From the Bench »


June 8, 2017

Three tips for young basketball coaches

by Ashley Hutchcraft-Nance, contributing writer

This year, at 32 years old, I completed my 10th season of coaching. During that time, I quickly went from coaching junior high basketball to spending two seasons as a head coach at a small school before arriving at Conway High School (Arkansas), ...

May 30, 2017

Team captains must not be normal

We expect captains to hold teammates accountable and unite players at difficult junctures of the season, but that’s not what makes them remarkable leaders — that’s just doing their jobs. To be special, team captains must go above and beyond the...

May 25, 2017

Effectively using brush screens in your offense

The brush screen is more popular in the college game and has been modified from its original form: the downscreen. With a brush screen, the cutter breaks from a screen that is in motion and stays in motion. There is no jump-stopping by the screener b...

May 22, 2017

6 keys to maximizing your assistant coaches

A characteristic of good basketball programs is that they have great assistant coaches on all levels. Assistants play a vital role in a team’s success. There were certain qualities I looked for in assistants, and it’s imperative to have a meeting...

May 18, 2017

10 ways to improve before next season

When basketball coaches talk about the offseason, usually we think of what the players will be doing. This is an extremely important aspect for any program, and there is a lot that can and should be accomplished from March thru October. Many coaches ...

May 15, 2017

Delivering criticism to athletes

by Stu Schaefer

I recently asked a group of coaches to give me their main challenges with athletes. Almost immediately, the majority of coaches agreed they see many athletes shut down upon receiving negative feedback or criticism. They believed the biggest influence...

May 11, 2017

Four principles for offseason basketball training

Another season is in the books, and by now you’ve had time to audit your program, your work and your players. The offseason is where programs create separation between themselves and their rivals. Long before teams cut down the nets next year or pl...

May 10, 2017

A letter to communicate your philosophy to parents

by Mike Bailey, boys basketball coach, St. Patrick High School, Illinois

Basketball programs must effectively communicate to parents as a way to avoid altercations or disagreements during the season. Coach Mike Bailey, who leads the boy’s basketball team at St. Patrick High School (Illinois), does this by creating a com...

May 2, 2017

‘Mouse’ counters help defense, attacks players in foul trouble

by Barry Hecker, former assistant coach, Memphis Grizzlies

Coaches are always thinking of new plays to attack the defensive schemes they encounter during the season. Basketball is a game of adjustments, with one coach or team running a play while the other coach works to take away that play. The other coach ...

April 18, 2017

Dear parents: I want your kid to fail

by Josh Levine, contributing writer

Yes, you read that right. I want your kid to fail. Specifically, I want your kid to fail in basketball, and the earlier he or she can start failing, the better. I am so convinced of the positive value of failure that I believe you, as a parent, shoul...