the power of relationships, and how they can help athletes succeed.
    • Smith’s approach to athlete development is invaluable. He believes in the power of adaptability and experimentation. He has seen the success that this approach can bring, and is passionate about helping athletes reach their full potential. Smith’s approach is a great example of how adaptability and experimentation can help athletes succeed.

Partner with athletes to explore

    • Smith’s approach to athlete development is one of partnership. He believes that by creating a relationship with the athlete, he can help them reach their goals. Smith’s approach involves creating a dialogue between the athlete and the coach. This allows the athlete to express their thoughts and feelings on the topic, and allows the coach to provide guidance and feedback. This dialogue allows for a more open and honest relationship between the coach and the athlete.
    • Smith also believes in the power of exploration. He encourages athletes to experiment and take risks in order to discover what works best for them. Smith understands that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to success, and that each athlete is unique and requires an individualized approach. By allowing athletes to explore different options, they are able to learn more about themselves and their capabilities.
    • Smith’s approach to athlete development is a great example of how to partner with athletes to explore. His approach of dialogue and exploration allows athletes to reach their full potential. By creating an open and honest relationship between the athlete and the coach, athletes are able to express themselves and take risks in order to discover what works best for them. Smith’s approach is a great example of how to help athletes succeed.

Enjoy strength and conditioning

    • Smith’s approach to strength and conditioning is one that emphasizes the importance of the athlete’s involvement. He believes that athletes should be the main drivers of their own development and that they should be the ones to decide what works best for them. He also believes that strength and conditioning is more than just lifting weights and doing drills. Smith believes that it is important to focus on performance and that the athlete should be able to find the tools and movements that will help them succeed.

Understand movement input and output

    • To understand movement input and output, coaches should focus on the brain, biomechanics, and behavior. The brain is the source of the athlete’s perception and action, and it is important to understand how the brain processes information in order to create the best movements. The biomechanics of the athlete should also be taken into account, as certain movements require specific body mechanics in order to be successful. Lastly, the behavior of the athlete should be observed, as certain movements require specific intentions in order to be successful.

Rest to recover and improve

    • One of the most important aspects of physical and psychological development is rest. Rest is a critical component of performance and recovery, and it should not be overlooked. Rest allows athletes to recover from the physical and mental stress of hard training and competition. It also allows athletes to prepare for the next challenge. Rest can be achieved through low-intensity activities, such as stretching and light cardio, as well as through complete rest days.

Experiment and observe strategies

    • Experimenting and observing strategies is a key part of the rough housing process. By allowing athletes to experience the activity without providing any tactical or tactical information, coaches can observe how athletes interact with the environment and their peers. This can help coaches better understand their athletes’ individual differences and help them come up with strategies that work best for them.

Movement is key

    • Smith believes that movement is the key to success in strength and conditioning. He believes that providing athletes with the tools to move effectively and efficiently is essential for optimal performance. Smith believes that movement should be used to help athletes become more adaptable and better problem solvers. He believes that movement should be used to help athletes develop skills that will help them in other areas of life, such as social and emotional development. Smith believes that movement should be used to help athletes develop better decision-making skills, as well as better physical and psychological performance.

Change language, perspective

    • Smith believes that changing the language and perspective of movement is the key to success in strength and conditioning. He believes that changing the language and perspective of movement can help athletes become more adaptable and better problem solvers. He believes that changing the language and perspective of movement can help athletes develop skills that will help them in other areas of life, such as social and emotional development. He believes that changing the language and perspective of movement can help athletes develop better decision-making skills, as well as better physical and psychological performance. He believes that changing the language and perspective of movement can help athletes develop a better understanding of their body and how it works. He believes that changing the language and perspective of movement can help athletes develop better coordination and balance. He believes that changing the language and perspective of movement can help athletes develop better body awareness and control. He believes that changing the language and perspective of movement can help athletes develop better strength and power.

