June 10, 2019 • BasketballCoaching

Coach Throwback: Dr. Jack Ramsay’s 12 ‘absolutes’ in coaching

Editor’s Note: These tips were written by Hall of Fame basketball coach Dr. Jack Ramsay and published in our October 1994 edition. 

Dr. Jack Ramsay’s dozen ‘absolutes’ in coaching

1. Basketball, like every other sport, is predicated on the execution of the fundamentals.

Jack Ramsay headshot
Photo published in Scholastic Coach, October 1994. | Credit: Roger Jensen

2. The coach is a teacher; his subject is the fundamentals.

3. The highest level of achievement is attained by the teams with the best conditioned players.

4. Even the greatest players have a level of improvement to achieve.

5. Even the greatest players accept coaching and value the need for discipline and the order that it brings to the team.

6. Winning is more related to good defense than good offense.

7. Breakdown drills, under simulated game conditions, are essential to team success.

8. Teams that play together beat those with superior players who play more as individuals.

9. There are no physical limits to individual achievement.

10. Although the game has become more sophisticated, simpler is better in developing and teaching a system of play.

11. Players draw confidence from a poised, alert coach who anticipates changing game conditions.

12. Teams that never concede defense can accomplish incredible victories.

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