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Basketball Tips & Strategies – March

Quick Tip: Winning Close Games

Box Out! The vast majority of games that are decided by last shots are won on put backs ‐‐ NOT the shots.

Coaching Tips: Defending Baseline Out of Bounds Situations

Defending Baseline Out of Bounds

Coaches spend considerable amounts of practice time working on offensive baseline out of bounds plays, but spend little or no time on ways to defend them. As a result, too many easy baskets are given up during the course of the game on out of bounds plays simply because teams are not prepared to stop them.

If you analyze “Out of Bound” situations, they are unique in that it is the only time during the game of basketball where the defense actually has an advantage. Because of this numerical player advantage (5 on 4), it can be difficult for the offensive team to inbound the ball, and, as a result, numerous NCAA and NBA championships have been lost because teams were not able to make successful inbound passes in the final seconds of game. This is why many coaches like to avoid taking time outs at the end of the game.

Most coaches take it for granted that their basic half court defense applies to baseline out of bounds situations. However, this is not the case. Defending the ball when it is located out of bounds behind the defense is entirely different matter than defending the ball when it is out in front of the defense. In addition, in regular half court set offenses, defenders are mostly guarding shooters moving off screens away from the basket. On baseline out of bounds, the shooters are going directly to the basket. As a result, there is no room for error. If the defense makes an error on an out of bounds play it results in an easy basket.

Some teams will automatically zone on out of bound situations. However, zones are faced with the same problem of having to make adjustments to defend the ball being taken out on the baseline behind the basket rather than out front. In addition, zones are very susceptible to screen and roll action along with overloads, which happens to be the main staple of out of bounds plays. Learn More

Coaching Tips: Managing Timeouts Wisely

To get maximum benefit, whenever a timeout is called, players should run to the bench, especially in the case of a 20 or 30 second timeout. Note: if a player is so tired they cannot run to the bench, they should be replaced immediately. Full timeouts should be divided into two parts with the first 30 seconds being players’ time for water, towels, etc. For the last 30 seconds of a timeout all attention goes entirely to coach. Be sure to get eye contact and every player is listening before speaking. Also, make sure only one coach is speaking at time. Too many voices during a time out can be very distracting and detrimental. During timeouts, it is common place to observe four different coaches talking to different players at the same.

Since players remember very little of what is said during a timeout, keep adjustments and changes simple. One to three things at the most. In addition, do not expect them to successfully execute anything new that you have not worked on in practice. Substitutes must also be alert and pay attention to the changes and adjustments being made.

On every timeout, be sure an assistant coach double check with the official scorer on the exact number of personal fouls on each player and time outs remaining. Official scorers are known to make mistakes in crediting personal fouls to the wrong player. However, if caught early it can be corrected. However, if a player foul discrepancy is discovered late in the game, there is nothing much that can be done to correct it.

Coming out of time out, make sure every player must knows the number of time outs remaining and team foul situation. This is extremely important at the end of a close game. Games and national titles have been lost by players taking a timeout after a team has used their last timeout and not taking advantage of having fouls to give.

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