Trust the process

    • Smith’s approach to strength and conditioning is one that is based on trust. He believes that athletes should be trusted to make their own decisions and to take ownership of their development. He also believes that coaches should be trusted to create an environment that is conducive to learning and growth. Smith believes that the four pillars of performance should be used to help athletes reach their full potential. He emphasizes the importance of physical, psychological, social, and cognitive performance in order to help athletes reach their full potential.


This approach transcends basketball and is relevant to other sports because of the similarities in motor patterns and attentional behaviors. Jamie Smith’s programming has four pillars: physical, psychological, social, and emotional, and all four pillars need to be factored in for optimal performance. They stress the importance of appreciating all the different variables in strength and conditioning and the specific sport and not just sticking to structured protocols or routines.

Smith emphasizes the importance of taking a multidimensional approach to athletic development and highlights the need to combine physical, psychological, social, and emotional abilities to create adaptable problem solvers, who can handle chaotic and uncertain situations and know what works best for their bodies. By doing so, athletes can unleash their full potential and excel both on and off the court or field. Learn more from Jamie Smith here: Basketball Athletic Development


Nate Oats

Alabama Head Coach Nate Oats: Revitalizing Alabama Basketball

Alabama Head Coach Nate Oats has made a significant impact on the Crimson Tide basketball program since his arrival. With an impressive coaching record and numerous accomplishments to his name, Oats has brought a new level of success to Alabama. In addition to his coaching prowess, Oats has also provided exclusive access to his practices through the “All-Access Alabama Practice with Nate Oats” series, allowing coaches to get an inside look at his coaching methods and program. In this blog post, we will delve into Oats’ coaching philosophy, his approach to practices, and the importance of competition and accountability in his program.

Oats’ coaching journey has been marked by success and innovation. As a high school coach, he experimented with different styles of play before settling on a four-out, one-in system. This system focused on driving the ball and creating open shots, which became a hallmark of his coaching style. When he transitioned to coaching at the collegiate level, Oats continued to refine and adapt his system, eventually moving towards a five-out system similar to what is seen in the NBA. This change allowed for even more spacing on the court and emphasized the team’s ability to drive to the basket.

One of the key aspects of Oats’ coaching philosophy is the emphasis on offensive efficiency. Despite struggling with three-point shooting in some games, Alabama maintained a high offensive efficiency ranking, thanks to their focus on getting to the rim and drawing fouls. Oats recognized the importance of getting assisted shots at the rim and worked with his players to improve their slashing and cutting skills. This emphasis on driving to the basket and creating high-quality shots led to Alabama’s success on the offensive end.

In addition to their offensive prowess, Alabama’s success can also be attributed to their competitive mindset. Oats believes in creating a competitive environment in practice, where players are encouraged to compete and push each other to improve. He uses various scoring systems and incentives to motivate his players and hold them accountable. Whether it’s sprinting back on defense, pressuring the ball, or communicating effectively, Oats has established non-negotiables that players are expected to adhere to. By instilling a competitive mindset and a strong work ethic, Oats has fostered a winning culture within the program.

End notes:

Oats’ impact on the Alabama basketball program cannot be overstated. His innovative coaching style, emphasis on offensive efficiency, and commitment to competition have revitalized the Crimson Tide and established them as a top collegiate basketball program. Through his “All-Access Alabama Practice with Nate Oats” series, fans have been able to gain valuable insights into his coaching methods and program. As Alabama continues to thrive under Oats’ leadership, it’s clear that the future is bright for the Crimson Tide.

Nate Oats Alabama All Access Practice Series

If you’re a basketball coach looking to take your team to the next level, then you should definitely check out the Nate Oats Alabama All Access Practice Series from Immersion Videos. This series provides exclusive access to one of the best basketball minds in college basketball. You’ll learn the methods that have produced one of the most entertaining styles of play in the game.

