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Youth Hoops Ezine. Revolutionary Tips For Players & Coaches. Magic...
September 26, 2007

Youth Hoops - September 26, 2007

Your Weekly Dose Of Basketball Tips, Advice & Resources!

Special Note:

Youth Hoops Will Now Be Delivered To Your Inbox On A Weekly Basis. In my continued efforts to provide you with the best information on the game of basketball, I will now send out Youth Hoops once a week.

Joe Waters

Quote Of The Week

Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.

Pat Riley

Check out this incredible collection of 1500+ inspirational sports quotes.

Tip Of The Week


Here are 12 tips to help you become a complete, fundamentally sound, all-around great basketball player. If you dedicate yourself to becoming the best player you possibly can, and you stay focused on reaching your will get there.

Follow These 12 Tips For Success:

  • Always be in great physical condition. You cannot control how tall you are or how fast you are, but you can control your physical condition. There is no reason anyone should be in better condition than you are.

  • Be willing to work hard at developing your individual skills. Many players would like to be a good basketball player, but few are willing to work hard enough-not just in practice, but in their own free time-to develop the fundamentals necessary to be a great player.

  • Develop good shooting ability. Practice close, medium, and long-range shots. Learn to shoot close to the basket before you move back to further distances.

  • Become a good free throw shooter. This requires plenty of practice, concentration, and confidence.

  • Learn to dribble with either hand and without looking at the basketball. You can practice dribbling from many situations away from the gym...dribbling to and from school, while waiting for the bus, while watching TV.

  • Develop good passing ability. This will require the ability to make crisp passes, to get the pass by an opponent, and to know when to pass.

  • Learn to "run the floor" from endline to endline. Few of your opponents will be able to keep up with you and prevent you from getting easy shots.

  • Block out when rebounding on defense. Blocking out your opponent on shots should be attempted every time a shot is taken, not just some of the time.

  • Know when and how to go for the offensive rebound. Offensive rebounding requires a great deal of hustle and anticipation.

  • Develop good footwork for various offensive and defensive situations. Different offensive footwork is needed for the stationary jump shot, for shooting off a screen, for shooting off a dribble drive, for making an entry pass to a teammate, for pivoting away from a defender, and numerous other offensive situations. Defensive footwork requires quick sliding to contain a dribbler, the ability to approach a ball-handler, and to guard a driver.

  • Study the game so that you can become a floor leader. You can talk to your coach about the game, read books on basketball, and watch NBA and college games on TV to increase your basketball knowledge. The more you know about the game the better leader to your teammates you will be.

  • Maintain a good mental attitude. More athletes have failed because of a faulty mental attitude than any other reason. The "mentally tough" player will maintain a positive, confident attitude, will play unselfishly, and will not allow mistakes or criticism by coaches or teammates to affect attitude. Accept criticism and mistakes as inevitable and use it to make yourself a better player.


On my site, I have a page that lists 37 Truths For The Youth Basketball Coach. As we approach the upcoming season, I think it is appropriate to review these truths.

Successful coaching doesn't happen by luck. It takes hard work and dedication, plus a certain way of doing things. If you're willing to follow these tips, you will have a much greater impact on your players and teams!

Follow These 37 Truths Of Basketball:

  • Remind your players before each game to enjoy their experience.

  • A crisp, 90-minute training session beats a dragged-out, two-and-a-half-hour session every time.

  • On game day, step back, quiet down and enjoy watching the fruition of your labor (when the whistle blows, it's very much your player's show).

  • Real power comes from serving your people well.

  • Where there is a will, there is not always a way - but sometimes there is.

  • Find a kind way to tell your players the blunt truth.

  • Athletics participation is important, but it is just a temporary, wonderful phase to pass through on the way to real life.

  • Don't second guess yourself - make the best decision you can and move on.

  • Speak succinctly. Don't lose track of the value being uncomplicated.

  • Balance praise and criticism - too much of either can be harmful.

  • Set your standards early and don't compromise them.

  • Speak freshly, avoiding the gaggingly inane clichés, such as "stepping up," "moving to the next level" or "giving 110 percent."

  • In these sullen, win-at-all-cost times, enjoy the occasional belly laugh. Delight is the wage of living.

  • It's unnecessary to raise your voice to be heard if your players believe you have something important to say. Your impact is greater with a whisper than a roar.

  • Teach your players the wonderful freedom that comes from learning to lose with grace and dignity and without excuse.

  • Winning is overrated, and the singular quest for it leads to unhappiness.

  • Keep things simple - everything added is something lost.

  • Greeting each player personally at the beginning of training every day and saying something sincerely positive publicly about each player during the training session pays dividends.

  • Letting your players know that you care for them, and that they can trust you, is critical.

  • Cervantes was right: "The journey is more important than the arrival."

  • Teach your players that peace of mind is a result of giving all that they have.

  • Let your actions coincide with your beliefs.

  • Convey to your players your love of the game.

  • Don't posture - a confident person need not convince anybody of anything.

  • Don't allow one or two players to ruin things for the rest of the players.

  • The joy of winning fades immediately and precipitously.

  • Have the courage to say "no" when the answer is "no".

  • Don't script your training sessions down to the minute - allow room for spontaneity.

  • Convey to your players the intrinsic honor that comes from training and playing hard.

  • It's as important to have your players work on their strengths as well as their weaknesses.

  • Show some passion on occasion. They have to know you care.

  • Don't overanalyze. Sometimes, as Freud told us, "A cigar is just a cigar."

  • Run an absolute meritocracy. The better they play and the harder they work, the more they play.

  • If you don't know, say so.

  • Learning through self discovery is ego enhancing and more likely to last.

  • Introduce a service component to your program - it's good for everybody.

  • Even in these politically correct times, don't neglect the spiritual aspects of coaching.

Product Reviews Of The Week


Score More Hoops - Basketball Skills Series: The Score More Hoops Series will help coaches and players take their basketball fundamentals and skills to the next level. Topics covered include...shooting, individual and team defense, ball handling and dribbling skills, passing effectiveness, and rebounding. Plus advanced techniques like pressing, trapping and the fast break. Read more here...


Magic Johnson DVD Series: Comprehensive Basketball Fundamentals: The Fundamentals of Basketball is one of the most comprehensive basketball instructional DVDs available today. The Fundamentals of Basketball is the quickest "first step" to making you a more complete player. Magic has assembled some of the greatest players to ever step on the court to teach you the "Fundamentals" of the game and help you achieve your goals. Read more here...

The Lighter Side Of Basketball

During a memorable NBA game in 1979, Philadelphia 76ers forward Darryl "Chocolate Thunder" Dawkins shattered a backboard while dunking (at the expense of Kansas City Kings center Bill Robinzine).

The precedent-setting basket counted - and prompted Dawkins to dub the shot: "The Chocolate Thunder-flying, Robinzine-crying, teeth-shaking, glass-breaking, rump-roasting, bun-toasting, wham-bam, glass-breaker-I-am jam!"

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