francesco rossi

Making Basketball Fun with Francesco Rossi

Francesco Rossi is the the Youth Director of College Basket in Borgo Manero, Italy. Rossi’s approach emphasizes a transformation in coaching methodology. Traditional methods, passed down from older coaches, fail to engage today’s players. His goal is to make basketball both fun and educational. He aims for players to be happy in the gym and eager to learn.

Identifying Your Best Players

Francesco points out that the best players are often those who have grown up with the game. They play in their backyards, watch games, and practice relentlessly. Such players, often children of basketball players, have a natural edge. Coaches can learn from this and focus on creating an environment that mimics this natural, immersive experience.

Creating a Fun and Engaging Environment

Creating an engaging environment which players want to be part of does not have to be complicated or time-consuming.

  1. Easy Exercises: Incorporate simple drills that players can practice at home.
  2. Watch Basketball: Make it a habit to watch games together. This could be games from local leagues or major tournaments like March Madness.
  3. Share Videos: Share clips of professional players performing various moves. This visual learning helps players understand and emulate skills better.
  4. Share Players: Encourage playing across teams within the same club. This variety exposes players to different coaching styles and teammates.

Efficient Use of Practice Time

Francesco stresses the importance of using practice time effectively. He notes that typical two-hour practices often waste almost half the time on non-game activities like extended warm-ups and lengthy explanations. His solution is to focus on small-sided games and realistic scenarios that mimic actual game situations. This approach ensures that players are always engaged and learning.

Practical Drills and Exercises

Francesco’s innovative drills incorporate game elements. Here are some examples:

  • Handball Game: Play 2v2 handball using basketballs, focusing on dribbling, passing, and using space.
  • Fencing Dribble: Use fencing techniques to teach players how to protect the ball while dribbling, making it both fun and instructional.
  • Random Fast Breaks: Instead of traditional 3v0 fast break drills, start from random positions to teach players to find space and communicate effectively.

The Role of the Coach

Coaches should enjoy the game too. Francesco believes a coach’s attitude greatly affects players. Encouraging and positively reinforcing attempts, even failed ones, fosters a healthy learning environment. If a player attempts a difficult pass and fails, instead of reprimanding them, encourage them to try again.

Simplify Communication

Keep instructions clear and concise. Use terms that players understand, focusing on their language rather than complicated coaching jargon. This approach ensures players stay engaged and comprehend lessons faster.


Francesco Rossi’s approach to coaching basketball is a refreshing departure from traditional methods. By focusing on creating a fun and engaging environment, using practice time wisely, and maintaining a positive attitude, he has seen significant improvements in his players. Coaches at all levels can learn from his methods to make basketball a more enjoyable and effective experience for young athletes.

Interested in learning more? Visit for a behind-the-scenes look at 5 full-length College Basket practices with Coach Francesco Rossi.

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