Open the doors and get full access to three practices to get an inside look at how Nate Oats runs his practices and program. You’ll learn how to create a dynamic offense, insights into building culture, and how to blend intensity with teaching. This video will give you a full arsenal of ideas to improve your team’s effort, intensity, and scoring. Don’t miss this opportunity to get an all-access look at one of the country’s top offensive coaches in action as his team learns how to be efficient and free-flowing on offense. You can learn more about this series and purchase it at

Basketball Tryouts

Running Effective Basketball Tryouts: A Coach’s Guide

Basketball tryouts are a crucial part of building a successful basketball program. They are an opportunity for coaches to evaluate players and select the best team possible. However, tryouts can be stressful for both coaches and players. It’s not fun to ever cut a player from a basketball team, but it’s a necessary part of the job.

The good news is that basketball tryouts can be fun and engaging, especially when you have creative ideas to work with. In this blog, we will explore some of the most exciting and innovative ideas that coaches can use to run more effective tryouts. From warm-up drills to skills challenges, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s get started and make tryouts a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone involved!

Running effective basketball tryouts isn’t just about finding the best, but also about cultivating talent, building a basketball family, and crafting an experience that players, whether they make the team or not, will feel seen. As a coach, it’s your responsibility to run tryouts that are not only fair but also highly effective in identifying the best fit for your program. In this blog, we’ll explore creative ideas to help you conduct a more efficient and comprehensive basketball tryout.

    • Pre-Tryout Evaluation: Before tryouts even begin, consider implementing a pre-tryout evaluation process. Invite potential participants to submit a brief questionnaire or video showcasing their skills and motivations. This can help you identify players with specific attributes or experiences that align with your team’s needs.
    • Skill Assessment Stations: Divide your tryout into skill assessment stations that evaluate various aspects of a player’s game. Include stations for shooting, dribbling, passing, and defensive skills. Assign knowledgeable coaches or former players to oversee each station, providing valuable feedback to participants.
    • 1-on-1 Drills: Introduce 1-on-1 drills to assess a player’s ability to defend and score in one-on-one situations. This can reveal a player’s basketball IQ, as they must make quick decisions on offense and defense. Use these drills to gauge a player’s competitiveness and adaptability.
    • Game Simulations: To assess how players perform in game-like scenarios, organize mini-scrimmages or controlled 5-on-5 games. This allows you to observe how participants handle pressure, communicate with teammates, and execute team strategies.
    • Fitness and Conditioning: Basketball is a physically demanding sport, so don’t neglect the importance of fitness. Include conditioning drills like sprints, agility exercises, and endurance tests to evaluate a player’s overall fitness level. This also helps identify players who are committed to maintaining their physical condition.
    • Basketball IQ Test: Create a written or verbal test that evaluates a player’s understanding of basketball concepts, rules, and strategies. This can help you identify players with a high basketball IQ, which is crucial for effective team play.
    • Character Assessment: Assessing a player’s character is equally important as evaluating their skills. Conduct interviews or have a panel of coaches observe players off the court to gauge their attitude, sportsmanship, and teamwork. Look for players who exhibit leadership qualities and a willingness to learn and grow.
    • Team Building Activities: To assess how players gel as a team, incorporate team-building activities into the basketball tryouts process. This could involve problem-solving challenges, communication exercises, or group discussions on basketball-related topics. These activities can reveal valuable insights into a player’s ability to work with others.
    • Mental Toughness Drills: Basketball is a mentally demanding sport, so include drills that test a player’s mental toughness. These can include free throw shooting contests under pressure, simulated game situations with a dwindling clock, or scenarios designed to test a player’s ability to focus in high-pressure situations.
    • Feedback and Communication: Throughout the tryout process, maintain clear communication with participants. Provide constructive feedback, both during and after the tryout, to help players understand their strengths and areas for improvement. This fosters a culture of growth and development within your program.
    • Guest Coaches or Evaluators: Bring in guest coaches or experienced players to provide fresh perspectives during tryouts. Their insights can offer different viewpoints and enhance the evaluation process.
    • Video Analysis: Record basketball tryouts and use video analysis to review player performances. This can be a valuable tool for identifying nuances that may not be evident during real-time observation.
    • Transparency and Fairness: Above all, ensure transparency and fairness in your tryout process. Clearly communicate the criteria for selection and stick to them. Make decisions based on performance, attitude, and potential rather than personal bias.
    • Second Chance Evaluation: Consider offering a second chance for players who may have had a bad day during initial tryouts. This can help ensure that no talent goes unnoticed due to a single off-day performance.

