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Changing Habits

The Art of Teaching Basketball

What You Will Discover or Recall:

Changing Bad Habits

Three Stages

Coaches Role

The Metamorphosis of Changing a Bad Habit

Brain fights to hold on to established habits

As a coach, you may not reap the immediate rewards of the hours put into player development. Since players develop at different rates and ages, be sure to develop all of your players to the best of their capabilities.

Correcting bad habits is by no means an easy task, and not all efforts will be successful, since it comes down to the individual player’s motivation and willpower. In correcting bad habits, players will progress through the following three stages:

Stage 1

A coach notices the hand of a player, with a pretty good shot, is moving out to one side on their follow through. The coach explains, demonstrates the correct position and tells the player to visualize the follow through. At first the corrected follow through will feel awkward and unnatural to the player. The shot becomes unsuccessful with the player missing almost all of their shots.

Habits Stage 1

Stage 2

With repeated practice and determination, the body starts to respond to the brain. The follow through begins to assume the correct position more readily and the shot becomes more fluid. The shot starts to gradually climb back to the previous level of accuracy. However, the shooter still has to think about the correct follow through movement.

Habits Stage 2

Stage 3:

Great player never get bored with practice repetitions

With still more hours of practice, the shooter thinks less and less about the shooting mechanics. Their form adjusts to the new position. Neuromuscular systems are working together in unison. Shooting has significantly improved and the corrected follow through motion “feels” right.

Habits Stage 3

Critical Coaches’ Role

To be successful, coaches must guide, support, and encourage players through all three stages of correcting bad habits. In some cases, this will entail continuing to support them long after they leave your program.
However, all of the time and effort spent on player development is well worth it.

In the correction of a bad habits, coaches must also persist. Making corrections requires extra hours, days and even years of the part of coaches. They just cannot point out bad habits and assume players have the ability and fortitude to make the changes on their own.

Coaching Tip Habits

Bad habits, such as missing layups during a game, start in practice. If coaches tolerate missed layups, and dunks, during practice, don’t expect players to be perfect during games.

Great Practice Rule: Automatic 10 push-ups for all missed lay-ups (or dunks) during practice. If a pass is involved, the passer also does 10 push ups because a good shot starts with a good pass.


Five Stars


The Art of Teaching Basketball

Coming Next:

Season Review & Goal Setting


Art of Teaching Basketball Series
#1Coaching, Life Skills, Keys to SuccessTap Here to View
#2Legal LiabilitiesTap Here to View
#3Major Medical EmergenciesTap Here to View
#4Player Motivation & LearningTap Here to View
#5Player Learning StylesTap Here to View
#6Motor Skill LearningTap Here to View
#7Game of HabitsTap Here to View
#8Changing Bad HabitsTap Here to View
#9Goal Setting & Season ReviewTap Here to View