By implementing these creative ideas, you can run basketball tryouts that are not only effective in identifying talent but also promote growth, teamwork, and a positive culture within your basketball program. Remember that the ultimate goal is to build a strong and cohesive team that can succeed both on and off the court. Good luck with your tryouts,


Slam Dunk Basketball Fundraising for Your Program

You’re a passionate basketball coach, committed to honing your players’ skills, building a championship team, and taking them to the top of the game. But then, there’s that one part of the job that tends to make even the most ardent coaches cringe – basketball fundraising. It’s true; basketball fundraising isn’t usually on the list of a coach’s favorite activities. The endless spreadsheets, phone calls, and bake sales can sometimes feel like they’re taking a fast break in the opposite direction of fun.

But what if we told you that basketball fundraising doesn’t have to be the mundane chore you once imagined? In fact, we’re here to turn the tables on those basketball fundraising blues and show you how to make it an exhilarating slam dunk for you and your team. Yes, you heard that right – fundraising can be FUN!

In this blog, we’re going to unveil a playbook filled with creative, exciting, and downright enjoyable basketball fundraising ideas tailored specifically for coaches. These ideas will not only help you raise the funds your program needs but will also add a new level of excitement to your coaching journey. So, if you’ve ever wished for a fundraising experience that’s more “alley-oop” and less “ho-hum,” keep reading because we’ve got the game plan you’ve been searching for. Let’s get ready to score big on and off the court!

Hoops for Hope Tournament: Organize a “Hoops for Hope” basketball tournament where teams can register and compete for a grand prize. This fundraiser can involve both the players and the community. Invite local businesses to sponsor teams or donate prizes, and charge an entry fee for each participating team. Additionally, have a halftime three-point shootout contest for spectators to join in on the fun.

Basketball-Themed 5K Run: Combine fitness and fundraising by hosting a basketball-themed 5K run. Participants can dress up in their favorite basketball jerseys or costumes and run/walk the course. Charge an entry fee and provide medals or trophies for the winners. Consider offering a post-race basketball shooting contest for additional entertainment.

Slam Dunk-a-Thon: Turn your fundraising event into a dunk extravaganza. Rent a basketball court and invite participants to show off their dunking skills. Set up donation stations around the court where spectators can pledge money for each successful dunk. Players can compete for the highest number of dunks or the most creative dunk.

Skills Camp for Kids: Leverage your coaching expertise by organizing a basketball skills camp for kids in the community. Charge a fee for enrollment and teach young players the fundamentals of the game. Parents will appreciate the opportunity for their children to learn from a qualified coach, and the camp can serve as a great marketing tool for your program.

Basketball Art Auction: Tap into the creative talents of your players and local artists by hosting a basketball-themed art auction. Encourage participants to create basketball-inspired artwork, whether it’s paintings, sculptures, or crafts. Promote the event to art enthusiasts and sports fans alike, and auction off the pieces to raise funds for your program.

Celebrity Basketball Game: Bring some star power from your community to your fundraising efforts by organizing a celebrity basketball game. Invite local celebrities, athletes, or even former players to participate. Sell tickets for the event and offer VIP experiences like meet-and-greets with the celebrities. The excitement of seeing well-known personalities on the court can draw a large crowd.

Basketball-themed Cookbook: Collaborate with players, parents, and supporters to create a basketball-themed cookbook filled with delicious recipes. Include favorites from the team and family recipes, and sell the cookbooks to raise funds. Personalize it with team photos, anecdotes, and basketball-related stories to make it even more special.

Basketball-themed Movie Night: Host an outdoor movie night at your school or a local park, featuring a classic basketball film like “Hoosiers” or “Space Jam.” Sell tickets, popcorn, and concessions to attendees. Consider incorporating a halftime skills showcase or a mini basketball game during intermission.

Online Merchandise Store: Create an online merchandise store with customized basketball-themed apparel, accessories, and memorabilia. Promote the store within your community and among fans of the sport. A portion of the proceeds from each sale can go towards your program.

Basketball Freethrow-thon: Challenge your players to a freethrow-thon where they seek pledges for every successful free throw they make. Set up a designated time and location for the event, and encourage supporters to come and cheer for the players. This not only raises funds but also allows your players to improve their free throw shooting skills.

3-Point Contest: Organize a 3-point contest where participants compete to make the most 3-point shots within a certain time frame. You can charge an entry fee and offer prizes to the winners.

Basketball Marathon: Host a basketball marathon where players play basketball continuously for 24 hours. You can ask people to sponsor each hour of play or make a flat donation.

Basketball Auction: Host a basketball auction where you auction off items such as signed basketballs, jerseys, and other memorabilia. You can also auction off experiences such as meeting with players or attending games.

Basketball Raffle: Sell raffle tickets and offer prizes such as autographed basketballs, jerseys, and other memorabilia.

Basketball Skills Challenge: Host a basketball skills challenge where participants compete in various skills such as dribbling, shooting, and passing. You can charge an entry fee and offer prizes to the winners.

Basketball Trivia Night: Host a basketball trivia night where participants answer questions related to basketball. You can charge an entry fee and offer prizes to the winners.

Basketball Car Wash: Host a car wash where players wash cars in exchange for donations. Choose a location that is easily accessible and has plenty of space for cars to line up.

Basketball Bake Sale: Host a bake sale where players bake and sell goods such as cookies, cakes, and brownies. Promote the event through social media, flyers, and word of mouth. Encourage players to invite their friends and family.

Basketball Movie Night: Host a movie night where you show basketball movies such as “Space Jam” or “Hoosiers”. You can charge an entry fee and sell snacks.

Basketball Game Night: Host a game night where participants play basketball-related games such as “HORSE” or “Around the World”. You can charge an entry fee and offer prizes to the winners.

Basketball Photo Shoot: Offer photo shoots with players in their uniforms or with props related to basketball.

Basketball Silent Auction: Host a silent auction where you display items such as signed basketballs, jerseys, and other memorabilia. Participants write down their bids on sheets of paper next to each item.

Basketball Scavenger Hunt: Host a scavenger hunt where participants search for items related to basketball around town. One example might be to create a list of basketball trivia questions and hide the answers around the playing area. Players must find the answers to all the questions to win. Another example could be to create a list of basketball-related items that players must find and take a photo with. The first team to find all the items and take photos wins.


Raising money for your basketball program doesn’t have to be limited to traditional methods. By getting creative and engaging your community, you can find innovative ways to support your team’s needs while fostering a sense of unity and excitement among players and supporters alike. Whether it’s through unique events, merchandise, or collaborations with local celebrities, these creative fundraising ideas will help your basketball program reach new heights. So, lace up your sneakers, gather your team, and slam dunk your way to fundraising success!

basketball timeouts

Mastering the Art of Basketball Timeouts

Basketball timeouts are an essential part of coaching, and they can be used to great effect if managed correctly. Timeouts play a crucial role in strategizing and guiding the team towards success. However, running an effective timeout requires more than just a well-thought-out plan. It demands effective communication and an understanding of the your players, and their needs in the moment. In this blog post, we will delve into the types of communication and strategies that can make a timeout truly impactful.

Timeouts in basketball are more than just a pause in the game; they are crucial strategic tools that can turn the tide in close matches. To harness their full potential, coaches and players must anticipate and employ them wisely. In this blog post, we’ll explore the art of timeouts and how to make the most of them for your team’s success.

The Importance of Timeout Management

Timeouts are primarily used for strategic purposes, and they can make or break a game, especially during nail-biting moments. When a timeout is called, players should swiftly make their way to the bench.

Timeouts should be divided into two segments. The first part should be dedicated to players for hydration, towel refreshment, and other personal needs. In the final part, all focus should shift to the coach’s instructions. Players should remain alert and attentive to any changes and adjustments discussed.


During basketball timeouts, effective communication is key. Ensure that all players make eye contact and are actively listening before speaking. It’s also essential to maintain order – only one person should speak at a time. Too many voices can be distracting and counterproductive. In timeouts, it’s not uncommon to witness multiple coaches addressing different players simultaneously, so coordination is paramount.

Given that players often remember very little from timeouts, it’s advisable to keep adjustments and changes simple, limiting them to one to three key points at most. Additionally, don’t expect your team to successfully execute anything entirely new that hasn’t been practiced beforehand.

Before we delve into the intricacies of running effective basketball timeouts, let’s first explore the various types of communication that coaches employ.

    • Verbal Communication: Verbal communication involves talking and listening. During timeouts, coaches convey instructions, strategies, and motivational words to their players. It is essential to find the right balance between being assertive and supportive in order to engage the team effectively.
    • Non-Verbal Communication: Non-verbal communication, often the most powerful form of communication, encompasses body language, gestures, and facial expressions. Coaches must be aware of their own body language and how it impacts the team. In today’s era, where athletes respond differently to aggressive communication, adopting a more positive and encouraging approach can yield better results.
    • Written Communication: Coaches often utilize written communication during timeouts. Whether it’s writing plays on a whiteboard or conveying specific instructions, the clarity of the message is paramount. It is crucial to ensure that players understand the symbols and diagrams used, as misinterpretation can lead to confusion and mistakes.
    • Visual Communication: Visual communication involves what players see. Coaches use whiteboards to illustrate plays and strategies. However, it is vital to ascertain whether players truly comprehend the visual cues presented. Taking the time to explain and confirm understanding can prevent misunderstandings and enhance the effectiveness of visual communication.

Here are some tips on how to run effective basketball timeouts:

    • Plan ahead: Practice timeouts in practice. Run through timeout strategy with your assistant coaches in advance of games. Anticipate and plan for specific opponents for potential timeout strategies. Have a game plan sheet that keeps your focused about possible interventions.
    • Communicate effectively: During the timeout, make sure you communicate your message clearly and concisely to your players. Use a whiteboard or clipboard to draw up plays and show your players where they need to be positioned on the court.
    • Adjustments: Use timeouts seems like an opportunity to make adjustments, and while yes that is true, it’s also a time to help players understand how to do what you are doing better. Change is sometimes necessary but more often than not the best strategy is to get your players to do what you do better.  Of course if something isn’t working, use the timeout to communicate a new strategy.
    • Emotions: Emotional control and consistency in the way you communicate in timeouts is important.  It’s important to stay in the moment during timeouts, even if things aren’t going according to plan. Your players will look to you for guidance, so it’s important to remain composed and focused on solutions, rather than problems.


By mastering basketball timeouts management and communication, you can elevate your team’s performance and increase your chances of victory. So, remember, it’s not just about stopping the clock; it’s about seizing the opportunity to strategize, adapt, and succeed. It requires skillful communication and adapting to game situations and emotions. Understanding the needs of players can help coaches tailor their instructions and engage the team effectively. By combining effective communication and catering to individual needs, coaches can maximize the impact of timeouts, leading their teams to success.

Tobin Anderson

The Pressing Defense System of Tobin Anderson

Tobin Anderson is a basketball coach who has been known to use his pressing defense system to great success. This tactic involves applying pressure on the opposing team’s ball handlers to force turnovers and create scoring opportunities. Anderson’s coaching career has been quite successful, with his teams winning several championships and making it to the NCAA tournament multiple times. In fact, the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights, recently pulled off a stunning upset against Purdue in the tournament, becoming only the second #16 seed to ever defeat a #1 seed in the tournament. Now that we have an idea of Anderson’s success, let’s dive deeper into the pressing defense strategy and how it has helped him achieve such great results.

Anderson discussed his pressing system and the importance of turnover margin in his team’s success. He also talked about the influence of Rick Pitino and other coaches in developing his pressing system. In this blog post, we will dive deeper into Coach Anderson’s pressing system, exploring the teaching points for both on-ball and off-ball defenders, the importance of defensive decision-making, and the strategies for confusing opponents. We will also discuss the role of the backcourt players and the recovery aspect of the press.

On-Ball Defense

Coach Anderson emphasizes the importance of on-ball pressure in his pressing system. He wants his players to be aggressive and make it difficult for opponents to pass and dissect the press. However, he also cautions against pressuring too much and getting beat easily. The on-ball defenders are instructed to stay open to the ball, not denying the pass inbounds, and being square to the ball handler. The goal is to make the opponent go hard and put pressure on them to make quick decisions.

Defensive Decision-Making

In Coach Anderson’s pressing system, defensive decision-making is crucial. Players need to know when to trap, when to rotate, and when to stunt. They must be instinctive and have a good feel for the game. Coach Anderson encourages his players to be active, foot-faking, and ready to rotate when necessary. The players in the backcourt need to be smart and not lose their man. They must understand their role in the press and make the right decisions based on the situation.

Confusing Opponents

One of the key aspects of Coach Anderson’s pressing system is to confuse opponents. He wants his press to be unpredictable, making it difficult for opponents to know when and where the trap will come. By using match-up oriented concepts, Coach Anderson’s press can resemble both a zone press and a man press, creating confusion for the opposing team. The press is designed to dare opponents to beat them over the top, while also shrinking the court and forcing them to go sideline.

Off-Ball Defense

Off-ball defenders, especially the backcourt players, play a crucial role in Coach Anderson’s pressing system. They need to be active, foot-faking, and ready to rotate when necessary. The backcourt players are instructed to be uphill, up the line, and take away the direct pass. On the weak side, they should come over to the midline and dare opponents to throw the diagonal cross-court pass. The off-ball defenders need to be engaged, communicate, and be in position to make plays.

Recovery Aspect

In Coach Anderson’s pressing system, the recovery aspect is vital. Even if the opponent breaks the press, the defense is not out of the press. Players need to recover quickly, get back to their spots, and play half-court defense. The goal is to prevent layups, threes, and fouls, and get back to playing five-on-five basketball. The recovery aspect requires players to be disciplined, communicate, and make quick adjustments.


Coach Tobin Anderson’s pressing system has been a key factor in his success. By emphasizing on-ball pressure, defensive decision-making, confusion, and recovery, Coach Anderson has created a formidable pressing system. His players are taught to be aggressive, smart, and adaptable, making it difficult for opponents to handle the press. Through practice, game-based play, and video analysis, Coach Anderson’s players develop the necessary skills and instincts to excel in the pressing system.

Tobin Anderson Pressing System All Access Series

If you’re a basketball coach looking to take your team’s defense to the next level, then you should definitely check out the Tobin Anderson Pressing System All Access Series from Immersion Videos. This series provides exclusive access to one of the best basketball minds in college basketball. You’ll learn the methods that have produced one of the most effective pressing defenses in the game.

Open the doors and get full access to three practices to get an inside look at how Tobin Anderson runs his practices and program. You’ll learn how to create a dynamic defense, insights into building culture, and how to blend intensity with teaching. This video will give you a full arsenal of ideas to improve your team’s effort, intensity, and defense. Don’t miss this opportunity to get an all-access look at one of the country’s top defensive coaches in action as his team learns how to be efficient and aggressive on defense. You can learn more about this series and purchase it at

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